Cause Marketing

Cause marketing or cause-related marketing is a public relations strategy that forges a strategic alliance between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization (or “cause”). A cause partnership is symbiotic: The non-profit organization benefits from heightened awareness, increased donations, and improved recognition and volunteerism, while the corporate partner improves customer loyalty, employee morale and retention and increases sales without sending too transparent a commercial message. A cause marketing program can also preempt or quell a crisis. With this strategy, a company incorporates a philanthropic agenda as part of its marketing strategy, garnering media attention and visibility through cause-related events, internal communications, merchandising, advertising, package design, online marketing, etc. While many U.S. citizens view cause marketing as a corporate responsibility, consumers reward brands and companies that embrace “giving back.”

Cause Marketing’s History and Examples:
“In today’s corporate culture, companies are not just encouraged but also expected to give back, to embrace a philosophy of corporate social responsibility,” cited cause marketing pioneer John Rosica. In 2000, the management of Parade Magazine, and several national charities that Rosica’s cause-marketing firm has aided through the years (including Literacy Volunteers of America, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Birthing Project U.S.A.) recognized Rosica for his work in this field and proclaimed him to be the “father of cause marketing.” While Rosica has furthered awareness of the practice of cause-related marketing, corporate America has a long way to go as their donations, according to a July 10, 2006 Newsweek article, still only represent about five percent of all charitable giving. Seventy-seven percent of giving comes from individuals’ donations. The study was conducted by The Boston Foundation and Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

In its cause marketing practice, Rosica has partnered countless corporations with non-profit entities. Some of these successful campaigns include Famous Amos Cookies with Literacy Volunteers of America, Mark Smith with the Seeing Eye Foundation, Revlon with Birthing Project U.S.A., Independent Jewelers with Cure Autism Now, as Rollerblade with a childhood obesity effort.

Odwyer’s Report – Rosica

For nearly 25 years, Rosica Strategic PR has developed PR programs and award-winning PSAs designed to garner media coverage for healthcare and medical clients, ranging from Physicians for a National Health Program and The National Association for Home Care & Hospice, to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and Moore Medical Corporation.

In 2004, New Jersey Poison Information and Education Services called upon Rosica to help spread the word about potential household hazards and direct the general public to their toll-free help line.

Rosica developed a program including media events that generated coverage in print and broadcast media, and a PSA that Rosica placed on television and radio outlets in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, reaching upwards of 85 million area residents in less than 60 days.

For Moore Medical Corporation, Rosica developed and executed a media and community relations plan to reach the markets of physicians and emergency medical technicians through consumer and trade media as well as through events and cause-related marketing programs.

Rosica Made Amos “Famous.” – A Client For 24 Years

Rosica Made Amous “Famous”… A Client For 24 Years
Excerpted From PR Week

Rosica made Amos “Famous”. John Rosica was the national promotion director for RCA Records when he met Wally Amos, a former agent with William Morris, known for his homemade cookies. Rosica started working for Amos’ company (now owned by Keebler), and then launched his own agency. Cause-related marketing in conjunction with Literacy Volunteers of America helped make Amos an icon, recently featured on A&E’s Biography. But it’s the personal relationship with John Rosica and his son Chris (the firm’s president) that is paramount. “It’s a total trust thing,” Amos maintains. “If they left, I would not be here.”

A Personal Touch
Having a personal connection with the client can help ensure loyalty. Wally “Famous” Amos has known Chris Rosica, president of his PR firm Rosica Strategic Public Relations, since he was a baby. “I’ve kind of landed this role because Wally likes having me there,” Rosica says. “He’s my champion and he trusts us implicitly.” Amos says that the rapport he enjoys with John and Chris is pivotal. He trusts them to set up events without too much consultation from him. John Rosica was also responsible for bringing Amos and Literacy Volunteers of America together, a relationship that has proved hugely successful both to the cause of literacy, and to boosting Amos’ profile. John recalls their first meeting with LVA. “We were so different from anything they had seen before,” he says. “Wally came in with his hat and his cookie shirt on and I was wearing my corduroy jacket and pressed jeans. It was frightening for them.”

More terrifying for LVA than the hip clothing was the prospect that PR would damage the integrity of their product. Rosica had to work to reassure the organization that their intention was to reinforce the integrity of the organization. Literacy events related to Famous Amos have taken place in libraries across the country ever since.

Marketing Matters

Marketing Matters
By Christopher Rosica

Hispanic Beauty
Reaching the U.S. Hispanic market is easier than ever before…and could be a crucial step in your brand’s growth.

There are more than 400 million Spanish-speaking consumers in 23 countries around the world, and Spanish is the third most spoken language across the globe. With census figures showing that more than 22 percent of the 34 million Hispanics in the U.S. are between the ages of 12 and 24, it is also a young population of existing and future consumers to indoctrinate to your brand. Hispanics are America’s largest minority group, and by one estimate, had more than half a trillion dollars to spend in 2002. So, while Hispanics are assimilating at an increasing rate, in order to be successful and broaden the appeal of your brand, take advantage of the many opportunities that exist to reach the diverse Hispanic market and let these groups know you are aware of their culture-specific needs.

