Earlier this month I attended the PRCA event, Creating Brand Purpose Through Social Enterprise. Working with social enterprises is a new thing for me, but it is definitely something I hope to be more involved with in the future.
Now, if you’re asking, ‘what is a social enterprise and what the hell does it have to do with tech’, then you are not the only one. In layman terms, a social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in human and environmental well-being. Many businesses do this by hiring those who have disabilities, graduates struggling to find work or those from under-privileged backgrounds.
The benefit this can have for you, your business or your client is far more than just feeling good that you are in some way helping those in need. Social enterprise organisations tend to offer the same level of expertise, professionalism and standard as any other business, but they can cost less. They are also more flexible in terms of how they can work with you, showing that they want your business and essentially to form a good working relationship.
Some of the organisations I met last week included production teams, printing services, photography, web design and creative agencies, and there is much more out there.
Tech for good and social enterprises go hand in hand. This campaign and similar ones have been around for quite some time and we are seeing more and more clients wanting to jump on the bandwagon. It’s a great way to generate a positive perception of a brand, especially if there has not been so favourable coverage in the past.
If there is a way to highlight positive stories that are created by a client’s product or generosity, such as in giving away free subscriptions for a particular software for example, then do it. If bringing a social enterprise on board enhances your campaign further then surely only a positive result will follow.
What I learnt from this event was to think deeper into how a partnership with another company can help your cause. Never just think, oh I’ve used that company before for another client so I’ll just use them again. It’s convenient, but lazy. Do your research. Form new relationships and ultimately choose the partnership that will best benefit your client. This does not need to be the most expensive or even the most experienced, if they show professionalism then consider them. At the end of the day they want your business and only those who succeed will go above and beyond in showing you this!