Hyperlocal Cause Marketing

Media has the power to reach people and should use its reach to support good causes that don’t have advertising budgets based on business models. Traditional media has paid lip service to its responsibility with public service announcements (PSAs), but how many people in the community pay attention to these announcements while watching TV or listening to the radio? They are inert, and usually don’t provide any clues on how to get involved beyond ” there’s an organizational meeting next Thursday at 7:00 at the Community Center”.

The social media changes the dynamics of cause marketing by introducing active participation and involvement, all in real time. Not only can the community now discuss the agenda and ideas surrounding the organizational meeting online, they can invite their friends and neighbors to attend. The contrast between one-way cause messaging via PSAs and the conversation on a social cause site like Twestival is obvious and profound.

twestival tweets

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The more prominent national efforts like Twestival have raised $1.2 million to bring education to the world’s poorest children.

The Responsibility of New Media

New media can leverage its social properties to create viral campaigns around good causes, and can pick up where traditional media is lacking. Screen shot 2010-04-07 at 11.31.35 PM

The Breaking News Network is a national set of hyperlocal social media news resources that spans over 130 cities. As a new media property, we are announcing the launch of Breaking Causes.

Through Breaking Causes, we’ll work together with good causes, both local and national in scope, to publicize their efforts via Twitter and Facebook. We’ll use the hashtag #cause to facilitate conversations.

Our first campaign will be Mothers Fighting for Others – Twitter @MFFOdotorg (#MFFO) an initiative by Rocky Turner to provide the poor children of Kenya with education and orphanages. We’ll be posting tweets across 20 Breaking News cities’ Twitter and Facebook accounts once per day, linking to the website, and to other initiatives for #MFFO including, an eBay donation auction, and a Twitter challenge #50kfor50 by our friend Maya Paveza.

MFFO is becoming well known in real estate circles and our hope is that word for this good cause will extend beyond into local communities.

We welcome any inquiries from causes and nonprofits who would like to work with us to spread word into our local communities. BreakingCauses.com will document our efforts.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.