With more companies undertaking pro bono work as a strand of their corporate responsibility agenda, are the publicity and positive PR opportunities for such work being diluted? Further still, is it right to expect good publicity in the wake of a charitable act?
At Genesis PR we’ve spent a number of years supporting our namesake, Genesis Orwell Mencap – a fantastic Suffolk charity that offers help and support to people with disabilities and their carers. We give pro bono PR advice and media relations expertise and take a group of clients and their carers to the fantastic New Wolsey Rock and Roll pantomime. We also make a cash donation instead of sending Christmas cards.
We enjoy giving our expertise and support to an excellent charity and the PR we generate around our support for Genesis Orwell Mencap is enhancing our own reputation as a thoughtful and caring business.
The importance of pro bono work is not just about the headlines that follow, however. It’s about a genuine interest and willingness to engage with society and the community and put something back. There are many additional benefits including the pleasure that the company team gets from giving their time to help the charity.
It’s worth noting, however, that giving something for free doesn’t always work in your favour – spare a thought for the anti-Bono sentiment that emerged after U2 ‘forced’ their latest album on iTunes users for free last year.
In the same week, however, 26 U2 albums entered the iTunes top 200, where previously there had been none, whilst ticket sales for their latest tour look set to top their previous record – which, for context, was the highest-grossing tour of all time.
Perhaps all publicity is good publicity, after all.