“Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks.” – Puff Daddy
In an shining example of putting your money where your mouth is, Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy, aka P Diddy or just Diddy, used his vast material influence to give back. In an effort to promote the Temple of Hip Hop’s 9th Element, Entrepreneurialism, Diddy showed his support at a recent Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship event held in New York. Diddy provided much needed financial resources to the organization which teaches inner-city youth business principles and encourages them to harness their economic survival skills. In contrast to the shareholder model of business which dictates the elevation of profit above all else, the social value model encourages shared value for stakeholders in the community.
In addition, the intangible capital created by such a public relations campaign by Combs enhances his brand on new levels. The key to valuable PR is letting the marketplace know of the company’s acts of goodwill. Combs is doing an excellent job in that respect with this most recent contribution. Although he has donated money in the past, a continued effort to fund social organizations helps to solidify his #1 position on Forbes list of Hip Hop Cash Kings. Public relations of this caliber has two effects. One effect is the social value created by the gift itself. This organization (NFTE), can go on to teach students, more than 500,000 of which have graduated from the program to date. The other effect is the goodwill generated toward Puffy’s brand. This consumer goodwill is not necessarily financial, but works to enhance certain intangible qualities of the brand. This type of PR is useful in combating bad publicity as well, but is more effective when it is used in a proactive way like Puffy is doing here. Jay-Z could learn a thing or two about branding from Diddy in this regard. Still, after the Harry Belafonte situation, an effort like this from Shawn Carter for the Jay-Z brand would be strictly reactive at this point.
1. Popwrapped blog, Diddy Gives Back…, http://popwrapped.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/diddy-gives-back-rapper-gives-youth-charity-250k/
2. Gillespie/Hennessey, Global Marketing 3rd edition, Cengage Learning 2011