The 2018 LMA annual conference invariably provides us with great examples of how we can create well-planned, well-executed marketing and PR campaigns. We often hear the warning, “Don’t commit random acts of marketing.” While that’s important advice, it was also nice to see one of the recurring themes from this past conference in New Orleans on how marketers can not only market consciously, but also market with a conscience.

Terry Isner’s presentation, “Humanity Isn’t a Trend – It’s the Key to Digital Marketing and Branding Success,” walked attendees through how some of the most successful companies in the world are selling their services with compassion.

Corporate Compassion

During the presentation, Terry highlighted one of Toyota’s ads — part of the “Start Your Impossible” campaign for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The intent of the ad was to spread the brand’s message that every person should have “freedom of movement.” In the ad, Toyota explains that the odds of winning a Paralympic gold medal are almost 1 billion to 1. The ad follows the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, who beat the odds to win eight Paralympic gold medals. The caption reads: “At Toyota, we believe when we are free to move, anything is possible. So we’re on a mission to make movement better for everyone.” Watch the ad here.

Even though Toyota never mentions one of its cars by name, you’ll inevitably want to buy a Toyota whether you’re in the market for a car or not because you like the way the company thinks and the way its ad makes you feel.

While law firms (and PR agencies) don’t have multi-million-dollar advertising and marketing budgets, the takeaway here is that you can still market with compassion and create a sense of positive karma around your brand. With that in mind, at this year’s LMA annual conference, we turned our marketing booth into an assembly line devoted to building water filters for the nonprofit group Wine To Water. It’s a cause we care deeply about, and in fact, Jaffe is providing  our marketing and PR services to Wine To Water pro bono to help raise awareness of and ultimately provide relief to the world’s water crisis.

Wine To Water

Water is humanity’s most vital need, yet more than 2 billion people around the world are forced to rely on contaminated drinking sources. A child under age 5 dies every two minutes from disease caused by lack of clean water. One in nine people lack access to clean water.

Wine To Water is committed to providing clean water solutions to those who need it most: individuals lacking clean water, whether displaced in a refugee camp, from a natural disaster, or living in a remote region or developing country. Wine To Water helps build or repair wells and trenches; constructs rainwater harvest tanks; educates communities about the filters; arranges volunteer service trips to the Amazon, Dominican Republic, East Africa, and Nepal; organizes hands-on filter builds and raises funds so solutions reach those in crises. The organization distributes water filters internationally and to domestic areas hit by natural disasters, including Houston and Puerto Rico, among other areas. Each water filter removes 99.99 percent of organic contaminants and provides a family of five with clean water for more than 10 years.
  
LMA attendees assembled 226 filters during the conference that will be shipped to communities and families in need around the globe. And that’s not all: We heard many stories of law firms that are interested in bringing a filter build back home as part of a community service effort. Delaware-based Young Conaway did just that and used the sentiment as the basis for their holiday card to clients and friends.

Thank You, LMA

We offer a big thank you to those who participated in this hands-on effort; talked with Courtney Mattar, the Wine To Water representative; and included a special personal message of hope to families in need. Because of you, 226 families in the world will no longer have to walk miles for clean water.

Wine To Water offers law firms the opportunity to engage in meaningful team building while demonstrating good corporate citizenship. We invite you to consider hosting a filter build at your firm this year! For more details, contact filterbuild@winetowater.org.

For more information about how to develop an effective PR or marketing campaign that puts good karma out into the world, please contact me, Kathy O’Brien, at kobrien@jaffepr.com.