“Any company rolling out a brand of toilet paper will agonize over marketing. Yet an aid group often relies on a hodgepodge of guilt and statistics that limit its effectiveness.” –Nicholas D. Kristof from the article, “How to Save the World & Influence People,” in the December issue of Outside magazine.
A couple of weeks ago, I came home from school one day to find the December issue of Outside magazine in the mailbox. I have been subscribing to this magazine for about two years now, and I have to admit that it is one of those magazines that I just can’t wait to tear into and read immediately; aside from Adbusters. Flipping through the cover stories and flurries of North Face advertisements, I surprisingly came across an article captioned, “How to Save the World & Influence People,” by Nicholas D Kristof. This article raises the question that if aid organizations were to “succumb” to contemporary marketing strategies, that they could quite possibly increase the number of people they save or help.
This article instantly compelled me because I completely agree that any non-profit organization or philanthropic group should try adopting new promotional techniques to help spread their message across. Whether it’s utilizing every form of social media or putting together comprehensive creative campaigns, it is ultimately worth the payback because canvassing, guilt ridden commercials, and statistics only go so far. These older tactics have pretty much become irrelevant in generating more interest in the global problems that must be spotlighted.
Unfortunately today, average citizens don’t seem to be successfully swayed in donating or volunteering to raise awareness on global crisis’ and causes such as AIDS or Darfur. This is simply because the old techniques of guilt and statistical overload, combined with what I like to call “sadness-mongering,” have become outdated and overused.
Of course when larger donations come in and offer support to these noble causes and issues, most of the money is funneled towards assisting the particular organizations mission, as it should. But if just a little more money could be distributed towards advertising and marketing, there is not doubt that these organizations would get more bang for their buck.
I understand the negative stigma that the general public holds against company’s who spend half of their budget on focus groups, as well as other various marketing tools. However, is it not almost every single non-profit’s goal to gain as much exposure as they can to urge their cause? What would be so wrong with just putting a little more time and money into harder and more complex campaigns? Im not saying at all to commercialize or “popularize” global issues, just to spend more time on designing concepts that are more relevent today.
People do not just want to send their money in a visionless, manilla envelope and sit idly at the TV watching the horrors of starving children. They want to be apart of the cause, they want to see it, read updates, follow every step; feel involved even if they can’t be there in the flesh themselves.
To read further about this article and idea, you will find the link below