Scott Johnson, Dean of the School of Management at University of Michigan, proposes that "caring is a powerful business advantage". At Apartment Life, we agree. But we also see that it's a powerful marketing tool. Between the pace of change and the increased discussion of social media fatigue, it can be difficult to build a marketing strategy that will last. Endless hours and thousands of dollars can go into creating and executing a single marketing campaign. And then there's the hot chocolate strategy.
In January 2014, a winter storm crippled Atlanta and CARES went into action. As Zach, a CARES Team member, and Sam, a resident from the community, were sitting in their warm club house watching the snow fall and the news coverage escalate, they decided to do what they do best--care for people. They made a bunch of hot chocolate and headed out to share it with people stranded on the freeway.
They did it anonymously--at first. Within hours, a picture of Zach and Sam handing out hot chocolate was posted on a local Atlanta News Station’s website, and soon they became an internet sensation.
“The whole thing was so crazy,” Zach said. “They showed our picture on the TODAY Show. We had a live interview on HLN and articles on CNN, Buzzfeed, reddit, and Business Insider. There were so many people out on the streets doing even more than we did. We count it as a blessing to have represented the people who weren’t stuck and were able to help.”
Wouldn't you want to live in a community where this kind of thing was the norm? I know I would. What's your hot chocolate strategy? How might you be able to develop a reputation for caring that has potential residents hearing about you on national media outlets?