Procter & Gamble benefited today from a glowing report in the New York Times that offers details of its current disaster relief efforts in Joplin, Mo., which is recovering from the May 22 tornado. Rather than write a fat check and send it off to a third party, P&G has put two of its brands—Tide and Duracell—on the ground to offer real-world, person-to-person disaster relief.
The Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry unit has parked itself in Joplin, offering free laundry services, and the Duracell Power Relief Trailer is dispensing free batteries and flashlights and offering free use of charging stations, according to the Times.
The story in the Times has made this a national story—in itself a media relations success. Perhaps even more significant are the numbers of likes and comments on Tide's Facebook page. Washing somebody's laundry—can community outreach possibly get more direct?
P&G's personal approach to disaster relief has set a new benchmark for corporate social responsibility and will surely serve to make every organization that has some means at its disposal look inward and rethink their own strategies. This is literally a case of a corporate entity giving back—and the long-term reputational rewards are likely to show up in the bottom line in a big way.