Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is this the moment for Charitable PR that gives back to US?

By many accounts, advertising is washed up, in the toilet, a lost enterprise, wasted -- and good riddance. If you want the statistics, you’ll find some in this slideshare presentation from FutureLab ... or, if you just want to attend the funeral of traditional advertising, watch this sentimental video.

Does any of this explain why a lot of consumers -- and even some industry observers, past and current, here -- or here -- or here -- believe that the trillions spent on advertising every year is wasted? Maybe. And maybe it's time for somebody to take a risk, gamble, and win big. For instance ...

Suppose the companies that have the millions and billions gave the dough away to something people care about. We might call this gesture Charity Begins at Home PR.

What would happen if -- instead of spending $4 million in advertising, a company donated $4 million in health care benefits to its employees? How much free TV and print space might that earn? Might it be more coverage than they could ever buy for the same price?

Suppose some of us quit advertising and quit out-sourcing -- and then set aside the $20 million saved to hire people in the community to do the jobs being shipped overseas? ... Or what if we took that $30 million and built an eco-friendly factory in the U.S.?

Just wondering how far that measure of commonsense and exemplary behavior might get us. Wish I had the money to test it.

-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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