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Cause to Celebrate

Some PR firms strive to make a difference by promoting causes as well as products.

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This story appears in the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Give a PR firm an Enron to represent, and that firm quickly has a PR nightmare on its hands. Assign a breast-cancer research organization to the same firm, and the PR job becomes a bit easier.

Whether it has to do with the Enrons and the Martha Stewarts of the world--and the need to renew public trust in business--or whether promotional agents simply want to do good, marketing with a conscience is becoming more the rule than the exception. As businesses zero in on social issues, including everything from environmental protection and the peace movement to education and public health issues, so, too, do PR and advertising firms. "There's a much deeper awareness that business cannot be divorced from values," says Shel Horowitz, a Hadley, Massachusetts, author of several marketing books, including Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First. "[Consumers] are realizing [they] have the power and the right to demand accountability. Businesses are realizing it's smart to have good principles."

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