Being less than a week away from my favorite local event the Limestone City Blues Festival I felt it was the right time to write about the importance of getting involved or more involved in the community you live and work in. Whether you are a media rep, a local business owner, a manager or just work in the community I can’t stress how important it is to get out there and get involved. In my case dealing with advertisers which most businesses are there isn’t a better way to establish and cultivate relationships than attending a backstage party at an event like the Blues Festival. Of course opportunities like this come along for me as a former business owner. Owning FlyerMail I had a vested interest in sponsoring many other high profile local community events, such as FebFest, Movies in The Square and April Fools Comedy Festival to name a few. My goal was to raise the level of my brand in the community as well as create more contacts so I could put more advertising in my packages which in turn made my product more appealing to consumers with more variety. For me the other advantage was and still is distributing the official handbill for the event inside the packages and even branding the covers such as the photo illustrated above. This of course is one way to do it if you happen to be a business owner or a senior manager but there are many other ways. I got my start with the Blues Festival involvement from my good buddy and mentor Jeff Dillon when I was a young newspaper rep who didn’t give me a choice; he said “Digger we are selling bracelets at Blues Fest this weekend”. (Digger is a sales nickname I can’t seem to shake with a few in the industry who have worked with me since my early 20’s) From that point on I realized the importance of doing this type of charity work in my community. The event organizers appreciate it, you meet many people including business owners and decision makers as a result and you create a profile in the community. From that point on I volunteered for Santa Claus Parades, various festivals, feel good events like pitch in Kingston you get the idea. Of course there are other ways to do this I have also sat on committees with the local University Hospital foundation, been on boards such as the local chamber, been a chair for events such as Pitch In Kingston and much more. In a nutshell as busy as I am I always make time to get involved when I have the opportunity to make a difference in my community.
If you want to grow your business portfolio in your community I suggest you get involved. Having a strong community presence makes it much easier to climb the corporate ladder, raise brand awareness and increase sales if you are into that like I am. Oh yeah and you will always feel good about the time you spend so pick the right cause to support with the right people and don’t forget to have fun.