Please … Think Before You Pink!

It’s nearly October and soon we’ll be seeing pumpkins, falling leaves, and pink ribbons everywhere. October used to be dedicated to fall and Halloween but has now become the season in which every company tries to “out pink” each other in an effort to capitalize on Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Yes, awareness months are important. No, not every company should plaster pink ribbons on all their marketing pieces. Or have them dangling as necklaces on their company logo.

Please, take the time to Think Before You Pink. There is a website dedicated to this because the practice has become so blatant. It is a project of Breast Cancer Action and was “launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market.”

If your company is considering partnering with any charitable organization to build awareness about an important health or community issue, consider the following:

  • Is the organization a legitimate, charitable, 501(c) (3)? If your company is donating money or you’re asking others to donate, make sure the charity is real.
  • Do you have a logical connection between your organization and the charity? For example, if your company builds homes, it makes sense for you to partner with a charity that builds homeless shelters.
  • Is this partnership authentic? Examine your reasons for selecting the charity. Go with what feels right and what fits your brand image. If it feels like a stretch, it will look that way to your audiences.

Good, solid community relations programs are an important way to reinforce your brand, keep employees engaged, give back to society, and really help others. If you need help identifying an authentic cause, find a public relations professional who understands your organization and local community to give you advice. And, think before you pink … or gold … or green!