First was the town of Hell, Michigan which threw a party to celebrate the "mark of the beast."
'I've got `666' T-shirts and mugs. I'm only ordering 666 (of the items) so once they're gone, that's it,' said Colone, also known as Odum Plenty. 'Everyone who comes will get a letter of authenticity saying you've celebrated June 6, 2006, in Hell.'
Most of Colone's wares will sell for $6.66, including deeds to one square inch of Hell.
Of course, Hollywood fed the flame with the release of The Omen. Hype for the movie included a clever billboard campaign with "You Have Been Warned" and "The Signs Are All Around You" and "6/6/06." By all accounts, the promotion for the movie was a hell of a lot better than the movie itself.
Cheesy? Yeah. But I'm sure both Hell, Michigan and The Omen made gobs of money on Tuesday because they were smart enough to align their devilish assets with an ominous date that was sure to attract lots of media attention. The fact that the media ran so many stories on the town of Hell wasn't surprising. What was was that this tiny town of 72 year-round residents was ready for it, and had taken steps to profit from this once in a lifetime opportunity.
I'm not suggesting that cause marketers sell their souls to the devil (like I have) so they can succeed (although it's worked for me). But like the town of Hell and The Omen we need to be aware of the unique, competitive assets we can leverage in the marketplace to raise
hell money for our respective organizations.
Here at BMC we've identified and capitalized on several key assets. First, we have a large workforce of 5,000+ that are powerful ambassadors for the hospital and provide a base of support for our fundraisers. Second, the hospital is in a revitalized area of Boston that is home to swanky restaurants, expensive shops and affluent residents. We developed The BMC South End Shop Walk just this year to tap this new, valuable asset. Finally, we are a billion dollar organization that's celebrating its tenth anniversary. We're not living on a shoe-string or borrowed time like some organizations. We have the resources and personnel to carve out a significant presence in the local nonprofit community.
What does your organization have going for it? Is it well known in the community? Does it serve a unique population? Does it have a killer board? Is it part of a large, national organization? Does it count among its friends celebrities or sports stars? Every organization has assets. Some are more fortunate than others, but we all have something that is unique, valuable and marketable. And it's usually staring you right in the face!
It's easy to feel that you've been forsaken and maybe a pact with the devil is your only hope. Think again. As the billboard says, "The Signs Are All Around You."