Maximizing Impact for Cause-Focused Clients

Nov 10, 2020  |  By Madeleine Dykes  |  

Last Thursday, Civilian hosted a webinar leading up to the American Marketing Association’s annual Cause Conference moderated by our CEO, Stacey Nelson Smith focusing on “Connecting Consumers and Customers to Your Cause: How to Spend Your Time and Budget to Maximize Impact.” The recorded session can be viewed below.

The webinar brought together two of our high-profile, cause-focused clients, San Diego County Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) and San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges (SDICC), to showcase how their campaigns have inspired audiences, engaged influencers and created community advocacy with limited outreach budgets. Both clients focused on a set of key takeaways which included:

  1. The importance of investing in campaign-informing research
  2. How to create processes to gather ongoing influencer/community input
  3. The value of public-private partnerships
  4. Tools for educating an army of cause ambassadors

Adrienne Yancey from the Perinatal Equity Initiative led off the discussion with an overview of her organization’s goals–improving birth and maternal health outcomes for African-American families in San Diego County by changing the systems that contribute to social injustices, economic disparities, and racial and health inequities–and an overview of the challenges including a false start early on when materials provided by the state fell flat with local advocates and influencers.  To overcome the challenge, Civilian helped PEI create a three-tiered community input system that guided the team in bringing Black Legacy Now to life with the input from local experts, focus groups and community leaders. The campaign used real San Diego residents as the “talent” and is working to expand its reach by developing partnerships with healthcare organizations, including Sharp and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Danene Brown, marketing chair of SDICCC then turned the focus to how the regional community college consortium is filling a statewide middle-skills job gap by driving enrollment in career education degree programs across the region’s nine campuses and three Continuing Education locations. SDICCC, has partnered with Civilian over the past three years to elevate perceptions of career education, increase understanding of middle-skill career opportunities and support regional economic vitality by training the workforce most needed by regional employers.

Civilian’s work with SDICCC has focused on developing a unified voice through branding, messaging and the creation of a regional website and social channels. Civilian then relied on compelling storytelling that brought together success stories from students, faculty and employers to showcase the life-changing impact of education and increase awareness of the hundreds of career paths trainable by the colleges.

By the end of the webinar, it was clear that both the SDICCC and PEI continue to drive positive social change, connect with their target audience and engage the community by prioritizing audiences, leveraging research to drive campaign development and relying on a host of cost-effective, creative strategies.

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