PASS IT ON
The gift of giving back to the community is like running in a race with teammates. One runner starts and passes the baton to the next teammate who continues to run until he reaches the next runner. Likewise, successful business people are inspired to share the knowledge of their success to help other small businesses grow and continue to pass on the baton of a successful business. Mitch Albom said, “Devote yourself to the community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
There are many ways successful businesses can inspire and motivate local organizations to grow to the next level. Brian and Kim Walker, the founders of 5 Stones Media, sought an opportunity to give back to the community in a way that will inspire others to pass it on. 5 Stones Media is a marketing agency helping small businesses create, refine and expand their branding and marketing strategies. Brian Walker, the CEO and founder of 5 Stones Media, adopted the name from the biblical story of how David defeated the giant Goliath with five smooth stones. It is this concept that inspires his team to believe that anything is possible. Brian and Kim developed a program called S.H.E.I.L.D in Action which is the acronym for (Synergy, Happiness, Integrity, Expansion, Leadership, and Dedication). The name “shield” derives from their business core values which are held to a high standard. This is a program designed to help non-profit organizations go to the next level of success in their business. The selected non-profit organization receive services from 5 Stones Media for one year.
The services provide in S.H.I.E.L.D. in Action project are as follows: A new web design that fits the organizations brand, personality and voice; an email marketing strategy that ensures customers see the worth of the organization’s messages; social media exposure using Facebook advertisements and announcements; YouTube infomercials; Google Business view which allows viewers to “window shop” showing customers what the business offers; branding which will clearly define the organization’s identity; video production and photography which will help the organization get attention on their website; print design with post cards, brochures, posters, media kits, mailers; search engine optimization, and a clearly defined marketing strategy putting it all in action. These valuable services are free of charge to the selected agency of the program.
Potential candidates are selected annually. The non-profit organization must be an established agency and not a new start up. S.H.I.E.L.D. in Action gives local non-profit agencies a helping hand extending their reach in the community. Our Daily Bread, a local food bank in Hammond, Louisiana is the first recipient of the S.H.I.E.L.D. in Action project. This non-profit agency distributes food to needy families in the parish of Tangipahoa. Our Daily Bread food bank has been established since 1999 and services the community through 26 satellite pantries. They have served 30,000 boxes of food which estimates to $1.99 billion. Through the marketing services of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Action, our Daily Bread will gain more exposure in their efforts to feed hungry families. It is through Our Daily Bread food bank that satellite food pantries like Newness of Life Ministries can extend their reach in feeding families in the local community.
The ultimate vision of S.H.I.E.L.D in Action is to minimize the struggle local non-profit organizations encounter in marketing. At the end of the program, the non-profit agency will be empowered to continue on their own and expand on their brand. This program also helps the non-profit organization gain a good understanding of how their good marketing plan works giving them more confidence in their brand. Potential candidates of S.H.I.E.L.D in Action should prepare themselves to be taken seriously by being an organized, established and reputable agency.
Brian and Kim can relate to the initial struggle of keeping the status of a business current with the evolving times. “We’ve been there and have seen the peaks and valleys of starting a business.” said Kim. When Brian started the business, it needed a website. He learned how to build his own website and started his business. He then began to receive requests to design websites for other agencies. Because of its success, Brian decided to launch the marketing business full time. Brian and Kim have been in business for six years. As part of their contributions to give back to local non-profit organizations in the community, Brian and Kim provided small services by either developing a website or giving marketing consultations. The clients were grateful for the help; however, after evaluating the results of their contributions, they concluded that it was not having the greatest impact they’d hope to see. The strategy team decided that they should narrow down the number of recipients. So instead of doing small contributions for several non-profit agencies, they chose to select one agency to provide marketing services. This way, significant time and resources can be devoted to the needs of that agency. The marketing team conduct strategy meetings with the established non-profit agency, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, then develop solutions to implement. “We take what they have started and show them how to build upon it and make it better.” said Kim.
The marketing team at 5 Stones Media is driven to lead and be a model example of servant leaders in action. “Not just talking the talk, but walking the walk,” said J.R. Portman. Successful businesses who share their time, talents and resources to help businesses thrive, often benefit more from selfless service.
There is hope and there is help for non-profit agencies that need an extra boost to help them expand and be successful. The gift of giving back is a selfless service. People helping people is what S.H.I.E.L.D in Action models. The marketing team at 5 Stones Media devote their time, energy, talents, and resources to help other businesses reach the next level in their agency. This local successful business grew and developed a community service opportunity to help other small non-profit organization grow to their fullest inspiring others to pass it on.