I would call it a journey… it began two years ago when I changed everything. I moved across the country to Chicago to begin a master’s program at DePaul in Public Relations. Before looking into master’s programs, you probably could have called me an idealist. I was working in grassroots advocacy, especially with social causes affecting women. I was relocating not just to a new city but trying to reframe my plan for the future. Could I see myself working in nonprofits forever?
Everyone who has worked in a nonprofit knows that it has a heart and soul, but it has limited resources. As someone who had been a lobbyist, program coordinator, outreach specialist, event coordinator, and teacher (you name it, we wear a lot of different hats in the nonprofit sector), simply “doing good” wasn’t satisfying anymore. I wanted to make bigger connections, bigger relationships, with more resources.
Soon after moving to Chicago, I googled the words “social cause” and “marketing” in my small Logan Square studio. Definitions for cause marketing popped up on my screen. I learned that cause marketing is a strategic link between companies/brands and a social cause that mutually benefits both partners. I realized (HELLO!- Eureka!), I don’t have to decide between working in the nonprofit or private sector. I can do both!
This blog will highlight my quest to understand the growing role of social causes in all its shapes and forms in marketing, advertising, and public relations. Seeing Susan G. Komen’s annual Pink Ribbon campaign on buckets of chicken at KFC and seeing cause marketing on more and more products in the grocery aisle every year, means that thinking critically about how social causes are connecting with profit is more important than ever.
Looking at how this trend takes different shapes and forms as well as resonates or doesn’t resonate with “everyday” people like me, might prove that business isn’t a dirty word. Even if I thought it was a dirty word when I was an undergraduate beginning my nonprofit career.