Spreading the ‘Good Word’: Encouraging and Communicating Holiday Donations

Picture courtesy of OraSure Technologies

Image courtesy of OraSure Technologies


Before you clear the last thing off your desk, attend the holiday party and hop on the plane to Barbados, remember to add that one last item to your December check list: employee holiday donations. Despite the tough economy, millions ofpeople are planning to donate during the holiday season and many of them could be employees sitting right under your firm’s roof. It only takes a few quick steps to recognize these altruistic individuals within your company.

I recently worked with a client that had several employees actively involved in a local community event. We quickly discovered that spreading the “good word’ about holiday donations is a fantastic way to strengthen corporate morale, improve your firm’s reputation within the local community and help some truly deserving individuals during the holiday season. And it is fun for your employees! Here are five tips for spreading the good word about your employees’ holiday donations:

1. Ask around the office – Find out if your employees are planning
to participate in any holiday drives. If nothing is planned, suggest a local organization for your company to participate in. There are a myriad of deserving holiday charities to choose from. A quick Google search can help provide some options. The local United Way chapter and other volunteer organizations usually post the details of their holiday drives to their websites.

2. Draft a media alert and pitch to the local press – Draft a media alert with an event summary and send to local reporters. Writing an alert is a great exercise for creating content to later share with your company and stakeholders. Here is asample media alert from a recent client’s employee involvement that summarizes the details in a “who, what, when, where, why” format. Offer up a time for interview and photo opportunities with your employees and local volunteer organization reps.

3. Take photos and videos – Go to the event and take photos or conduct video interviews to capture all the details. All this can be done now with a basic digital camera! It’s a good idea to label photos with names of employees when sending to the media. Be sure to add your photos to your company’s website or social media pages later on.

4. Write a summary email – The summary email is important for building corporate morale within your organization. Pull a summary from the media alert (attaching photos of employees who participated) and send in an email to members of your organization. Take a shot at sending a few summary bullets and photos to reporters for their newspaper’s community section or briefs.

5. Post a recap to your company site – Create a wrap-up summary and post to your corporate website. Include any relevant media coverage in your news section. Recap the event in your next company newsletter and be sure to share your holiday story by posting to your company blog, twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

These are some of the fun and easy ways to show the holiday spirit of your employees and solidify your company’s connection within the community. Follow the tips above and ensure your employee volunteers are recognized this holiday season!

Post by Mike Levey, Zer0 to 5ive Senior Strategist