Community connection plays a pivotal role in Local Customer Engagement and my blog this week simply can’t ignore the impact that Hurricane Harvey has had on the Houston community. The devastation in Houston, due to Harvey, brings to light the true importance of community connections. What has struck a real chord with me, is the authenticity and genuine relationships that have been demonstrated over and over again by local (and national) businesses during this time of need. These are relationships that are real—not just parts of a marketing plan.
One of my favorite Houston community connection tales is the story of the two grandparents, who are Chick-fil-A regulars, and who were trapped in their home just north of Houston. They called Chick-fil-A to order two grilled chicken burritos, with extra egg and a boat. The Chick-fil-A Manager called her husband, who has a boat, and the rescue was set in motion.
Local McDonald’s restaurants offered free coffee, to first responders in uniform, and donated bottled water to relief efforts. Even My Pillow, the national late-night infomercial king, donated 60,000 pillows to emergency housing facilities. I’m sure there are hundreds, even thousands of these stories.
This is a time when the true and authentic meaning of community connections comes to life. When local residents know they can count on their local businesses—-so much so that they call to ask someone to help save their lives.
Digital and social media have played a critical role in connecting individuals that needed assistance from rescuers—a way more important role than traditional media could ever dream of playing. Again, this is the authentic part of social media—not the formulaic calculations of marketing efforts, based on the websites you visited and the products you purchased. This is social media brought to life by community need and community relationships.
I’m so proud of these local (and national businesses), who are such a part of the fabric of the local community. I’m touched that people knew and trusted that these businesses could be counted upon for assistance. I know they will continue to support Houston for years to come with fundraisers and other community programs. Local Customer Engagement carries a strong responsibility and accountability—and now, we’ve all seen first-hand why it’s incredibly important. All I can say is “Thank you, you are amazing”.
#LocalCustomerEngagement #CommunityConnections #LoveUHouston