Giving Back – Maketing Monday
by Skip Cohen
It’s probably ten years ago I wrote my first post about giving back to the community. It’s such an important part of building your brand that it deserves to be at the very top of your priority list. As business picks up in the fourth quarter, you need to make sure you don’t lose sight of how much it can help you build your reputation.
Years ago I had the opportunity to hear Jay Conrad Levinson speak. Known best as the originator of the expression “Guerilla Marketing”, he talked about the top 100 things Guerilla Marketers need to do. At the very top of the list was “be involved in your community and charities”. Why? Because, people like to buy products from companies they perceive as giving back.
It’s cause-related marketing at its best and it helps build your brand beyond just being a photographer. Let’s face it, you’re looking for the community to be good to you. So, what are you doing to be good to your community?
Finding a charitable cause in your community couldn’t be easier, but you have to take the time. Just read the local paper. What’s going on in your community? If the school tax bill didn’t pass, then the arts are going to suffer, starting with the yearbook, photo club, newsletter etc. All, perfect matches for you to lend a hand as a professional photographer.
Is there an event coming up that might need your skills as a photojournalist? Everything from a walkathon to organizations like Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions and Exchange Club all have a major charity drive each year.
Check with your local hospital, police force, fire-fighters – they always need help and they always have an event they’re sponsoring. Then there are great organizations like Big Brother and Big Sister.
Within the photographic community, there’s NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep), Thirst Relief, HeartsApart.org and the Josephine Herrick Project. These are just a handful of non-profits as examples. They all involve photographers and are dedicated to helping make the world a better place.
Although no longer serving let’s not forget PPA Charities, founded over fifteen years ago by Bert Behnke. I’m proud to have been one of the original members of the team along with Helen Yancy, Steve Troup, Dennis and Lori Craft, just to name a few.
Skip Cohen has been involved in the photographic industry his entire career and previously served as President of Rangefinder/WPPI and earlier, Hasselblad USA. He founded SkipCohenUniversity.com in 2013. Skip is a co-host for “Mind Your Own Business” and “Beyond Technique,” webcasts through Photofocus.com, writes for several publications including Shutter Magazine and is actively involved in several advisory boards for non-profit organizations.