“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” booms the Wizard of Oz in the classic 1939 film of the same name. It has been nearly 75 years since Frank Morgan uttered that famous, metaphorical phrase. Today, the “man behind the curtain” has become a representative statement, exchanged for nearly anything that is meant to be kept secret or undiscovered. In the world of doing well by doing good, the “man behind the curtain” seems to be the practices and elements that constitute effective advertising.
In PSAs Are Not a Marketing Strategy, Incite explores the differences between cause marketing and public service announcements and shines a light on how and when to effectively use each to achieve different results. Through a “behind-the-curtain look” at the creation and sharing of these messages, we also make the case for why developing a comprehensive marketing strategy for your nonprofit organization is paramount.
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ST. LOUIS, MO –Incite, a social impact marketing firm, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) have partnered for the “Know Your Zone” campaign, a fully integrated public awareness and education campaign, addressing overland flooding and the associated risks. The campaign will run from April 1 through June, 30, 2013 and citizens are encouraged to look for “Know Your Zone” messaging via Metro Transit, billboards, radio & digital, targeted neighborhood canvassing, event and social media marketing. Residents are also encouraged to take the “Know Your Zone quiz by logging on to www.knowyourzone.org.
Incite St. Louis Director, Libby Nolan, is excited about the partnership. “This is a hefty integrated marketing campaign for MSD and FEMA. We’re truly excited about being able to utilize several different platforms to effectively reach the targeted citizenry.”
According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website, floods are the most common and costly of all natural disasters and homeowners are four times more likely to experience a flood than a fire during an average 30-year mortgage. Furthermore, the normal homeowner’s insurance policy does not protect homeowners from floods.
“Everyone lives in a flood zone, the question is if it’s a low, medium or high risk zone?” says Lance LeComb, spokesperson for MSD. “Springtime can bring heavy rains and over saturated grounds and before you know it – that small creek running through our backyard jumps its bank and your home is flooded. We want citizens to have a better understanding of their flood risks and provide information to help prepare and protect their families in the case of a flood event,” LeComb added.
MSD AND FEMA LAUNCHES “KNOW YOUR ZONE” CAMPAIGN
The “Know Your Zone” campaign is a joint effort by the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and executed by Incite St. Louis.
For additional information about the “Know Your Zone” campaign, please visit www.knowyourzone.org or call Libby Nolan at 314-613-7726 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incite – Incite is a social impact marketing firm that uses marketing for good. Deeply rooted in the media industry, Incite maximizes earned relationships with target audiences to connect people with resources that drive positive change using local media and grassroots engagement. Incite has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Indianapolis and St. Louis. For additional information visit www.incite.com
Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District – The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) was formed on February 9, 1954 and is responsible for interception, collection and treatment of wastewater, as well as storm water management. MSD serves a population of approximately 1.3 million and has over 425,000 single-family residential, multi-family residential and commercial/Industrial accounts. For additional information please visit www.stlmsd.com
Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) – FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Visit www.fema.gov for additional information.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) – The NFIP provides a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. Visit www.floodsmart.gov for additional information.]]>
On March 1, 2013 E3 Alliance presented Incite Austin with the Architects of Change award.
The award recognizes individuals or organizations that exemplify true commitment to the regional collaborative change process and provide meaningful impact toward the goals of The Blueprint for Educational Change.
“The Blueprint for Educational Change and E3 Alliance are only as strong as the partnerships and collaborations that we build.” said Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance president and executive director.
The Blueprint was created by Central Texas leaders in 2008 and consists of four priority goals that aim to build the strongest education pipeline in the country – increasing school attendance was one stimulus used to achieve these goals. The campaign is spearheaded by E3 Alliance working in collaboration with Incite Austin to develop the Missing School Matters Attendance campaign.
Incite worked to promote Missing School Matters through the Get Schooled campaign, encouraging students to increase their attendance habits to earn cool incentives and a celebrity appearance at the winning school. Together, Incite and E3 Alliance saw Stony Point High School in Round Rock, TX increase attendance by over 5% and win the 2012 National Get Schooled Attendance Challenge.
Noting the campaign success, E3 recognized Incite stating, “For nearly a decade, Incite has been creating results-oriented cause, social, corporate and nonprofit marketing campaigns. They provided logistical support and on-air radio promotions to spread the word to audiences across our region.”
