The Community Partner Next Door

by Vianka McConville

We’ve written a few posts about “doing the right thing” as evidenced here and here.  I recently had the opportunity to listen to a company at the monthly Florida Public Relations Association breakfast that not only takes these words to heart, but acts on them through community relations programs.

IKEA may be known for modern build-it-yourself furniture, but the fact that the company donates $10,000 to a local charity each time it opens a new store may not be common knowledge.  IKEA has a vision that goes beyond home furnishing and seeks to create a better life for people.  It achieves this through low price points for affordability and connecting with the community to make a lasting impact, focusing on programs for children and the environment.  During the presentation, it was clear that it fulfills its vision with great humility.

So, how does a company that does not like to brag about itself get recognition for its work?  By keeping things personal and connecting with bloggers, staying active on social media and using its products to promote charitable organizations.  These channels have been successful for IKEA to raise awareness of the brand, but more important to the company, to raise awareness of the causes it supports.

Traditional media may not be praising IKEA on the front page of a newspaper, but the humble company is OK with that.  As practitioners, when we have a client that is adamant about doing the right thing above all else, our work is that much more impactful.

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