Is Your Salon or Spa ‘Beloved’ in Your Community?

This post inspired by a recent discussion with 27 year salon industry veteran Robin Gribbin and charter beautyprpro subscriber prize winner Meghanne Gibbon Haran of You Salon in Maryland. Also, it was a recent question by a new salon owner in the Salon and Spa Business Forum on Facebook who asked, “How can I become better known by my local press and community?”

‘Get Real’ in the Neighborhood

Beautyprpro - standing out from the crowd

Good people and businesses ‘stand out’ in their community.  They are more than just a place to go for products or services.  They are part of the fabric of life in the neighborhood.  People respect and appreciate their caring deeds.  Individuals and businesses that ‘do more’ get noticed for their efforts.

Avoid the Crowd

An often heard fast answer to garnering attention is to “do charitable salon events“.  Although accurate, it’s an incomplete thought.  Just doing run of the mill ‘cut-a-thons’ for charity and jumping on the ‘popular’ fund-raising bandwagons doesn’t distinguish you or your salon/spa in the neighborhood.  Yes, you are a step ahead because you are doing it, but it’s certainly not unique.  Remember: Newsworthy = out of the ordinary.  So, we thought we’d suggest delving more deeply into this one.

‘Real’ Community Involvement for the Long Haul

St. Madeleine Sophie's Center SMSCOf course fund-raising is always good PR, but catch-as-catch-can fundraisers are over fast and everyone quickly moves on to the next ‘something’ that grabs their attention.  Not a lot of deeper, long-term client development value going on there.

The best community involvement is something that becomes uniquely yours, where you and your salon team find something in the community you can become “a valued part of”.  Real non-profit support has a deeper meaning to you and your staff.

It also makes all of you important to the members of that community who care deeply about that charity’s good work and your participation builds long-term value within that community, and their friends.  You become a very real part of their lives and events.

5 PR-Smart Steps To ‘Get Real’ In Your Area.

  1. Do some detective work to discover what some of the well-respected area non-profits are up to.  What ‘good work’ is currently getting the attention of the media?  Ask your clients what charities they support and why?  Get good background information on those charities at Guidestar.Note:  In addition to your search for a local non-profit, consider another effort that really puts the limelight on the professional salon industry … check out “Cut it Out”.  Bonus with ‘Cut it Out’ is that domestic violence is always ‘in the news’ and doesn’t need a lot of explanation.
  2. Watch the local lifestyle, and beauty& grooming sections of the local media (magazines and newspapers).  What out-of-the-ordinary local non-profits do they often write about?  Any popular themes that reveal those editors ‘fav’ charities?
  3. After you have an initial assortment of area non-profits you feel an affinity for, contact the Executive Director or the Development Director of the organization.  Tell them you’re new to the neighborhood and you’d like to learn more about what they do first-hand.  Plan a visit to meet and get a tour.Non-profits thrive on interested supporting businesses and will be happy to share all about themselves.  They know you can use their help as much as they can use yours.  It’s a synergistic relationship that benefits them, their beneficiaries, and you.
  4. After you settle on one or two of those charities, get more involved.  Attend their events.  Get to know their supporters.  Volunteer for other activities the charity needs help with.  Ask them what they think you can do to support them.  Perhaps you and your staff can do the hair and make-up for their annual fashion show?They don’t have a fashion show?  Maybe you can propose the idea?  Play with ideas with your staff.  Get them personally involved.  Set up a tour for you (and your staff).  Everyone at the salon will benefit.  Good things will automatically happen when the chemistry is right.  It is public relations at its best.
  5. Become a leadership force for that non-profit.  Serve on its board.  Do more than the average bear.  Lead and others will follow.

Once involved with a community non-profit, your involvement within their circle of supporters means that everyone within that group will come to know you personally too … and so it grows.

Finally, remember that well run local non-profits already have established relationships with local media types and that ultimately benefits you in your efforts on their behalf.

That’s it.  Not hard … Very rewarding.

Make a Comment

What charitable work has your salon/spa been up to?

Has that made a difference to you and your staff?

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Comments

  1. Paul Amyot says

    This is very sound advice. Salons/Spas could even do better if they joined forces, let’s say for a local homeless shelter or community center. It has worked in our town for years. Have a GREAT day.

    Paul R. Amyot
    The Amyot Group
    C. 914.299.7488

  2. Sharon & Alex,

    This is an excellent post. I agree that Salons & Spas need to commit to a long-term investment in their communities, if they want their work with non-profits organization be recognized as genuine. I think this takes some evaluation on the part of the Salon owner. If you’re not really passionate about volunteering, donating, etc…then don’t do it.

    By the way, when I read the title, I immediately thought of Starbucks.

  3. Thanks for the mention Sharon and Alex you guys are so great! Excellent article! As I was reading it i remembered the things we talked about! Thanks again!

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