Most of the time, when I talk to CPAs across the country and we discuss their marketing strategies, the conversation usually focuses on the way they attract new opportunities. Marketing is often synonymous with advertising and practice development. But a consistent and focused marketing initiative is effective, not only in building your brand within your targeted business community, but it is equally as effective building your brand within your own firm.
Marketing efforts can contribute to employee morale by nurturing and supporting a culture of pride. There are many practical tactics that marketing can put forth to help build self-awareness and respect for your organization from within. These include (but are not limited to):
1. Nominating your firm for awards. Every region has a "Best Places to Work" award program; a "Company of the Year" designation:a list of Top Women in Business" and "Good Citizenship" recognitions, to name just a few. There is also the "Psychologically Healthy Workplace" award and many more that are dsitinctive to your marketplace. Be sure to consider nominating your firm and earn some bragging rights with employees, clients and centers of influence.
2. Publish a monthly internal-focused newsletter, sharing good news, ideas, photos of the team, birthday celebrations, lists of new clients, a calendar of firm events and much more. You can manage the gossip and water cooler conversation more effectively if you help fill in the blanks with consistent communications, especially using a newsletter format.
3. Supporting the partners in announcing employee recognition awards. This can involve launching an 'employee of the month' or some other type of unique acknolwedgement of effort above and beyond what is expected.
4. Soft skills training. Marketing professionals are terrific at mentoring staff, and especially helpful in training for business writing, presentation styles, and networking. Use a marketing approach to help your employees develop or enhance critical communication skills.
5. Get press coverage for firm activities, especially when you are involved in philanthropic efforts in your neighborhood. Take pictures and submit them for inclusion in local papers. Most employees love seeing themselves in the paper!
In short, marketing and branding is not limited to activities designed to gain public attention for the firm in order to create leads. THat is, of course, one key component, but there is much more that marketing can do for you - like building pride and loyalty with your staff!