What NOT to do in a Cause Campaign

Mindy McHorse, back to tell you about the number one rule when writing for a cause campaign.

What is it? Simple: Don’t hide the facts.

I’m talking about the details surrounding the campaign. Say Company A teams up with Nonprofit B in a cause partnership to support animal shelters.

The campaign is something like, “Buy this purple widget from Company A, and they’ll donate $5 to Nonprofit B.”

Sounds good, but most savvy consumers will want details. For instance …

  • Is there a cap on the total donation amount Company A is willing to give?
  • How long will the campaign run?
  • How is Company A tracking the purple widget sales?
  • How is Nonprofit B putting the money to use?
  • What percentage of the total amount donated actually goes to animal shelters, and what percentage covers administrative overhead?
  • Is it an annual campaign, or a one-time thing?

The antidote to keeping these questions at bay is pretty simple, and it’s a trick Master Copywriters have been using for years.

What is it?

Transparency.

In other words, tell-all.

Here are some of the ways to make sure any cause campaign you write for stays transparent:

  • Stay away from hype
  • Share as many details as possible
  • Dig for stories — who benefits from campaign funds? Have there been any major successes over the years?
  • Offer credible, believable information
  • Give donors/buyers a way to send feedback (could be blog comments, social media posts, email responses, etc.)
  • Provide clear contact information for anyone with questions

Keep in mind, cause copy isn’t hyped-up. It doesn’t yell. Clarity rules the day, and your goal as a cause writer is to be direct and effective when you communicate your message.

To get your cause writing business started, I recommend you use the tips above to write a sample assignment for a campaign you admire. Or, if you already started a sample assignment based on what I wrote yesterday, go back over it to see where you can incorporate transparent writing.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back to share a secret, which has to do with getting paid multiple ways as a cause marketing copywriter.

Copywriting for a Cause

Copywriting for a Cause: How to Profit as a Writer and Make a Difference in the World

In today’s market, consumers expect businesses to do well while doing good. They want companies to be good citizens. That means businesses need copywriters who understand how to write for a cause. Learn More »


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Published: September 5, 2013

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