Additional honorees celebrated for causing significant impact include: Martha Smiley, Education Service Center Region XVIII RAISEup Texas Team, Dr. Jesus Chavez, Austin College Access Network, and National Instruments.
To read more about Incite’s work with the Get Schooled campaign CLICK HERE
Tectonic healthcare shifts in our country are causing quite a shakeup! New community clinics are rushing to open their doors. Health insurance companies are expanding their offerings. Doctors and hospitals are bracing for a wave of new patients. Media is chattering incessantly about the tweaks and shifts of our nation’s healthcare systems caused by the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. Brands and consumers alike are watchful participants, eager to see where the new openings in the marketplace may emerge and what the ultimate impact – on health – will be.
Some think change is exciting, to others chaos. There are more tough questions than easy answers.
Leaders pioneering the future of healthcare will work together, forming new and innovative partnerships that coordinate care and connect with people to help them know their options. The goal – help more people and families gain access to quality affordable care and, simply, live healthier lives.
Incite routinely helps clients craft authentic and relevant messages to connect with consumers around brands and causes. Healthcare is a core area where we are able to use local media to connect people and communities with a multitude of healthcare options.
In this era of healthcare reform, our relationships with local communities –people, nonprofits, healthcare providers – provides even more value to clients and partners. As we work with clients to develop custom local media and activation campaigns that engage people, inspire belief and incite action, we are learning a few practical tips that warrant widespread sharing:
1. Own Your Strengths ~ Our nation’s healthcare system is rapidly changing, and there is great temptation for healthcare providers and insurance companies, for example, to expand services and jump into new markets. First, you must own your strengths. As millions of new customers come into the healthcare market, provide them with your core products and services first. You will have an easier time earning business in your core area than by expanding your offerings and trying to complete in new ways in a still undefined market. Don’t risk jeopardizing your core business by attempting to scale too quickly. Focus on what you do best, wait until the dust settles and then identify opportunities to expand or adjust..
Read more on how Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is helping their customers practice wellness here.
2. Work Together ~ The emphasis in healthcare funding is shifting from ‘pay for services’ to ‘pay for healthier people’ and better outcomes. While this makes both financial and common sense, it is a radical shift in the healthcare industry and creates one of the greatest opportunities for new collaborations to emerge. Health insurance companies now have a vested interest in supporting a community clinic that keeps you healthier and out of a hospital. A hospital can now focus more on critical care needs and elevate its top-notch medical offerings to meet intense medical demands rather than divide resources by treating strep throat in the emergency room.
Read more on how Seton Healthcare Family is creating new models of coordinated care here.
3. Tell Your Story ~There are a lot of voices in the marketplace. Know your story and share it with your key customer groups. Be focused, be local, and be authentic. Connect with people around the core goods and services you provide, and you will do well. Some of the more proactive brands are actively leading in this space offering doctors and medical professionals to speak on local radio programs about wellness and prevention. Insurance companies are reaching potential new customers via local events, public affairs shows and the like to help consumers understand how to evaluate and purchase health insurance.
Read more on how leading insurance providers tell their story of access to care.
There are many needs and opportunities for consumer education. My advice is this – Own your strengths, work together and tell your story. People are listening and looking for leaders in the next era of healthcare. My hope is these tips help you hone your communications strategy and excel in the rapidly unfolding new marketplace.
Let Incite become an extension of your core branding team helping craft your strategy and activate your local media and engagement efforts. If you need to engage local media and powerful grassroots marketing to further your brand position and connect people to your products and services – Incite stands ready to help – Engage people, Inspire belief and Incite action – building brand loyalty and healthier communities together!]]>
The City of St. Louis had a few extra reasons to celebrate Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day this year. Incite partnered Guinness with local radio station personalities Lux and Lern, hosts of 105.7 The Point and KSHE 95, to rally people in support of local heroes: firemen.
The Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri Community Outreach program supports families affected by fires. Lux and Lern made several appearances to local Irish bars across the city from Mardi Gras to St. Patrick’s Day – raising a glass of Guinness and raising funds to support these families and the firefighters that save them.
Participants supported the cause by donating to receive a firefighter’s helmet on the wall with their name on it in addition to an autographed poster of Lux and Lern in their sassy firefighter’s gear.
In working with Guinness, Incite was able to bring a global brand alive within the St. Louis community – a good brew and a good cause. They raised funds to support the needs of local firefighters and brought the community together for a common cause.
