This is only one image of the 2011 disaster in Joplin, Missouri. The aftermath of the tornado found me editing letters to clients and resources, temporarily changing elements on our home page. The letters to the resources communicate that we’re available to help them. The letters to our clients tell them that we’ve contacted the resources and offered to help.  

Don’t get me wrong about this — we care about what has happened to these people, and we are genuine in our offers of support. But always remember that organizations do community service for one reason: cause-related marketing.  

Cause-related marketing occurs when organizations make public gestures to assist in a charitable cause. Most companies of any size do it regularly through giving time and money to various charities. It’s good for the charities and the people they serve, but it’s also good for client perception, the brand, and employee loyalty. I don’t like to be the lone voice out there saying “The company is doing it to help themselves,” but frankly, if there wasn’t a marketing benefit, most companies probably wouldn’t do it.  

Always remember why companies exist: to create value for their owners.  

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