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

By Karen E. Spaeder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Give a PR firm an Enron to represent, and that firm quickly hasa PR nightmare on its hands. Assign a breast-cancer researchorganization to the same firm, and the PR job becomes a biteasier.

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

Maria Rodriguez, 45, knew that from the day she startedWashington, DC-based Vanguard Communications in 1987. She launchedwith the sole intent of aligning herself with social concerns, suchas environmental protection and health issues. (Farm Aid is aclient.)

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