Fallston Group received a call from Chris Schafer of Sharp Dressed Man. Chris’ business in downtown Baltimore was on fire and he needed help. He did not know what shape his building would be in by the time the fire department concluded their efforts, but he knew he needed help telling his story.
Chris had started the nonprofit in 2015, which is geared toward helping local men re-enter the workforce. As the company’s motto goes, “A change of clothes can change a life.” From appearance, posture and self-esteem, Chris noticed a gap in the marketplace where he could give back to help build a better Baltimore; offering men in need suits, shirts, belts and shoes free of charge. Sharp Dressed Man was receiving hundreds of gently worn suits that they were able to repurpose for men looking to get back to work.
Unfortunately on this day, the business’s storefront was in ruins, literally; the building was condemned. In addition to the physical damage, the following day was the one day of the week they were open for men to physically come in and get fitted for clothes. The store would not be able to cater to its customers, nor did they have a place to store their suits. Fallston Group sprang into action.
Turning short-term adversity into long-term advantage is something we preach on a daily basis. And that is exactly what we planned to do for our client.
Fallston Group arranged for members of the media to come on-site to recognize the graceful work the organization would potentially have to temporarily suspend while under repair. At that point, Executive Director Jenny Kessler Klump publicly thanked the fire department that arrived in minutes, and the community for reporting the incident after noticing smoke. She also relayed that the nonprofit was founded on the principle of aligning a man’s outer look with his inner character. If you have the media’s attention, use it to your advantage.
Sharp Dressed man received an outpouring of support from the community, including offers for temporary locations, storage for undamaged suits, financial support and donated clothes. The Baltimore Daily Record thought the story was so important that they placed it in front of their paywall:
During this ordeal, Sharp Dressed Man didn’t want business to be down for even one day; it wasn’t fair to their customers. “What if someone has a job interview this week?”
Studies show there are only seven seconds to make a first impression. Genuinely concerned for their customer’s wellbeing, Sharp Dressed Man turned those seven seconds into a lasting impression on the Baltimore community.
For more information on how to build, strengthen and defend your reputation, contact Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.