Keep the Buzz Going!
One of the keys to a successful book drive is spreading the word so friends and neighbors know it is happening and feel excited to donate their books.
Book drive organizers in two very different companies—Bungalow5 and HighPoint Global-- created a variety of tools to tell their colleagues about the book drive and to inspire them to contribute.
Bungalow5 is a furniture and home décor manufacturer that sells to designers and store owners. HighPoint Global is a consulting company that offers training and management solutions to government agencies. While the two companies have different lines of business, they share a commitment to getting their employees involved in helping others. Bungalow5 has been supporting non-profits for over 10 years. HighPoint Global has a Service and Charity committee that organizes service projects each quarter.
When they started their first book drive this year, the book drive organizers knew they knew how to create and maintain buzz.
Erin Radue, responsible for advertising and public relations at Bungalow5, worked with the company’s graphic designer to create a postcard to invite employees at both the New York and Dallas showrooms to a kickoff party. They emailed the postcard to their national media contacts, placed hard copies in their showrooms and distributed them to local restaurants and libraries. Many of their press contacts passed along information about the book drive to their colleagues. The trade publication, Home Accents Today, featured the book drive in its March 19 issue.
A URL directs employees to a unique landing page with a video. Erin is also using social media and the company newsletter. “We want to spread the word every way possible,” she says. At High Point Global, the media manager developed posters to publicize the drive. The company newsletter had a kick-off announcement and weekly reminders with photos. The poster with a stack of books was updated frequently to show the book drive’s progress.
While the posters and newsletter stories were helpful, Amanda Areces, one of the book drive organizers, felt that the campaign got more traction when the committee members started talking about it by writing emails to their colleagues. “It gave the campaign a personal touch. It wasn’t just corporate communications.”
Feedback at both companies has been positive. As Erin says, “Helping kids makes everyone feel good. This campaign is inspirational, uplifting, powerful.”
“The parents at HighPoint told us that they loved going through their books with their children,” reports Amanda. “They had memories with those books. They felt they were giving a gift that was personal.”
As an individual book drive organizer, you may not have all the resources that these two companies have, but you can follow these guidelines: plan your communication, talk about the book drive often and in as many ways as you can think of, and include the personal touch. The donated books you receive will bring joy to you and to the children who receive them.