Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Doing Good PR by Doing Good

Have you gotten emails from a non-profit like the Red Cross encouraging you to “vote” in Target’s Bullseye Gives campaign? I’ve gotten several from the Red Cross, the only one of the 10 participants whose list I was on. When you click through to their Facebook page, you can play the video and they give detailed instructions on how to vote, just to be sure.

I’m sure that other organizations were equally active in trying to get their supporters to participate. With each email, Target is adding to its brand reputation and 10 non-profits stand to benefit significantly.

The campaign was also picked up by news organizations and bloggers around the country. I searched Google News over the weekend and found over 5 thousand entries for “bullseye gives.” That’s also major.

When you look at the Target campaign page, you can see that almost 300 thousand people voted. That’s a sizeable number and suggests multiple emails send to large lists by all the organizations. That’s probably the only issue here; the final results are likely to be proportional to the size of the organizations’ email lists, so care should be taken in choosing participants. In this case, each received an amount that provided a nice boost to their fund-raising efforts.

The obvious take away from this cause marketing program is the thousands of news stories and the millions of emails it generated. All of those linked Target with 10 undeniably worthy causes and highlighted both the good done by the non-profits and the willingness of Target to provide significant support to them.

There is a deeper message. The days when intrusive advertising could be counted on for effectiveness are over; I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said that, but it is undeniably true.

Message to business: you have to find new ways of reaching people in the post-advertising world.

Prediction: look for more innovative approaches to cause marketing as a way of reaching people with a positive message in a way that has real social impact.

What’s not to like about that?

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