This post was written by Fred Conover, President of CTP, a Small Business of the Year honoree. Hear more from CTP at Nailed It: A Conversation with Successful Business Leaders on Thursday, October 6.
We’re in the midst of one of the most exciting times in marketing, thanks to advances in digital media, social channels, analytics and ad technologies. But even as the tools have evolved, smart marketing comes down to something more basic – building relationships with people. In fact, at CTP, we like to say that we “unleash the human spirit for brands that want to live out loud.”
For our agency, that human spirit lives well beyond marketing. We apply it to supporting organizations that inspire us.
Under our “CTP Cares” program, we support causes in our community with an estimated 10% of our year-end profit in charitable contributions, along with pro bono services and volunteer hours valued at more than $250,000. In fact, our staff volunteered close to 1,000 hours last year alone.
But beyond the numbers it really is the human interaction that moves our team.
Our people spend every Wednesday reading to children in the Boston Public Schools through the Read to a Child program, regularly serve lunch at St. Francis House and help sort toys and clothes at Cradles to Crayons. We also support the Boston Red Sox Scholars program, New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, ALS One, uAspire and MENTOR.
Our program of social responsibility works because it doesn’t feel like a responsibility to anyone in our office. As trite as it may sound, it feels like a privilege to work with the amazing people who make those organizations tick and a joy to serve the people who benefit.
There are times our client work and our community involvement mesh perfectly.
Even as the longtime advertising agency for the Red Sox, we never tire of the experience of visiting Fenway Park with the perfectly manicured outfield grass, the Green Monster and the sea of red seats. Whether we’re working or taking in a game, it’s always special. But what we love most is being able to introduce the experience to someone who has never been to the park.
That was especially true during the waning days of last season. As part of our relationship with the Red Sox, we have access to a Fenway suite for a couple of games each year. When we were talking about how to best use the suite last year we decided to share the experience with people who might not otherwise ever get that opportunity.
We knew the perfect group. The United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) in Lowell, MA, is a thriving organization that, “ignites and nurtures the ambition of our most disconnected youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.” We were so moved by UTEC that we wanted to do something special for the young people who have worked hard to turn their lives around and the staff that supports them. So we welcomed them to Fenway Park for a special visit as our guests in the suite.
For us, it was a small thing we could do to help an organization committed to helping young people trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.
One of the young people told us that day, “(UTEC) helped save my life.”
When you celebrate 20 years in business, as we did this year, you feel a few things. A tinge of pride. Lucky, certainly. But what we feel most is a sense of gratitude, especially when we’re fortunate to support and celebrate people like that.
This post is a part of a series of posts written by the 2016 Small Business of the Year honorees. Stay tuned for more insights from our honorees leading up to next Thursday's event.