More and more brands are investing in cause marketing efforts—so much so that the social good category was the most entered one at the 2016 Shorty Awards, which recognize great content produced for social media. Because of that, the Shorty Awards is introducing a new competition, the Shorty Social Good Awards, to shine a spotlight on organizations involved in social causes.
"Our aim is for these awards to inspire more organizations to do good for the world and help those that already are to get more attention and resources," said Greg Galant, executive producer and co-founder of the Shorty Awards and CEO of Muck Rack.
The Shorty Social Good Awards will be held this winter and have categories for sports, livestreaming, technology, education, emergency relief, hashtag, influencer and celebrity, fashion, beauty, and luxury. The Shorty Awards is now accepting submissions on its website. The first entry deadline is July 14.
The social good category still will be included in next year's Shorty Awards, but the new competition will let the organization take a closer look at what brands are doing on the cause marketing front. Judges are looking for innovative campaigns with metrics and results, according to Galant.
"The essential quality for a social good campaign is that it's making meaningful positive change rather than just putting a good spin on things," he said. Philanthropic campaigns are on the rise because people now expect brands to be more transparent and take a stand on social issues, he added.
"Consumers want to know if the clothing they buy is ethically made rather than just what it's made of," Galant said. "When people use a service, they want to know its environmental impact. People want the companies they buy from or work for to speak up for important causes, as we've seen recently with companies taking a stand on LGBT rights. Brands have seen that doing good isn't just a nice side project—it's essential to their bottom line."