A number of our ag sector clients have been stepping up in recent weeks and supporting rural communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Some of these companies and their teams have generously volunteered their time to help with the clean-up. Others have donated funds, essential supplies or services to organisations like the Rural Support Trust who can get it to those most in need.
These companies have a close professional, and often personal connection, with the rural communities affected. They want to help because it’s the right thing to do. And sometimes that’s what it’s about. It’s not always about leveraging the PR opportunities from doing good in the community.
When disaster strikes, it is more important than ever to seek professional PR advice before posting about your ‘good Samaritan’ efforts on social, communicating with clients or customers, or trying to sell your story into the media.
Even if your intentions are well-founded, being seen to take advantage of others’ misfortune can be damaging for your relationships and your reputation.
By all means celebrate internally with your team and make them feel proud to work for a company that cares. It may also be appropriate to publish a carefully crafted post for social media – but exercise caution!
Also consider whether you need to put a hold on any print or online advertising in affected regions. The last thing people want is a sale pitch when they are trying to get their lives and their businesses back on track.