In years past we have been an active marketing and fundraising partner with Seton Healthcare Family in Austin Texas. Our campaigns have included a variety of health initiatives including promoting wellness activities, educating the community on the role of a public safety net hospital and raising funds for their world class hospital facilities including Dell Children’s Hospital.
Today, we are partnering with them to engage the community in a different, more widespread dialogue. Today, Seton is leading an unprecedented collaboration to build a new teaching hospital; working with the University of Texas to create a new Medical School; and connecting with Central Health to coordinate care across health providers – all focused simply on helping people heal and remain healthy.
We salute the work being done in central Texas and commend Seton for its healthcare leadership. In the end, the vision for this collaborative approach will allow each entity to focus on what they do best – teaching, healing, coordinating - each meeting a unique local health priority – the need for more doctors, the need to help people who are sick, the need to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. It’s the trifecta we all seek in a new model of healthcare: lower overall costs of care, improved health outcomes and strengthening the local economy. Perhaps this is a model for how other communities can link resources across organizational lines and engage in community wide dialogue on how we can all come together for health, for good.
In the end, we are indeed all in this together. Let’s connect, collaborate and create new paths for healthier, more vibrant lives.
To read more about Incite’s campaign with Seton click here]]>
In the mid to late 1960’s, American folk rock band The Byrds famously sang about activism and change. It was a transformative time for our country, and The Byrds captured the hearts and minds of a nation with hits like “Change is Now” and “Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There is a Season),” the latter becoming the anthem of a generation. Almost fifty years later, we find ourselves amidst change yet again. And while I doubt we will see the music industry attempt to put health reform to song, the changes we are facing as a nation may be as important as those we positively made half a century ago.
The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, and leaders are already emerging in the health reform space. Health care providers are stepping up and taking action - becoming more accountable for the long-term health of their patients. Improving health care quality and efficiency is the cornerstone of what many refer to as “Obamacare.” An increased focus on preventative care across the health industry is evident and necessary, and health care providers will receive federal reimbursements if they are actually able to improve their care systems.
Come January 2014, everyone will have to carry health insurance. This means there will be a dramatic increase in the number of insured Americans, and the health insurance industry is scrambling to decide how, when and where it retains existing and secures new customers. In New York City alone, nearly 750,000 new customers will be in the market for insurance coverage. Health insurers are working to differentiate themselves from competitors and offer coverage plans that best meet the needs of these newly eligible individuals and families.
At Incite, we are broadening existing and beginning new relationships with many partners in the health industry. Our focus – helping both providers and insurers accomplish goals directly connected to the changes in our health care system. In New York City specifically, Incite has partnered health providers and insurers with media property, HOT 97, to reach minority, underserved audiences. HOT 97 is engaging these audiences via radio, digital and social media and community-based outreach and activation. Radio station DJ’s are telling target audiences about what health reform will mean to them in a way that is relevant and authentic. Street team members are distributing our partners’ information to attendees at comedy shows, music concerts and community “block parties.” HOT 97 community affairs programming is highlighting health reform and telling consumers about how these changes will directly affect them.
The reason our health partners choose to work with Incite is simple: we know how, when and where to reach their target audiences, and we know how to get those audiences to respond and take positive action. Incite uses marketing for good. We are agents of change. And while we don’t have access to The Byrds, we do have exciting ties to the media industry and use entertainment to connect brands with causes and build meaningful relationships with consumers. We are keeping our finger on the pulse of important health industry changes, and we are eager to work with your organization to make sure Americans become a healthier, better-cared-for people.]]>
Do you ever have the feeling that you need to deal with something, but it’s so large and complex, you would rather kick the can down the road a bit longer until you REALLY have to deal with it?
This is exactly how so many Americans feel about Healthcare reform. Great, (or not great, depending on your political preferences) it passed, now what?
Well, for starters, healthcare reform stands as one of the biggest opportunities our nation, our economy, our brands and – yes, even us as people – has had in a long time to demonstrate that there is no false tradeoff between doing well and doing good. Said another way, we all stand to gain by finding new ways of working together to build a more effective, efficient model for providing quality healthcare. Done well, we stand to improve our personal health and well-being, as well as that of our families and our communities.
Here’s the landscape:
Whether you are a large business executive, a small, urban resident or a rural rancher – we all need to pay attention. We all have responsibilities – and opportunities – in the coming months leading to the full enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Here’s a great animation that simply explains the complex legislation: http://healthreform.kff.org/the-animation.aspx
In my own words, here are some easy ways to act now to be prepared:
Take care of yourself – first and foremost, practice living a healthy lifestyle. This will serve you, your family, your employer and the community at large well!
