Cause-related Marketing Benefits All
Op-Ed by Chris Rosica featured in New Jersey Business
Cause-related marketing is the best type of public relations. It is where companies enhance their brands through their altruistic support of a non-profit organization that is addressing a problem, whether it’s in the local community or elsewhere in the world. In New Jersey, perhaps no other public relations firm does this better for its clients than Rosica Strategic Public Relations, Paramus. The 24-year-old agency is responsible for aligning cookie king Wally “Famous” Amos with Literacy Volunteers of America, more than 20 years ago. The combination has resulted in more people knowing about the problem of adult illiteracy in the country and Wally Amos’ own public television program where he teaches children how to read. In turn, Famous Amos has become a name without a single advertising dollar spent.
Nine in 10 Rosica clients are affiliated with a cause, according to Chris Rosica, president of the agency. The reason is the credibility and brand awareness that it generates. A recent Cone Group Survey reveals, for instance, that 70 percent of the population would rather do business with a company that is supporting a cause, with 60 percent saying they would pay more for the company’s product or service. “It also takes the commercial ‘sting’ out of the corporate message, unlike an advertisement,” says Rosica.
Rosica keeps tabs on a variety of non-profit causes and organizations though research. One bit of advice he offers small and mid-sized companies is “don’t get involved in a cause that is so big and well-known that your company gets lost in the message.” For even greater success, the client has to be passionate about the cause they are supporting. “That makes a big difference,” explains the president.
The client company becomes the mouthpiece for the cause, generating awareness. For the non-profit organization, the affiliation is free of charge. The media impressions usually generated by these endeavors is typically 10 times the impressions for the dollar when compared with advertising, “and this is all editorial space,” comments Rosica. “These are feature articles read by people who are caring and believing.”
Other cause-related partnerships Rosica Strategic Public Relations has brought together include: Weight Watchers of New Jersey with the Food Bank; African Pride Products with Birthing Project USA; and The Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery with The Image Reborn support group for women who have undergone mastectomies.