Outta Sight

Mission: Possible

Marketing is about being remembered. It's about getting noticed. And sometimes, it's about helping others, too. How can you carry out a socially responsible marketing strategy?

"Ask yourself what you do better than anybody else. Then ask yourself how you can apply that to a need in the community," says Carol Coletta, whose Memphis, Tennessee-based Coletta & Co. Inc. helps companies implement socially responsible marketing campaigns.

Such campaigns don't have to break the bank: Coletta says some of the best promotions entail getting your employees or customers to pitch in for a cause. The owner of a nursery, for example, could organize employees to plant flowerbeds in an inner-city community; a restaurateur could have employees deliver surplus food to a homeless shelter.

But don't just write a check to a local charity, Coletta says; it's less effective (and more expensive) than donations of time and effort.

The benefits of socially responsible marketing are many: Coletta says such promotions garner exposure for your company, improve employee morale, build public awareness of social issues and ultimately boost your bottom line.

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This article was originally published in the October 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Outta Sight.

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