Do you want to find a way for your business to make a big social impact but you aren’t exactly sure what you should do? Want to generate positive press and goodwill for your brand? Do you want to make connections with idea people that can propel your company to new heights? Then throw a party! Have an event or a contest where you bring people together where they can use their skills to solve a social problem and prepare to be amazed with what happens.
Random Hacks of Kindness
This article about Google’s Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK – pronounced “rock”) contest explains an example of just this sort of party. RHoK brought hackers together to come up with technological solutions to social problems around the world. Not only did these hackers come up with some really cool ideas, they had a great time doing it. And Google not only got a nice PR boost from it, they also got a chance to sample the talents of thousands of the brightest programmers in the world. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a great talent pool working for free to make your company more responsible while building some goodwill in the process?
Partying for the social good: 101
- Make sure the event aligns with what your company does best. Tech companies can make apps, clothing companies, clothes, marketers can provide branding services, and so on…
- Find a cause that is broad and relevant to your audience. Leave plenty of room for partiers to work on the social problem that they care the most about.
- Hold the event “on-site.” The more people that you can get in your doors, the closer they will feel to your brand.
- Be open and inviting, but make the work itself niche enough that only real workers will show up.
- Invite your own employees to participate. Not only will your employees love it, it will allow you to showcase the great talent that you have.
- Invite your competitors, too. You might learn new tricks that you hadn’t considered yet.
- Pay attention to attendees. You may find your next superstar employee working right in front of you.
- And after it’s over, make sure that attendees get to see the benefits of their hard work. Whatever they do needs to benefit someone; let them see how their hard work created more good around them.
Not just for Googles
Now, not everyone can throw an event as big as Google can, but anyone can host a get-together for good and reap the benefits. I met a woman at SXSW 2011 who works for a small graphic design company who did this very well. Her company hosts an event where creative professionals from all over their city gather for a weekend and provide creative design and marketing services for deserving local businesses.
For the price of some caffeine, snacks, and maybe a small prize (which you may be able to get donated), a company of any size can host an event that is fun, beneficial to society, and a sound business move.
Alright, so who’s ready to party?