Get local and get connected – what’s happening in your marketplace? Is your state creating an exchange? How will your brand – directly or tangentially be impacted by the massive shifts in the healthcare industry?
Determine your strategy to educate and engage – people will begin receiving care under the ACA in January 2014. The time to be a part of it is now. Take the time to understand your brand’s unique offerings, strengths in the emerging marketplace and craft your strategy to connect people with your services. Most marketers and brands will be in the marketplace with their campaign messages by June. Take time now to determine your path and plan!
Many are taking first quarter to assess the landscape, listen and learn. Incite is doing the same. Stay tuned for more in the coming months on tips and trends observed from the field as we help brands, nonprofits and local governments build activation strategies to help connect people to care while building brands, business and community.]]>
For the fourth consecutive year, the St. Louis City Department of Health and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield had the initiative to motivate residents, employees, and visitors of the city of St. Louis to increase their level of health and fitness through proper nutrition and exercise. They wanted Incite to develop a campaign to increase healthy living in a measurable and practical way.
Next: The Solution
What are your thoughts on evolution? The evolution of cause marketing that is…
The past two decades have revealed a steadily evolving field from early, basic cause marketing efforts to today’s broader corporate social responsibility (CSR) platforms. What began as a ‘simple’ drive to generate sales through cause association (traditional cause marketing) more than two decades ago, has evolved into wide-spread, holistic CSR.
In observation, this trend of evolution within the field has emerged from the convergence of opportunity across sectors -
In this quest, we have all won.
But this is just the beginning of the evolution story.
A positive unintended consequence has also emerged: An active and engaged consumer.
Gone are the days of transactional cause marketing. Today, deeper relationships exist between causes, consumers and businesses. All are actively at the table to engineer a new way of thinking. Businesses are operating in more sustainable ways, transparent, authentic communication is engaging all stakeholders to demonstrate purpose and drive impact – all the while improving business performance and deepening consumers’ relationships with brands.
As more of us became aware of corporate efforts to be responsible – proactively using their expertise and business resources to do good – we saw the potential and began to believe, as I do, that there is no false trade-off between doing well in business and doing good in the world.
A Look Inside
This drove a chapter of the evolutionary process from transactional cause marketing toward an inward look at how a company operates. Here, employee relations, supply chain management, company values and corporate operating philosophy have all come under scrutiny as companies have taken to heart the importance of authentically cleaning up operations and running a responsible business.
Companies as wide-ranging as Unilever and Starbucks – to Toms Shoes and LUTA sports apparel – have all taken responsible, proactive strides to make their businesses more sustainable – economically, environmentally, for employees and for consumers.
Time to Talk
The next phase of the evolutionary process is here– it’s time to talk about the good that you are doing. Now is the time to realize the full potential of operating as a responsible business in this marketplace of opportunity. To earn the full business value of your company’s myriad of socially responsible actions, one must communicate.
In discussion, Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness at Eileen Fisher, shared their extremely positive communications efforts. The current “Ampersand” (http://eileenfisherampersand.com/) campaign is an excellent example of a corporation taking its values seriously, operating in a responsible manner and taking the critical next step – engaging their customer – in the quest for responsible clothing.
To the silent companies – those who have observed these trends, begun the process of ‘heavy lifting’ changes internally, making real, lasting improvements to your operations – now is the time.
Your desire to do everything right before communicating is admirable, but it is costing you opportunity. The purpose is not to wait till you are ‘perfectly sustainable’ or ‘wholly responsible’ (such a state may not exist) and then tell people about it.
The maximum gain is realized in acting together, with your consumers, to build a more responsible business. Communicating your actions in real time with your customers will allow them to reward your transparency and authenticity with trust and loyalty– even as you are on your path toward an increasingly responsible operation.
So I leave you with these tips as we enter the current phase of the evolutionary process:
Let’s work together in this next era of corporate social responsibility – to harness our respective strengths, use smart, authentic marketing to engage our consumers and stakeholders, and simply live in a more sustainable, meaningful way.
Together, we can run responsible businesses and address social issues. We are creating a future where businesses, nonprofits and consumers are working together to do well by doing good.
Thank you Joe, Amy, Mike, Neil and the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) for hosting a great panel and thoughtful discussion.