By Brian Walsh
At last fall’s Association of National Advertisers Conference in Orlando, eBay’s North American Chief Marketing Officer offered an important observation that every brand must understand its purpose and be able to articulate that purpose effectively and consistently. It’s about telling an authentic story, but also about connecting that story into the organization.
We could not agree more. At PLUS Communications, we believe firmly that consistent story-telling that helps companies and organizations connect with their communities around shared values must be a core component of their communications strategy.
How people perceive your company or organization is perhaps the most significant factor in whether the company wants to do business and have a relationship with you. It also has a critical impact on your relationships with policymakers in Washington D.C. and State Capitals around the country. According to the Harvard Business Review, 64 percent of people start a relationship with a business due to shared values. It’s also a reminder that acts of compassion, empathy and demonstrating responsible corporate citizenship are critical now more than ever. A recent study by Accenture found that almost 60 percent of U.S. consumers are influenced to buy a brand, product or service by the words, actions, values and beliefs of a company’s senior executives and other employees.
We’ve seen several great examples in recent weeks of companies and other organizations stepping-up to do their part. In the aftermath of flooding and tornadoes in the Midwest, some of the country’s biggest retailers have been aiding in relief efforts, including Wal-Mart, which has donated cash and supplied to those affected in at least 10 states. These companies are also working with local officials and governments on how best to respond to the disasters.
At PLUS Communications, our team has unrivaled experience helping Fortune 100 companies, trade associations and non-profit organizations across a host of industries tell their stories and build that critical connection with key communities. Importantly, as a fully-integrated communications agency that was recently recognized as one of just five finalists among communications firms across the country for PRWeek’s prestigious “Outstanding Midsize Agency” award category, we have the in-house capability to manage complex public affairs campaigns that include experienced media relations, coalition building, award-winning paid advertising, cutting-edge digital engagement, grassroots advocacy and message development.
As an example of our work and the importance of consistent storytelling that connects a business with their community, PLUS has had the honor of working with one of the largest independent roofing and building products business in the United States – TAMKO – based in Joplin, Mo. After doing a deep dive on TAMKO’s business operations, history and culture and conducting in-depth conversations with their team, we developed a multi-pronged communications strategy that focused on the good-paying jobs and career advancement opportunities at TAMKO, and the company’s commitment to the Joplin community through its considerable philanthropic activities.
In the aftermath of the worst tornado in America in over 50 years, TAMKO had stepped up to help the Joplin community rebuilt. We produced two ads “Endured” and “Tornado” that focused on TAMKO’s efforts to help Joplin during this very trying time in the community’s history.
In 2018, we turned the focus of the campaign to TAMKO’s significant charitable donations to community organizations like Ronald McDonald House and Lafayette House, a non-profit helping battered women get back on their feet. The ad “Melissa” focused on the positive role that Ronald McDonald House played in helping a young family cope with a traumatic health incident involving their baby. The ad “Renita” told the story of a woman who had been a client of Lafayette House, but now has a rewarding career at the non-profit helping combat domestic violence and sexual assaults.
As a company headquartered in America’s heartland, TAMKO has a strong patriotic tradition. Not only does the company provide good-paying manufacturing jobs across the United States, it has a rock-solid commitment to hiring veterans. We filmed and produced an ad featuring several veterans who have found rewarding careers at TAMKO. This ad entitled “Veterans” ran heavily around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day holidays in 2017, and touted the patriotic values of TAMKO and the fact that nearly 10 percent of the company’s workforce previously wore the uniform of the United States military.
The response to the TAMKO communications campaign has been overwhelmingly positive and had its desired effect of deepening TAMKO’s bond with its employees, the Joplin community and the non-profits that TAMKO supports.
If you’d like to learn more about how PLUS Communications can help your organization with its public affairs needs, please contact us today.