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A Good Cause

Jay Ferro

Jay Ferro

Richard A. Lloreda

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More than 200 people braved the driving rain one morning last spring to attend the 17th Annual San Diego American Marketing Association (AMA) Cause Conference at National University’s administrative headquarters in La Jolla, California, also home to the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy.

Recharging cause passion, the event’s theme, was successfully conveyed to the enthusiastic crowd of marketing professionals. The all-day conference highlighted informative talks representing the nonprofit and the for-profit sectors.

Speakers included Jay Ferro, CIO of the American Cancer Society. As the founder and executive director of Pricilla’s Promise, he shared his poignant life experience of losing his wife, Priscilla, to cervical cancer in 2007. Her fight against the disease inspired him to “turn a negative into a positive, to capture the spirit she had.”

Priscilla’s Promise originated from a deeply personal place. Ferro wanted to honor his wife’s memory, the love they shared and the sons they raised together but that Priscilla would never see grow into adulthood. This personal commitment to his family was the fire that inspired Ferro to create Priscilla’s Promise.

The Pricilla’s Promise website (priscillaspromise.org) was created in memory of Pricilla Moore Ferro in partnership with American Cancer Society. The site aims to raise awareness of and help educate people about cervical cancer.

Going Mobile

Millennials’ use of mobile devices is driving the way the marketplace has reinvented itself. Engaging with all publics where they are (instead of waiting for people to seek out marketing information) is the goal of social media marketing. Ferro added, “Social media usages need to be site specific and to customize the message to the media.”

In his presentation, Ferro took on the themes of storytelling through social media, how millennials passionately connect to their causes. He discussed the importance of learning to develop a 360-degree view of constituent tracking donor behaviors. That means knowing your donors and their giving behaviors. This includes maintaining a positive relationship with constituents, profiling what their needs are and what inspires them to patronize a cause.

Deirdre Maloney, president of Momentum, a business communication coaching company, delivered the main conference takeaway message. “If you couple passion with good business practices and keep your public engaged, they will not only help you, they will not leave you,” she said.

Maloney’s presentation LEARN: The Art of the Pitch encouraged her listeners to make their first shot their best shot. Maloney said that standing out, being passionate and mastering the “elevator pitch” are the keys to pitching success. Focusing on a short and sweet delivery that highlights quality information and is not overloaded with details will help streamline your message effectively. She added that social media platforms like Twitter are an excellent way to, “Invite people to pitch for you.” This approach is especially helpful if you generate positive energy and show no discomfort in asking for money.

Chris Carter, VP of communications, marketing and public affairs at Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, spoke on “Top 5 Tools for Marketing on a Shoestring.” He encouraged his audience to embrace Web and e-marketing, adding that engaging in social media will drive messages to more people and encourage advocacy. He also admonished listeners to not discount the use of traditional media and to enlist volunteer help.

Frank Scarpaci, CEO at Vianova, a strategy consulting and training firm, discussed “B corporations” is in his talk EXCEL: B Corporations: Using Business as a Force for Good. B Corporations are certified by the nonprofit B Lab B Corps and under intense scrutiny of accountability, transparency, environmental performance and social issues. “B corp” is to business what organic certification is to produce

There are now more than 1,000 certified B corps, representing 60 industries in 33 countries. These companies share a single objective: to reinvent prosperity in work and business.

Citing B corporations Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia and Etsy, Scarpaci explained that these kinds of companies can attract investors, save money and protect your mission by benchmarking an organization’s performance. He also said 68 percent of today’s B corporations are more likely to make donations to causes they care about, invest in renewable energy sources, pay health benefits to their employees and hire minorities. B corporations also value their employees’ need to use their time to volunteer.

The daylong event included more than two dozen speakers, each of whom offered unique insights on successful marketing to interested professionals working in Southern California. Sponsors included CBS Radio and The San Diego Business Journal. Representatives of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy and National University presented as well.

 

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Richard A. Lloreda, Assistant Editor

Richard A. Lloreda is a recent graduate from National University's Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications program. He is inspired by writing, music,...

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