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.

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