#PRQuote: Community Relations is a Big Deal

Today in Lagos State, Federal Republic of Nigeria, an epoch-making event took place, the official commissioning of the Lekki Deep Sea Ports, a multi-purpose, deep sea port in the Lagos Free Zone. It is the largest seaport in Nigeria and one of the biggest in West Africa.

When the Honorable Commissioner for Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs) Lola Akande, mentioned that the location’s initial inhabitants, which span 90 hectares, had been relocated and compensations paid accordingly.

Many activities would have gone under to ensure that they duly settled all parties involved. Something similar also happened when the Nigeria LNG Bonny Island plant was to be constructed at Finima, Bonny Island, Rivers State.

Many activities make a Community Relations subset of the Corporate Communications Department very important. As one chief executive recently put it, “is food for the soul of the organization.” No longer is an afterthought or corporate window-dressing, community relations, as more chief executives are acknowledging a serious, strategic aspect of business for American companies, a fundamental ingredient for the health of the enterprise.

Community relations are a business practice involving the development of mutually beneficial community partnerships within the areas in which a business operates. Companies are continuing to integrate community relations into their overall business strategy.

It has two-way benefits to its society. It positions businesses as civically and ethically responsible in their local communities, fosters goodwill among the locals–your potential customers, and helps the community thrive.

Organizations must take feedback from the community and will make it a valuable part of their operations and integrate it into the decision-making process. This will ultimately show its sensitivity to community concerns and issues.

Community Relations is a tool to build the company’s credibility and create personal connections with the residents. In another way, the company will also use their community relations project to showcase their brand and drive positive sentiments to their business in the eyes of the locals and increase their visibility.

To kick-start your community relations activities, your brand needs to support a local cause to show goodwill; philanthropy, sourcing human and material needs from the community, and donations sponsor a local event; on-site host activations or visual marketing opportunities and staff volunteerism programs.

After doing all these and more, you can amplify all these through public relations and social media activities. Let’s work with you in creating impactful community relations programs.

Olutayo Irantiola writes #PRQuotes weekly

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