Our Communications and Our Community: Our Third Space

By Landis Communications Inc. President Sean Dowdall and Founder David Landis

What constitutes a functioning society? What role does the community play? How does that influence how we do business and interact with one another? And how can communications impact the results?

These are questions that the ever-insightful artistic director Brenda Way publicly put forth at a recent 50+ anniversary fundraiser for ODC, San Francisco’s iconic modern dance company, theatre and school. This Bay Area nonprofit institution has been close to our hearts for more than 40 years. In her speech, Brenda said we should think of society in terms of three spaces: the first, our home, our friends and family; the second, our work; and the third, our community.

What speaks to the success, joy and progress of society? A community that is thriving because of support. Without that third space, life is not complete. With that element in place, communities don’t just survive – they flourish.

ODC is a great example of how organizations can foster community – creating a space where people can explore their own creativity and nurture their whole selves. At ODC, Landis Communications Inc. (Landis) founder David Landis progressed from tap dance student to PR representative to board member. But community extends beyond that to include: those who support these charities; those who volunteer and work with these charities; and those who, like many, may just be an audience member or take a class.

Landis Communications Inc.’s team attending the ODC 50+ Anniversary Gala on April 1, 2022 in San Francisco at The Forum at YBCA and Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA.
Landis Communications Inc.’s team attending the ODC 50+ Anniversary Gala on April 1, 2022 in San Francisco at The Forum at YBCA and Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA.

So what does that have to do with business? Simply put, a lot. This year, the San Francisco Business Times named Landis as one of the top 100 businesses on its Bay Area Corporate Philanthropy List. This is a list of the top 100 corporate donors to Bay Area charities. Landis is proud to have been a member of that list for three years running. This is no small honor: this list also includes some big Bay Area-based corporate players, like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Apple and Blue Shield. Not bad for an independent public relations agency with a staff of about 15.

But here’s the real honor: if you break it down further, Landis donated the highest percentage of 2021 profits, at 17.82%. Yes, that’s right. Let’s repeat that: Landis donated to charity the highest percentage of profits for ANY Bay Area business (including those big guys mentioned before). We’re proud of this achievement, but even more proud that serving the community has been a part of our agency’s core values for our entire existence. Why? Because supporting the community isn’t just about altruistic intent: it’s also about good business. When a community is supported, a business attracts better talent and engenders loyalty. Plus, employees feel good about where they work and are committed to society’s betterment. And clients want to work with business partners who share their values.

At Landis, we’re extremely proud we can support charities and work with clients for causes we cherish. These include environmental organizations, arts & culture, social justice and health/human services. Here is a breakdown of some of the causes and charities that Landis supports:

Landis also works with clients that greatly impact our community, including environmental organizations such as Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Save the Redwoods League and Sonoma Land Trust, as well as arts/culture client California College of the Arts (CCA).

Taking it a step further, we’re inviting our staff to help. To celebrate Landis’ 32 years in business, we’ve provided each employee with $320 to donate to a nonprofit that has positively impacted their life, as well as causes they care about. Over the next few posts, we’ll be sharing more information about those nonprofits.

At Landis, we’re all about communications. So, what role do communications play in this mix? It’s a critical one. Communications can serve as the bridge to unite the three spaces by articulating messages and stories that help citizens, businesses, and their communities understand each other and how important working together for the common good can be. That means that businesses don’t operate in a vacuum, and supporting the community is not just “the right thing to do” – but furthers a society where everyone wins.

The third space, community, matters. And communications is the key. At Landis, the third space is one of which we’re proud to be an important part.

View the full press release HERE