I saw an item today in MediaBistro that my old PR firm, Allison & Partners, has adopted Big Brothers and Big Sisters as their first pro bono client. I couldn’t have been more delighted. All public relations and professional service firms should take on pro bono work, especially in tough economic times. Everyone needs a helping hand, and it’s both good for the cause and good for business to offer your services without a fee. I’m not surprised that Allison & Partners selected Big Brothers as their pro bono client. Scott Allison, the founder and CEO, is a terrific guy with a strong set or family and moral values, and a commitment to the community. Adopting Big Brothers seems a natural for the firm.
Even in my consulting practice I work to give back to my community. Over the past year I have had the privilege of helping two non-profit groups here in Marin County – Lifehouse, an organization that helps people with developmental disabilities remain independent, and Meals of Marin, which provides food to homebound clients suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illness.
The work you do doesn’t have to be extensive, or expensive, but just taking the time out of your busy schedule to counsel and give support to someone who really can benefit from your services is gratifying. These organizations have limited resources, and cash, and they can use any help they can get promoting awareness and funding. Through various circumstances, I had the privilege of connecting with Lifehouse and Meals of Marin, and my public relations experience was just what they needed at the moment to help promote their annual fund-raising events. If my small effort can help build awareness in the right places and add that many more names to the guest list, the difference in additional dollars means that I have a direct responsibility for helping those with disabilities help themselves, or feeding some unfortunate soul who is housebound due to illness.
That’s how we can use what we know to really make a tangible difference.