Skip to main content

Cause Marketing Cooperation

There’s many ways to activate cause marketing, but the most common way… and usually the least expensive… is with public relations.

And one story that you must master when 'efforting' women’s magazines is a pretty standard transactional cause marketing pitch; buy our thing and a portion of the proceeds benefits this fine cause. Get the details right and it’ll probably get you coverage.

But it’s the classic case of good news/bad news.

The good news is you’ve got a pretty good chance at getting coverage in women’s magazines like Ladies Home Journal, O, the Oprah Magazine, Allure, Elle, Vogue, Lucky, Shape, Town and Country, and Self. The Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database has cause marketing stories from all of these women’s magazines and more.

The bad news, you’ll almost certainly have to share the coverage with other cause marketing efforts which may be thematically similar to yours, as in the story at the left from the August 2011 Redbook. Magazine editors love, love, love to publish this kind of story.

What do you do?
  • Do you hold out for your own story?
  • Do you pitch lesser titles?
  • Do you skip magazines altogether and target the big mommy blogs, or even TV?
You first job is to try and make your cause marketing story stand out in a way that others can’t or don’t. Barring that, my suggestion is that you own your cause marketing story for what it is (and isn’t). If you can’t imagine a way to truly distinguish your cause marketing narrative, then I suggest as a fallback position that you approach would-be ‘competitors’ and enlist their cooperation in pitching your collective stories together.

In most cases the big PR agencies would balk at this idea. The only exception I can think of is if they’re representing a whole catalog of cause marketing campaigns in house. In such a case they might consider packaging the cause marketing campaigns they represent together, much the way sports agents will package multiple clients together in certain trades.

Here’s why a package deal might be a good idea for multiple cause marketing campaigns. Suppose that in this Redbook story all seven of these campaigns decided to pitch their stories together. On its own your cause marketing campaign probably has a PR budget of approximately 1/7th of what it would be with six other partners. Combined you have seven times the resources you have by yourself.

This approach probably requires that the charities and/or the sponsors contact willing peers and then jointly hire a single agency capable of pulling off a seven-way pitch.

Granted there’s real risks involved. What happens if the magazine’s editors choose stories from only five of the seven partners?

But I think these risks are outweighed by the potential rewards of being able to bring many more resources to bear than one cause marketing campaign could by itself.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

KFC Concept Restaurant Gives a Nod to Cause Marketing for Local Causes

KFC, a unit of Yum Brands, is testing a new quick-serve restaurant version of the fried chicken outlet and among the changes is that its cause marketing efforts will be much more local, according to Anne Fuller, senior director of development for KFC eleven.

The KFC eleven test store is in Louisville, Kentucky, KFC’s headquarters. When it opens August 5, 2013, it will feature rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, KFC original recipe chicken among other items, plus sides. A second test location is set to open in Louisville before year’s end. The 11 in KFC eleven is a salute to the 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken.

The trade-dress for the test store includes lamp lighting, digital signage with community news, and artwork from local artists.

Why step into the quick serve space? Fuller answered a reporter from QSRweb.com this way: “People love KFC but it's not a frequent choice for many guests for some reason. We wanted to create a broad and balanced menu that could mayb…