Though there now seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel that has been this recession, when the books close on 2009 it will go down as one of the worst financial years in history. Company profits have declined, marketing budgets have been slashed, and consumer spending has waned.
Especially in this climate, it's encouraging to see companies have not abandoned their support of charitable causes. This year's PRWeek/Barkley PR Cause Survey reveals that 61% of companies with cause marketing programs intend to continue their commitment despite current economic conditions.
Aside from the obvious reason of doing good, cause marketing is inherently about forming a genuine connection with consumers. Such efforts also give companies something positive to talk about when the rest of the business might not provide much good news.
Telling that positive story is something that Ray Day, this month's Newsmaker, has prioritized in his work at Ford over the past year. The company's ambitious promotion of its product line and assurance of financial stability has helped it gain market share and emerge as a bright spot in a struggling industry.
The corporate analysis also explores how sharing positive news is an important part of the many reputation campaigns cropping up.
Because of the disappointments of the past year, consumers are eager to hear the good news that companies have to share. Communicating the positive, while not ignoring the negative, can only help to assuage consumer anxiety and repair trust.