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Think Before You Contribute

Don't let your marketing ambitions show too nakedly behind your efforts to build community good feelings.

A local Hooters bar and grill--a chain that touts the buxomness of its waitresses--decided to garner some goodwill by giving $5,000 to a local rape crisis center. The political forces in the university town soon raised an outcry against the mixed messages inherent in the gift. The crisis center publicly gave the money back, and Hooters gained a black eye rather than community praise. Consider how your contributions might be viewed by people who may disagree with your business.

Excerpted from Knock-Out Marketing: Powerful Strategies to Punch Up Your Sales