Monday, October 13, 2008

Cornell College and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last week I was poking around at my undergrad alma mater's website - Cornell College of Mount Vernon, Iowa. I stumbled upon the record of a visit by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1962, including the full text of his speech.

The speech is an incredible treatise on race relations circa 1962, and must have been powerful, indeed to hear in person. Even reading the text I find myself getting a little choked up.

By now perhaps you are wondering why I'm writing about this on a marketing blog. The reason is I have to sit in awe at the bold and heartfelt words of a man who was, in fact, a brilliant marketer. Having roots in ministry, of course, doesn't hurt! Martin Luther King, Jr. was selling a tough, tough product. He was moving people to question and discard an old way of thinking, to move forward and envision true equality. To love each other as human beings. To achieve a new level of communication, without violence, but stronger than steel. Best of all, MLK Jr. lets people know that there is work to be done - we have made progress, but there is still a long way to go.

This is marketing with a mission - a noble one, I think.

Some things to think about and apply:
1. Are you marketing with a mission?
2. Do you bring people together and treat them as equals?
3. Does your own passion come through in the marketing you do?

Read the speech - you'll be inspired.