The 2017 Engage for Good Conference in Chicago, led by David Hessekiel brought together corporations, nonprofits, and agencies to discuss the latest efforts and trends in cause marketing. At the conference, companies like Spotify, WestJet, LifeStraw were honored with a 2017 Halo Award that recognizes innovative and creative campaigns that are shining examples of the power corporations, nonprofits, and agencies can have in making an impact in society.
Here are my three key takeaways from #EFG2017 of interest for nonprofits, corporations or agencies supporting social initiatives.
- Corporate Social Responsibility is more than a responsibility, it’s an opportunity. How can you build a sustainable business and make a sustainable impact on society? Corporations need to concentrate both on building a business and solving problems. Finding authentic and creative ways to do that and keeping it at the heart of their business can be a winning strategy.
- Measure immediate outcomes, but look beyond that and tell that story, too. What is the domino effect that your cause creates? For example, if your campaign aims to educate children about the importance of eating veggies, what is the long term effect that could have? For example, they may grow up to have fewer health problems, they could become an advocate in their family and they might be a future parent who passes on those healthy eating habits to their own children. If your campaign encourages more kids to brush their teeth, that could lead to less financial burden on families for dental care, less school absenteeism, and habits for life. The story shouldn’t end.
- Everyone in this space needs to be using storytelling and creating meaningful content. People and organizations involved in causes need to think like a media company. Produce compelling content that shares your story and resonates with your target audience. Joe Waters, one of the speakers at the event, suggests concentrating on “building an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you.” He mentioned the success The Audubon Society has had in growing their community and also encouraging their supporters to share their own content. What stories can your organization tell and share? How can you effectively educate the next generation about your cause or create behavior change?
Engage for Good creates a wonderful space to connect with other like-minded socially responsible organizations. The opportunity to celebrate creative campaigns, share and combine collective expertise, and forge new partnerships may just lead to the next great campaign that makes an impact.