Companies that will be successful in getting the attention of Hispanics are those that take the time to understand the various cultures within the culture. In the U.S., for example, the Hispanic population comes from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Central and South America. What this means for beauty companies is potentially addressing a variety of hair types, from curly, relaxer-reliant tresses to wavy manes to pin-straight, Asian-like hair. It also means a myriad of skin tones, from nearly Caucasian to light brown to black. All these should be addressed, as should the packaging for these products, with models representative of the audience for which they are designed.

This may mean that a hair-care product created and marketed in Brazil, with Portuguese-language packaging and white-skinned, Brazilian models with straight hair, may not translate well to the Hispanic-American market. Conversely, U.S. products designed to appeal to dark-skinned Mexicans may not go over well in Spain, where lighter skin tones are predominant. What’s more, Hispanic areas in the U.S. are dominated by a variety of cultures; New York carries a significant Puerto Rican population, while Texas contains a large Mexican contingency, and Cubans are numerous in Florida.

What all of this adds up to is that issuing press releases, disseminating direct mail pieces, placing advertisements and posting Web sites in Spanish and English are effective ways to work with the Hispanic media and entice their audience. There are many services available to companies that cost-effectively translate copy; however, people that speak your target audience’s language should avoid using software programs that often do not take into account the nuances of ideas and intended meanings of words.

Never have there been more opportunities to utilize the media to reach Hispanics, from the hot trend-setting publications such as Latina and Spanish-language versions of the leading women’s lifestyle magazines, including Cosmo en Español, Shape en Español and People en Español, to television outlets like Telemundo and Univision. Daily Spanish-language newspapers in the U.S. grew from 14 in 1990 to 34 in 2000, while Spanish-language weeklies grew from 152 to 265, and Spanish-language magazines grew from 177 to 352 during the same period. In addition, English-language mainstream publications are embracing and showcasing Hispanic models in an awakening to the numbers they comprise in the population.

One-third of Hispanics read in English and Spanish, another third read only English and another third read only Spanish. Seven out of ten Hispanics read daily or weekly newspapers, while 75 percent watch television in both English and Spanish, and 50 percent listen to the radio in both languages. In addition, the Internet is a highly utilized medium for Hispanics, with 48 percent of U.S. Hispanics going online from home in the past two years, compared to 21 percent of all U.S. consumers. The Hispanic audience also spends more time online at home (9.5 hours per week) and at work (13.8 hours per week), compared to all U.S. consumers. However, currently only three percent of online content is available in Spanish, according to some estimates.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15-October 15, is a national celebration of Hispanic pride and culture in the U.S. Aligning your organization with activities that embrace and support Hispanic Heritage Month can create goodwill among this audience toward your brand. In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, and throughout the year as tie-ins to other high-profile Hispanic holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo, are community festivals that bring together those elements important to the Hispanic culture: family, food, music and dance. Beauty companies can sponsor these festivals and introduce their products at booths with sampling and makeovers, elevating their brand and reaching this audience at the vital grassroots level.

Another way to reach the Hispanic audience is to support causes important to them. With Hispanics suffering a greater incidence of some life-threatening diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes and breast and cervical cancers, donating a portion of the proceeds to fight these afflictions, and flagging your packaging, advertising and Web sites as such, is worthwhile. It is also just good…to do good.

With a large and growing influence in the marketplace across the globe, Hispanics are not a group to ignore in your brand’s strategic development. The growth potential is there and the opportunity is yours.

Cause-related Marketing Benefits All

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.

His Agency Made Wally Amos Famous

His Agency Made Wally Amos Famous And It Continues To Provide Positive Press For Clients!
© Brian O’Rourke

Chris Rosica graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate’s degree in culinary arts. At the age of nineteen, he started his own consulting business called Hospitality Consultants, Inc. He worked with restaurants on menu planning and helped to lower their costs. Rosica then went back to school and graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. He worked in marketing for the hotel and restaurant industry, gaining a solid foundation that would help him with his future endeavors.

Chris’s father, John Rosica, had worked in Public Relations and Promotions for years. He was responsible for making entertainers such as Hall & Oates, David Bowie, and Jefferson Airplane famous. John Rosica then went on to work with Wally Amos and the Famous Amos Cookie brand. His wife Marilyn, Christopher’s mother, joined him and went to work as Amos’s publicist. It was in 1980 that the couple decided to start their own PR agency with Famous Amos as their first client.

The agency grew under the direction of John and Marilyn until a few years ago when Christopher Rosica joined the agency. Rosica says that it was not an easy transition because he brought his own set of ideas and style to the table. Since he has been with the agency, however, the company has grown an average of 40% per year. When Chris first came on board, the agency had five employees. Currently, there are fifteen full-time employees and three part-time publicists.

