New Rules for Purpose Driven Organisations

Jeremy Heimans, the CEO of – an “incubator” benefit company that supports major global progressive campaigns – has written an interesting article with five new rules for organisations to build their brands through being purpose driven.

The entire article is worth a read, and Heimans – who also founded Avaaz and Get Up – makes a good number of points for organisations wanting to be taken seriously on social change.

  1. Start with internal transformation.
  2. If you’re not there yet, avoid declaring victory.
  3. Champion a movement, not a campaign.
  4. The stakes must be high.
  5. Most important, ask your consumers to take action.

In my view, the final rule is the most powerful and significant – especially if you care about empowering people.

Heimans makes the point:

Successful social initiatives that create real social impact will need a combination of 20th century top-down persuasion-brands that tell the world their point of view through marketing and communications-with the tools of 21st century engagement: movements that provide the tools for advocacy, social involvement, distributed evangelism and self-organization.

Many progressive organisations, such as unions and climate action groups, focus on empowering members and supporters to make the change, rather than having staff of the organisation wave their magic wands and solve the problem. Tools like Twitter, MailChimp and CMSs like WordPress empower normal people to take online action – and increasingly make off-line, real-world action easier to organiseand coordinate.

For an additional, and excellent, resource on purpose-driven campaigning, check out this PDF by Make-Believe (the PR firm responsible for the Federal 2010 Greens campaign).

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