One of our region's larger and better known companies, Steelcase, is profiled positively for its innovation in a post on a Business Week blog.
The post reveals that Steelcase has long been about more than furniture. As part of a project called "CEOs for Cities," the company is opening its archives that will help CEOs around the country learn how office environments and corporate campuses can enhance the attraction of a city.
This is a great example of a social brand. Steelcase has always been charitable, but this effort is a win-win for Steelcase's image and its product line. It also is a move that will help any CEO realize he value of community relations as well as consumer relations--thus once again showing the breadth of the public relations profession and the impact that relationships can have on what CEOs usually focus on--profits.
Livable communities attract the "knowledge workers" that every company says they want these days. Corporations helping cities achieve desirable public spaces enhances the corporations' own image in the community, which leads to favorable decisions regarding tax base, plant expansion and when feasible, local sales.