Learn from initiatives such as the 'ice bucket challenge', says CSP professional adviser Andy Lord
Flicking through Frontline or perusing the CSP website you’ll quickly notice much of the content is based on people who have ‘gone the extra mile’. In other words, members who have rendered more and better service than that for which they are paid, and giving it in a positive way. In this article we’ll explore the potentially unforeseen benefits of going the extra mile.
Whatever organisation you are in, whether it’s selling burgers or providing physiotherapy, the reputation of the business is essential to its survival. Gaining consumer confidence can have a profound effect on a business’s bottom line. Further, consumers of physiotherapy who have confidence in the service are more likely to respond well to treatment.
Traditionally, most businesses relied on word of mouth to develop and maintain their reputations. But in a digital age, getting online communication right is paramount to ensure a business’s reputation flourishes. The Motor Neurone Disease Association’s ‘ice bucket challenge’ is a good example of a fund-raising venture that flourished through online communication and social media. The ice bucket challenge became a movement that surpassed all expectations. More than $100 million (£65 million) was raised, but how?
The ice bucket challenge was about engagement (you had to do something): it wasn’t simply a broadcast of information. When some engaged and threw ice cold water over themselves, others were inspired to do the same and a movement was created. A physiotherapy business may not be aiming for a movement of such size, but what can be learnt is that by engaging your audience you have the ability to have far greater impact.
To find out more on creating a movement, see here.
While difficult to measure and seemingly intangible, having a strong reputation can yield big benefits for a business; consumer preference, support in times of crisis and the perceived value of the business, for example.
In a competitive market, building your reputation can be a challenge. National events such as CSP’s Workout at Work Day or even international events such as Older People’s Day (1 October) present excellent opportunities to go the extra mile. By being involved in events like these you benefit from being involved in broader social media coverage, potentially expanding your audience considerably.
Business benefits of getting involved might include:
- By running something innovative the business could be seen as a leader in its field.
- The business is seen to have social responsibility and support good causes.
- Increased emotional appeal – the company appears fun and kind.
- Provides the opportunity to showcase talented staff.
- Continued professional development for staff.
The most commonly reported barrier to getting involved in activities such as Older People’s Day is time. However, when considered as an investment for business benefits, the time spent can be seen as being worthwhile. Getting the right person to lead such events could also minimise the cost of the investment while reaping further benefits. By handing over leadership and management of these events to members of staff not usually given such responsibility improvements in staff morale and engagement can be achieved.
When people are more engaged they’re more likely to be creative and produce innovative ideas relating directly back to improving the business’s reputation. O2 is one company which has recently recorded significant success and have attributed this to having highly developed engagement models. Engaged employees in the UK take an average of 2.69 sick days per year; the disengaged take 6.19. This is an excellent example of how engaged staff directly benefits a business’s bottom line.
Marketing your service
Marketing needs to be done with purpose. If you decide to take part in one of these events first establish what your intended outcomes are. This is key to success. Once your objectives are set, the marketing and communication plans follow. See the website to find out more about marketing your service. fl
Your plan of action
- Decide whether being involved in an event is worthwhile for your business or organisation
- Consider the potential cost and benefits (including indirect benefits)
- Consider what your competition is doing
- Consider the timing of events
What are your objectives?
- What do you personally want to achieve from being involved? For example, to gain experience in managing an event or improve your personal reputation.
- What do you want your business to achieve? For example, to build relationships with local charities or increase consumer awareness of service.
- How are you going to measure your objectives to demonstrate success?
What is your communications plan?
- How are you going to engage your audience?
- What is the best communications route for your target audience?
- When do you need to start your communication
- Run the event – and have fun!
- Reflect – what went well? Were your objectives met? What would you do next time?
Older People’s Day
The next big event on the CSP calendar is Older People’s Day on 1 October. The CSP will promote the positive contribution that the profession makes in helping older people to live longer and live well. If you plan to hold an event or do something to support Older People’s Day, please let us know!
You can sign up here.
Tweet us at @thecsp Use the hashtags #physioworks and #olderpeoplesday
See pages 56-57 for more on Older People’s Day
AuthorAndy Lord CSP professional adviser
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