This week, Americans filed their tax returns under an old, outdated system for the very last time.
While public opinion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 remains underwater, the tax overhaul has enjoyed consistently positive growth in public opinion polling since President Trump signed it into law just before Christmas.
Plenty of that positive growth can be attributed to smart public relations decisions made not just by Washington, but also by the business community. To this day, taxpayers remain open-minded about the new law, giving influencers, opinion makers, and businesses across the country a strong public relations opportunity to capitalize on the legislation’s growing popularity and help define what tax reform means for American voters, consumers, and audiences.
Here are the top five ways firms can capitalize on tax reform in 2018:
- Pay it forward. Only days after the bill became law, dozens of major companies announced new raises and bonuses for their employees as a direct result of the historic legislation. In the months since then, countless other firms have followed suit, while others have announced the repatriation of jobs and capital investment to the United States, generating positive earned press for those companies, and garnering them favorable recognition across the country.
- Tell your story. By directly informing customers and stakeholders how they intend to pass the benefits of tax reform on to them, firms can win goodwill and stand out from the pack. Small or modest changes in products and services often go unnoticed by consumers; firms that take the time to communicate these changes to customers stand to gain stature and praise in the public eye.
- Put your money where your mouth is. Firms that pass the benefits of tax reform on to their employees and customers also have an opportunity to benefit from incorporating their story into any and all paid advertising. The central tenet of paid media is for firms to demonstrate why their product matters to consumers and why it will improve their lives. Passing on savings and benefits or expanding your business to accommodate consumers’ needs are game-changers, and if firms are spending advertising dollars, they should make sure they’re spent on a guaranteed winning message.
- Stay on message. Consistency and repetition are key to hammering home a message. Firms that keep up the goodwill by reminding consumers at every opportunity that they are making sure customers, stakeholders, and the public share in the benefits of tax reform will slowly, over time, make a positive impact on how those audiences view their firm.
- Share your success. Companies often try to outsource poignant storytelling to paid actors or spokespeople with embarrassing results; consumers can smell a phony from a mile away. Some of the most-effective, powerful messages conveyed by companies to the public are told and carried by real people – the folks who had a real, meaningful experience as a result of the tax overhaul. The companies brave enough to tell those stories will reap the benefits of honest advertising and a winning message.