Cause-marketing sections earn goodwill and $85,000 in Richmond


The Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Va., has taken cause-marketing sections to the next level with a number of new sections this year – earning the paper second-place honors in SNPA's Best Revenue Contest.

In addition to the traditional sections such as Breast Cancer Awareness and National Philanthropy Week, The Times-Dispatch has published pieces supporting the Boy Scouts, the American Heart Association, Autism Awareness Month, National Volunteer Week, Keep Virginia Beautiful Anniversary, Prostate Cancer Awareness and the American Diabetes Association.

These sections serve a number of functions.  Local businesses and corporations purchase advertising in an effort to support causes that are important to these entities.  This allows worthy non-profit groups with limited marketing budgets to share their message with the community.  The sections also create new revenue for The Times-Dispatch, which has an average weekday circulation of 103,000.

These sections are valuable to each party involved: The non-profits gain exposure and support, businesses are able to emphasize a commitment to worthy causes and generate exposure, and The Times-Dispatch is able to share valuable stories from the community and generate additional advertising revenue.

Karen Dillon, interim marketing director for The Times-Dispatch, submitted the paper's entry.  She said, "Because The Times-Dispatch has unparalleled reach in the Richmond market, it was a natural move to partner with our local nonprofits on cause-related advertising.  These sections help nonprofits share their message with a wider audience than they could relying on their own resources.   In addition to building good will with the community, these partnerships have been an additional source of revenue for our company."

She said, "The success of this program is largely due to the relationships we've built with decision-makers at organizations throughout our community.   Our advertising representatives collaborate with these clients to help us educate our audience, build readership and increase revenue. Also, this program fits our group's overall mission to be indispensable to our communities. And helping readers helping community groups is a wonderful bonus."

Year-to-date revenue for cause-marketing sections is more than $85,000.

Read below what some of our contest judges had to say about this entry.  And, add your own comments.

Last week we highlighted the first-place winner in the Best Revenue Contest.  Next week, we'll look at another outstanding entry.


12 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • CCrittendon13

    Very nice next step from gang pages. Wish my market was big enough to find this niche revenue for cause marketing.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Report this

  • Great there is value to all parties. Great way to stay relevant and gain revenue.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Report this

  • jack.perkins

    Great way to keep the local paper relevant in the community while making an impact for non-profits.

    Friday, November 1, 2013 Report this

  • jsowell

    This is a win for all parties involved. The non-profits groups gain publicity and the paper gains revenue on top of continued trust/support from the local community.

    Friday, November 1, 2013 Report this

  • Pat Taylor

    Good to see a paper go after this segment again. It comes in vogue and ebbs, but a sustained effort, particularly in a larger market should yield consistent results. Small markets can do it, too, just not as regularly.

    Friday, November 1, 2013 Report this

  • mmulholland

    Excellent example of how to breath new life into an "old" idea. A win/win idea that serves both the newspaper and the community.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Report this

  • jnoel0921

    A great example of a win-win-win initiative. The organizations get their message out, readers are made aware of services and volunteer opportunities and the newspapers earn some great PR and truly new/plus revenue.

    Friday, November 8, 2013 Report this

  • Willisdm

    The non profit groups are great to work with and a revenue gains are possible.

    Friday, November 8, 2013 Report this

  • rogerawill

    OUTSTANDING effort. This is a great combination of community outreach. I can see where new connections can be made to undiscovered advertisers.

    Friday, November 8, 2013 Report this

  • drussell

    I love the community involvement tied in with the initiative.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 Report this

  • dherlinger

    Great way to serve the community while also generating revenue for the newspaper. It also highlights the best of how the newspaper medium can bring people together for a cause.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 Report this

  • arodriguez

    Great way to stay involved in the community.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 Report this

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