Thu, May 01 2008

Changing the Messenger

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •

Pursuant to my post yesterday, I want to show two wonderful examples of establishing the trust triangle with unlikely yet completely authentic messengers for an important cause.

Read these stories and ask yourself, “Who should be my messenger?”  No matter your marketing talents, there is probably someone better than you to speak to your cause - especially someone helped by it!

STORY ONE - MEN BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

David Stoker of Ashoka wrote me today to say:

Read your post today about trust and the power of trust between friends in combination with a cause.  That is really the underlying mechanism that drives the idea of, what we call, a Citizen Base.  When citizens own, operate, and market to other citizens, the cause becomes rooted in the community at a level of connectivity that makes it more likely to succeed and grow.  A great example we’ve seen in this regard is Men on the Side of the Road in South Africa.  The personal connection they forged between individuals was the key to their success.  I find it quite compelling in terms of building trust between segments of the population that would perhaps look at each other with suspicion.

Here’s the story, in Ashoka’s words, about this project:

MSR was created when Ashoka Fellow Charles Maisel devised a way to employ the 18,000 males who gather at roughly 180 sites throughout South Africa waiting for a day’s labor. Through a national marketing campaign, MSR initiated a massive tool drive for old, unused, and even broken tools, which can then be repaired and used by the day laborers. Instead of having to go to anonymous drop-off points to donate, citizens are asked to call MSR, who then sends out these day laborers to pick-up these tools directly from the community, thereby building a human connection.

Imagine if the next time you donated something, a person who was benefitting collected it from you!  Wow.

STORY TWO: THE DOG WITH A BLOG

Pets for the Environment has a brilliant new spokesperson—a dog.  Here is Eddie’s story (he has a blog, too, natch):

I’m a dog on a mission.

When nonstick chemicals from a frying pan killed my buddy Feathers, and my feline friend Cleo and I found out that we’re full of chemicals too, I was barking mad. Did you know that the humans’ government doesn’t make companies test chemicals for safety before they start using them in our toys, furniture, or even our food? And where do you think all those flame retardants, mercury, and perfluorochemicals end up? In us! And I know because I was tested. The chemicals in me are the same kinds of chemicals in people, and scientists think that other cats and dogs—and horses and birds and bunnies and snakes—around the country are full of them, too.

That’s why I started Pets for the Environment. The humans have made a mess, and they aren’t doing anything about it. I need your help educating our humans and getting their government to pass toxic chemical reform legislation. They’ll never listen to just one pet, but all of us barking and meowing and cawing and squeaking together can make a lot of noise. Join Pets for the Environment and help me make a difference!

Check out the site, where you can find the blog, a wall of cute (dog photos sent in by fans) and other great examples of messaging with the right messengers.

Trying to reach pet owners?  Speak through a pet.

 

 

 

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