The latest cause marketing trend to catch wind may not have the same level of brand and celeb notoriety as big charity players like Livestrong, the Susan G Komen Foundation, or UNICEF. But, Movember, the only month when facial hair is this season's hottest and most popular accessory, is growing (pun intended) and becoming an iconic symbol of awareness all by itself.. On November 1st, men everywhere (literally, it's global) committed to become walking billboards for the month-long men's health initiative. More specifically, men will grow a mustache for the month of November, all while collecting donations and raising awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health. The idea was originated in a Melbourne, Australia pub some 8 years ago'leave it to Australian men to kick start the most rugged cause campaign to date. Only recently has it picked up serious speed; in 2011 854,000 mustache growers raised $126.3 million dollars worldwide! There are several contributing factors to Movember's recent surge of popularity. For example, men's health is known for being low on the charity totem pole. Currently, women's health is the number one supported charitable cause, bringing in the most green and raising the most brows. After a month of wearing pink to support breast cancer, it's no surprise men are jumping at the opportunity to support their own health and well-being too. Marketing professionals have a different take on the recent growth of Movember's fuzz (err, buzz). The equation looks a little something like this: Company^2+Fun Trend*Ancillary Perks=Engagement^3 In other words, more companies than ever are beginning to realize why the Movember campaign is a pretty awesome way to get involved while on the job. Apart from the primary goals (raising awareness, donating to charity, rocking a mustache), there are many ancillary benefits of participation that, particularly for companies, have put-your-razor-down appeal. Let's take a look.. Positive Light. Similar to celebrities and name brands who hop behind well-known charities looking for an image boost, companies who support cause efforts can benefit from the same effect. Anytime a company puts time, effort, and resources towards unselfish giving, the company promotes positive brand health. This newsworthy behavior will land your brand name in print, increasing awareness and splashing your brand out there for the world to see. Togetherness. What better way to spend time together than taking weekly update pictures and checking in on stache shape development? Don't worry, there is plenty involvement available for the ladies as well. For this, I suggest getting creative. In an effort not to divulge too much highly secretive internal information, all I will say is that our ladies are participating in forms of donations, PR, sista stache's, and in only the most involved situations'?¦ grooming. Company Goals. Most corporations have their own internal goals to support charitable initiatives. In the past, this has often been accomplished through participating in walks or donating used goods. While both are great methods of giving, they don't necessarily engage and unify employees to the same extent as an experience like Movember. While banter-worthy mustache growth brings people together, it also raises money to support a very serious cause and gets people to start thinking about their own health. Fun at Work. Mustaches are fun, the pictures are even better. There are an infinite amount of accompanying toys, office supplies, and accessories that make Movember mo' enjoyable for everyone. Personally, I suggest checking out www.Beerstache.com for appropriate beverage props, complete with branding options. Perfect for celebrating your good deed and upcoming holiday parties! (Warning: Movember has a habit of creating the perfect storm of party excuses Positive Environment. Anytime you support charity, it feels good. Competing as a team for the sake of charity? That feels even better! Coming together for the sake of friendly "network" competition promotes happiness and teamwork, both which combine to create the optimal work environment for your employees. Movember can make your workplace a better place to be. Enough said. Here at AMP, we are definitely taking Movember to new evil heights. Dubbed the Evil AMPire, we are crushing our participation and donation numbers from last year, and even holding our own in the competition polls. So far, with only 78 team members, the Evil AMPire has raised $9,077.00 and currently ranked #105 out of 14345 teams nationwide. More importantly, we are ranked #2 in Boston and dominating the 2012 Boston Agency network to boot! If you think the perks and excitement of Movember sound like something your workplace could benefit from, have no fear. Not only will it happen again in 11 months, but there are also many other upcoming cause marketing opportunities that are worth checking out. Here are a few local and national options that could make your work days just as joyful as mustache growth have made mine. Cycle For Survival Habitat For Humanity JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge The Boston Marathon Last but not least, head over to www.Movember.com to learn more about men's health, how many teams the Evil AMPire is crushing (#StacheWars), and how you can still get in on the action!
With reports that over one millionpeople were actively using social media while watching election coverage, it is clear that social is becoming not only a resource for information and a means of disseminating a message in real time, it is becoming an inherent part of every cause. This year's election set social media records, securing Obama with a second term and maybe more importantly ' a social media victory. In just a few short hours, the President's tweet became the most popular message of all-time on Twitter, knocking Justin Beieber out of the number one spot. As of Wednesday morning, that single tweet garnered 654,836 retweets and 222,405 favorites. While Obama and Romney may have had a team of qualified social media managers supporting their presence, this presidential election validates that social media is an effective means of bringing people together in support of a cause, for free. Sandy may be one of the most recent examples of social transforming a tragedy into a social media storm. The word "Sandy" was mentioned 4.8 million times on various social-media sites after the storm according to Hootsuite. Those 4.8 million social media mentions encouraged thousands to extend support in the form of donations monetary and otherwise. Perhaps this validation is most exciting for those in the non-profits sector because you don't need capital to be successful. And while social media is no secret for such organizations, there are of course always ways to be more innovative and more engaging. Storytelling The most important part of a non-profit is the story. Facebook is an ideal channel to share your story and encourage your community to do the same. People are moved by what they read and express their love by commenting, liking, and sharing various posts. It is critical to establish this bond with your organization in order to drive engagement, build an active community and ultimately increase charitable donations. #Thanks Twitter provides a real time forum for sharing updates from an event that allow people to feel an actual connection to what's happening. Non-profits can connect on a deeper level by sharing how the contributions of a specific donor made a difference. It generates a personal connection and encourages others to want to make a difference as well. Pin It It's human nature for users to connect with visual imagery, so what better channel than Pinterest? Create boards unique to your cause and encourage users to share their own images of volunteer work on your boards. AMP is seeing the power of social and non-profit right here in our office as images of co-workers with creepy mustaches surface on Facebook in support of Movember. Be sure to check them out and find out how you can donate to the cause.