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October 30, 2008

How Is The Success of an Ad Campaign Measured in a Non-Profit?

October 30, 2008 | By | One Comment

Yesterday, Charmaine says, “We got hate mail.”

“Success!” I replied.

obama_aul_letter_ohio.pngYour Business(R) Blogger teaches marketing at the local college and advises clients on the effectiveness of advertising.

AUL’s Open Letter to Obama

The return on investment (ROI) in the for-profit businesses should be sales generated.

But not-for-profits have a different type of “product” peddled. The purpose of a non-profit is to improve the human condition.

So when a non-profit places a media buy, how does Your Business Blogger(R) suggest measuring success?

Hate Mail.

In for-profit, we measure love.

In non-profits, we measure hate.

Our country is evenly and bitterly divided into two competing world views. The animosity is so great and the two camps have opinions so different that we all might as well be on different planets.

We non-profit marketers are now interplanetary ambassadors. Captain Kirk never had it so hard.

So measure the “good” ad with “bad” feedback.

The Alert Reader might suggest that media hits could be an immediate proxy for any ad campaign effectiveness. But here in the non-profit world, the marketing manager should measure opposing, hateful articles, not the friendlies. Getting your friends to agree is helpful, to be sure. Getting the opposition reacting is better.

On Reasoned Audacity we limit, moderate and edit hate-comments, because most are not helpful and make for atrocious reading. Motto: Delectare et Docere.

To Please and To Instruct.

Hate-mail is not pleasing to read. A wise marketer measures this mail, crunches this data, but uses only for internals, not public consumption — which would look like whining. Complaining about all the stoopid people on that other planet.

As Jack Welch advises: Never be a victim.

And as politicians are wont to say, “Throw a rock into a pack of dogs: the one that yelps is the one that got hit.”

Measure the hits by the number of yelps.

Americans United for Life Action published an open letter in a full page in the Dayton Daily News, an Ohio newspaper . Back page, section A. Good size and location. Marketers would prefer more frequency than a one-time media buy. But a good ad “sells” in more than the buy in a particular geographic location.

Today, effective prints ads are picked up by alternative media and broadcast-cable outlets.

(Goodness, during the Huckabee campaign, Ed Rollins got media attention for an ad he didn’t even run.)

See Charmaine’s Open Letter to Senator Obama here and at the jump.

Read the ad and let us know if you think it “sells” — if it persuades.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Letter to Obama Asks for Answer on Parental Involvement Laws

Group Reminds Voters Barack Obama Wants All Pro-Life Laws Overturned.

The patron saint of marketing John Wanamaker once quipped that “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” Sometime a manager just gets lucky.


Americans United for Life Action Press Release.

From The Family Foundation.

Anglicans Ablaze.

Value Voters

Alliance Alert from ADF

Save the Little Humans.

Catholic Fire.


Dear Senator Obama,

A 14-year-old girl walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Cincinnati, accompanied by her

soccer coach, John Haller. He was 21 years old and had initiated sexual activity with the girl when

she was 13. Now that she was pregnant, Haller wanted her to have an abortion.

Rather than calling the parents as required under Ohio law, Planned Parenthood called the soccer

coach’s cell phone and failed to verify he was the parent.


Afterward, they provided the girl with a bag of condoms and a Depo-Provera shot.

Thirty-six states across the country require some form of parental notification or consent prior

to an abortion involving a minor child. And these laws are supported by 80% of the American

people. In addition to the obvious reason that parents need to be involved when their child

undergoes a medical procedure, these laws also protect young girls from sexual abuse. Research

shows high percentages of teen pregnancies are fathered by adult men and a relationship

between early teen sex and coercion.



Despite Planned Parenthood’s actions, the parents of the Cincinnati teenager found out about

her abortion and the sexual abuse perpetrated by her soccer coach. Eventually John Haller was

convicted of seven counts of sexual battery and served three years in prison.

Senator Obama, the mainstream media refuses to ask you these questions, so we will:

Why have you promised Planned Parenthood that the first piece of legislation you will sign

is the Freedom of Choice Act, a piece of abortion legislation which would eliminate ALL of

the common-sense parental involvement laws across the country?





Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Americans United for Life Action

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