Now called Rosica Strategic Public Relations, the agency ranks #2 in the State of New Jersey. Rosica says, “Growth has been very positive. We have had to move into larger locations twice since I have been with the agency. This is the third location I have been at in four years.”

The agency handles various promotional tasks for their clients, as well as full-scale PR campaigns. Rosica’s culinary background complements his ability to promote the agency’s food industry clients. Some of these include Keebler, Uncle Wally’s Muffin Company, Eggland’s Best, Big Bear Supermarkets, and S&H Greenpoints, formerly S&H Greenstamps. Other clients of the agency include Weekly Reader, Quest Communications, and Revlon. Rosica Mulhern competes against the top ten PR agencies in the U.S and worldwide. The agency differentiates itself in that Rosica and his team are able to penetrate 80% of every market that they enter. Thus, the “Strategic” part of the agency’s name. Clients’ stories are told through as much print and electronic media as possible. When a client is gauging a potential PR agency to work with, Rosica says that they first look at the agency’s team. Next, they look at the past successes of the agency and finally they want to see top-notch creative ideas. This is no problem for Rosica, where the average employee has twelve years of experience and its success is evident with the Famous Amos brand.

Rosica says that landing the S&H Greenpoints account was probably one of his agency’s greatest successes and most creative pitches. For the pitch, one of the employees agreed to be painted green. The prospective client was so impressed that they cut the meeting short and offered the account to the agency that very day. In terms of creativity, there are a number of efforts that stand out in Rosica’s memory. One of them involved installing a plaque in the cement sidewalk on the corner of Sunset and Formosa in Los Angeles. The plaque marked the first site of the Famous Amos cookie store that opened twenty-five years ago. It reads “Famous Amos Square.” The city’s mayor and national media attended the event.

Another of Rosica’s more memorable acts occurred with a campaign for Arcnet, an architectural and engineering firm in New Jersey that gave a new BMW to each of its employees. The company saved $600,000 a year by giving cars to its employees. The company also gained national media coverage on CNN. Rosica says that a typical workday involves a variety of tasks including: strategic planning, overseeing operations, new business development, client relations, crisis management, and cause-related marketing efforts. The last being one of Rosica’s key strengths. When John and Marilyn Rosica were first working with Wally Amos, they aligned him with the Literacy Volunteers of America. In turn, both the organization and the client gained a considerable amount of media attention.

Today, Rosica matches each of its clients with a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. Clients are involved with causes such as breast cancer research, hospice care, and a number of other areas that they are passionate about. Outside of the office, Rosica keeps busy with a number of other activities. He is an interim teacher at Seton Hall, Fordham University, and Montclair State University. In addition, he attends the Sedona Round Table and is a public relations advisor to the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Rosica says that he has met a number of role models through his work with these organizations, but he still credits his father as the ultimate inspiration for his success. Rosica is also on the board of the New York City Chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO), where he met his personal mentor, a former member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Rosica says that he enjoys his involvement in YEO and the opportunities that it offers him to be creative immensely. “The educational and idea-generating aspects, along with the ability to reinvent myself and my company at any given time are very satisfying to me.”

In his free time, Rosica enjoys traveling. In fact, he claims to be as passionate about travel as he is about business. Rosica recently spent time in Italy and visited twelve cities in twelve days. However, Rosica’s first love is still New York City. In addition to traveling, he enjoys scuba diving and motorcycles. His pride is his Harley. In the end, however, Rosica says that the most important thing that has been afforded to him as a successful entrepreneur is the constant opportunities to be creative.

Ironically, one of the things that Rosica says his company neglects is its own PR. The story of how his agency made Famous Amos such a success without any formal advertising budget has not been widely told. “It has been too sporadic. We need to be more consistent. Cause-related marketing was a powerful tool in not only getting [Wally Amos] the original exposure, but maintaining the brand identity.”

Agency in the News – Public Affairs Division

Agency in the News

Rosica Strategic Public Relations Launches Public Affairs Division

Rosica Strategic Public Relations announces the launch of its new Public Affairs practice. This division has already begun developing public affairs campaign strategies for corporations, government agencies, trade associations, coalitions, and non-profit organizations.

According to agency CEO Chris Rosica, “As we continue to grow the Rosica firm, I am confident that the pubic affairs division will play an integral part of this expansion. Our experience will significantly impact our ability to drive revenue for and elevate awareness of our client-partners.”

Rosica Strategic Public Relations is a national public relations agency having served a range of companies, from ASFT, Moore Medical Corp., Eggland’s Best, Coty, Rollerblade and Body & Soul Cosmetics to Revlon, The Ritz Theatre of Elizabeth, MarieBelle Fine Treats and Chocolates and the National Association of Home Care and Hospice. Based in Paramus, NJ, the company is credited with creating the Famous Amos cookie brand solely through PR and has worked with its founder, Wally Amos, for more than 26 years.

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Expert Crisis Communications Council

Rosica specializes in health-related strategic internal and external corporate communications and media relations. We are helping corporations, public and private schools, universities, and nonprofits with COVID-19 communications preparedness and management.