Supplement on Public Relations: State of the art - PR consultants rally to a new cause

Business people get invited to some odd events, but one of the most unusual ever must have been the coach tour organised for corporate heads by Michael Heseltine after the Toxteth riots of 1982.

Business people get invited to some odd events, but one of the most

unusual ever must have been the coach tour organised for corporate heads

by Michael Heseltine after the Toxteth riots of 1982.



From this sprang the organisation Business in the Community, committed

to promoting the idea of cause-related marketing. It now boasts more

than 400 top companies as members, including Cadbury, BT and Barclays

Bank.



Cause-related marketing has long been a big thing in the US, even if

Brits may have historically dismissed it as being unnecessary in the UK,

with its welfare state. That’s hardly the case today.



Schemes to supply schools with computers (Tesco) or musical instruments

(Co-op and Jacob’s Club), or Texaco’s ’Children should be seen and not

hurt’, show cause-related marketing is not about charity, but about

mutual benefit.



The CBI and the Public Relations Consultants Association staged a

one-day conference on the topic recently. Judging by the number of PR

consultants present, the communicators clearly believe that this is a

cause whose time has come.