By Matthew Kaiserman, Junior Account Executive

In a recent branding workshop, we were tasked with thinking of a brand we admired and then brainstorming at least three major changes that brand would make if they were to take over our company. For me, there was undoubtedly one particular brand I hold in high regard: The new MLS champions, Atlanta United.

As a lifelong soccer fan, I chose Atlanta United because of their immense rise to the top of Major League Soccer and terrific outreach among the Atlanta community. Looking into changes they would implement if they took over our brand, engaging the local community stands out as most important to Atlanta United. From its inception, Atlanta’s soccer team franchise made it a point to become ingrained in its city culture and become an integral part of its neighborhood. The organization is only a few years old, yet outsiders would never get that impression. Brands and agencies can mirror this same approach to connecting with their local surroundings.

One way to establish a connection is through shared experiences. While agencies and brands may not be able to replicate a 70,000-person filled soccer match, they can host genuine experiences throughout their community to further establish their brand and make deeper connections among their neighbors.

These events should look to represent your brand in the most authentic way possible while starting a dialogue on a topic close to your interests. To kick off the new year, Media Frenzy will bring together the local tech-savvy community with our new “App-y Hour” series – a casual social experience that will prompt conversations about mobile apps fueling our daily lives while also highlighting innovative brands that have created apps to enhance our digital-first lifestyles. As a disruptive agency, we are constantly looking to spark fresh ideas and believe this event will bring together the sharpest minds in the city to discuss what apps they use and local startups to keep an eye on.

The App-y Hour series is a great way for our agency to connect with our local community, brands should look to host events that are a direct reflection of their core beliefs and environment. To host a truly authentic experience, consider working with local partners to maximize the value you can bring to your community. Any event must be an accurate representation of your brand. When attempting to make a connection with your targeted community, originality and the value that the event will bring to attendees is top-of-mind.

Your event also must present enough value for people to attend, so be sure the premise originates from a foundation of sincerity, so a unique dialogue can emerge. The merit in creating amazing experiences through local community relations is that you never know who you’ll meet or learn at an event.  Discussions at local experiences can begin lasting business partnerships; it’s simply a matter of putting yourself out there. Every community has the potential to spark the next big idea, it is just a matter of uniting forces.

Why not be the spark that connects your community? Atlanta United connected a city through sports and optimism. Look to be a similar inspiration by using your brand, industry and expertise as the vehicle to connect with your local community.