I’m inspired this week by a novel approach one Dallas nonprofit is taking to draw attention to its cause. Arthur Benjamin’s American Dog Rescue has launched a competition called “America’s Best Tails” urging people to submit their stories about animals who have had a profound effect on them, or they on the animal, in one way or another. Winners will not only be featured on Benjamin’s weekly show, “For the Love of Dogs”, but will also receive donations to the 501(c)3 of their choice.
Marketers have long used competitions to draw attention to their brands and create timely opportunities to engage with their audience, but Benjamin’s approach hits on three key factors that not only make it a great promotional opportunity, but also drive back to the organization’s mission:
1. It’s personal – by offering people a platform to share their own stories, you show a willingness to shift the attention from yourself and onto the individual.
2. It’s about the mission – besides the cute wordplay, “America’s Best Tails” makes a direct connection between the contest and the organization’s key benefactors, the animals. Often, this kind of promotion can take the focus off the your subject, confusing the audience.
3. It’s publicity driven – the competition was developed in a way that allows for easy promotion, which, let’s face it, is the motivation. As with events, the competition presents multiple opportunities to make contact with media – the launch release, the weekly winners, the final winner, the appearances on the television show, etc.
Kudos to American Dog Rescue for understanding the value of healthy competition.