The Public Relations Research

Education is a 501(C) 3 nonprofit corporation that exists to serve the shared interests of public agencies, businesses, teachers, community organization, and individuals disturbing or using environmental education (EE) materials and programs. It is a neutral and objective source of information related to EE in Colorado and a voice for EE’s important role in the balance between societal needs and environmental quality.

As a statewide member organization, CAEE has over 850 members from across Colorado including teachers, students, information educators, public agency employers, and retirees. CAEE is a national leader in innovative, state-of-the-art approaches to statewide capacity building for EE resources. More than 500 organizations, engaging thousands of staff and volunteers, are providing EE programs and services. The organization faces two problems: 1) image awareness and 2) funding.

The organization faces a lack of image awareness for the following reasons: 1) with the large number of diverse organizations and flexible staff and volunteer participants it is difficult to create a unified brand image; and 2) with a staff of from 2 to 4 members as the only consistent representatives for CAEE, their image tends to define CAEE. Therefore, the organization needs to create and communicate a consistent message for CAEE to enhance its image and increase members and partners with their one of their primary target audiences-K-12 educators.

The CAEE has the following image/brand elements, but it needs a wider public and media exposure to generate image awareness. Current Brand Images: • CAEE Logo, which is used on all advertisements and promotions • CAEE is prominently displayed on its website and all e-mail addresses • CAEE has a Facebook page CAEE’s positioning is weak, since many EE providers that are members of CAEE are often very involved, however, there is a major EE provider sector that is unaware of the benefits of CAEE’s services.

In addition to the EE community, CAEE has not been effective in reaching those outside the EE community such as funders and legislators. The CAEE’s second problem is funding, since it continually struggles with a precarious financial situation. The major source of CAEE’s funding comes primarily from grants and corporate sponsorships. Therefore with a down turn in the economy CAEE’s funding.

There are two cases that relate to the CAEE’s problems of image awareness and consistent corporate funding. They are both Cause Branding cases from Cone, Inc. I selected these case studies from Cone, Inc. , because it is a pioneer and leader in Cause Branding. They utilized extensive research, analysis, and strategy development. In 2010, Cone, Inc. conducted a Cause Evolution Study. In the study, they found that despite the downtown in the economy over the previous two years, nearly 64% of American companies responded well to the social and environmental issues that emerged during the recession.

The following is an overview of their research findings: 83% of Americans wish more products, services, and retailers they use would support causes. 88% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about. 90% of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes. With respect to Cause Branding in specific industries, the study found that consumers are looking beyond the usual candidates, the ones the find on stores shelves to those with recognized environmental footprints such as the following industries.