Cause marketing benefits, bolstering a PSA, and more

How can a cause-marketing program help to build your client's reputation and brand?

Cause marketing
How can a cause-marketing program help to build your client's reputation and brand?
Embracing a cause makes good business sense. Nothing builds brand loyalty among hard-to-please consumers like a proven commitment to a worthy cause, says Chris Rosica, CEO of Rosica Strategic Public Relations.

“Many consumers would rather [deal] with a company that stands for something beyond profits,” he adds.

Cause-related marketing can become a cornerstone of a marketing plan and should highlight a company's reputation, Rosica notes. It can positively differentiate a company from competitors and provide an edge that delivers other tangible benefits, including greater sales, visibility, customer loyalty, and positive media coverage.

“Choosing a cause is a way to merge a company's profit center and ‘passion center,' and build a business that mirrors personal values [and] beliefs,” he explains.

What type of issue best works in the PSA format?
Through PSAs, organizations can build and improve upon an image, while stations can provide important information to their audiences regarding compelling social issues affecting local communities, says Susan Apgood, president of News Generation.

“Issues regarding health, the environment, safety, and education lend themselves to great PSA topics,” she adds. “This type of ‘news you can use' is most
appealing to stations in PSA content.”

However, there are key points to note when putting together a PSA, says Apgood. While many organizations are spending big budgets on glossy packaging, expensive productions, and large mailers, few first contact stations to find out what they're looking for in PSAs.

“Two-way communication allows for more appropriate targeting of PSAs,” she explains. “[It also] allows organizations to maximize their budget dollars where it matters most – in reaching stations with the message.”

Media placement
How do I turn press releases into features and get placement during the upcoming holiday season?

Increased advertising during the extended holiday season creates a need for media outlets to come up with more content, says Paolina Milana, VP of marketing at Marketwire. These news holes present opportunities.
Milana suggests exploring creative angles for presenting your message based on what your business does and how it can lend itself to a consumer-directed message.

For example, a health-services business may want to provide tips on safe Halloween costumes, she says.

Then make your message universal by adding statistics, notes Milana. And remember that feature releases aren't the place for corporate boilerplates or identity statements. They should also be kept under 400 words.

“Providing useful information with mass appeal, versus focusing on your company, gives your story legs,” she says.

Send your questions to: Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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