In the last blog, I started to outline the lessons and mantras from the last…
Recently, I’ve found myself discussing and debating more issues than I can shake a stick at. I’m looking at situations and hearing conversations that just shouldn’t be happening in this day and age. There are situations globally, nationally, within my industry and community that I want to support, both on a personal and professional level. The question quickly arises ‘but how can I possibly make a difference’? Be your own leader. Make an impact and drive positive change through key PR skills; communicate, connect and collaborate.
Many of the businesses and people I work with have also thought the same thing. I’ve connected with them when they’ve decided to break the mould and do things their way.
The common ground seems to be, for whatever the issue;
We can and should do better.
So, what’s this got to do with PR I hear you ask?
When it comes to doing better, companies will do ‘what they others think is right’ to check off their social responsibility list.
However, it doesn’t make an impact. Why is that?
Supporting an issue goes beyond doing what will make them ‘look good’ in public, or to be seen as topical and relevant to drive awareness and therefore attract customers.
Those who make the change are those who genuinely care and get involved. You just can’t fake that.
Either we change as companies, or our clients will force that change when they buy from someone else.
The wrong rules and approaches exist in so many areas that affect everyday lives; from school systems, welfare, healthcare, employment, industries and government. Let’s not forget there are countless issues that also need tackling.
Finally, just ‘doing the work’ isn’t enough. To make an impact and drive positive change through key PR skills you need to communicate, connect and collaborate to instigate change or shift perception. As much as the internal work is required, you also need to raise the profile of the issue, engage in discussion and build solid relationships further along the process.
Embrace your rebellious streak.
Staying silent and doing nothing is not an option for some of you. However, like most things regarding public relations activity, it’s important to do the groundwork first. Here are 7 steps to consider if you truly want to make an impact and drive positive change.
1. An Inside Out Job.
Before anything, be clear on the causes that mean the most to you or the people you want to help. You can’t fight them all so pick your battles, recognise what resonates and motivates you most. When you’re passionate and truly motivated, then the work you do will be more impactful as people will connect with it more and want to support you.
2. Take responsibility.
What can you do on each level required from a personal, business, community, industry or local government or parliamentary level? Can you work across one, some or all these areas? Even if you do it from just a personal level, that’s a great start. Do that well and then move onto the next level. If you need help from the other levels, ask for it – connect and collaborate with others. Nothing will change if no-one recognises there’s a problem, either on the ground, to where change can be made for everyone.
3. Be informed.
Learn more about the issues through your own research, working with organisations, but also speaking to those most affected. The insights or storytelling from personal experience provides a connection like nothing else. Also, try to understand those who you don’t agree with to learn more about their point of view for a more balanced approach.
4. Get involved.
There are so many ways you can help – sharing, donating, fundraising, taking part in event either on the ground or finding other ways to show your support. Speak to those who are running the organisations or initiatives and ask them what they need. If this doesn’t exist, can you create this?
Find and support others in your community or industry who are doing things a different way. Find fellow rebels and misfits you can collaborate with. Even if you’re both companies in the same industry – support each other. You may have the same problem but have two different approaches to help tackle it. Promote the wins and promote the differences, you’re both ultimately fighting for the same goal.
6. Create Your Own Rules.
The beauty of rebellion is you can work to your own code. Something that is broken or wrong needn’t apply to you anymore. If you need guidance and can’t find it within your own community or industry, then look to others outside of that group. There may be great examples which can be adapted for your own working structure. It may seem alien to others but sure enough, they will accept and follow.
7. Promote and communicate.
A problem shared is a problem halved. A better understanding of the issue from a wider audience will help provide you with the support you need – whether that will be from collaboration, donations or support. How can anyone help you drive positive change if they don’t know about it? Communicate and promote, from your internal teams all throughout the community, media, industry and beyond if needed.
Driving positive change doesn’t take weeks, months or a year. It takes years, even decades to break down misconceptions, barriers or archaic systems that no longer work.
It’s those with true connection, passion and purpose that will embrace this as a long-term commitment. Those who see these opportunities for professional or monetary gain will never fully embody the issue they’re fighting for, or will quickly find another cause to latch their cart.
We can do all the work but ultimately, to make a deeper impact involves communication – how to promote and engage others to join and support your activity. It also takes collaboration and connection – who do you need to speak to, work with to get you to the next level?
Need to perfect or adapt your PR skills of communication, collaboration and connection to make an impact and drive positive change? I offer a free no-strings-attached 30 min call here to help identify how to best move forward. Book here https://KVComms.as.me/VirtualCoffeeChat
Either way, I think we can all agree – we can and should do better.
We rise by lifting others.