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Fischer, Joan (ed.) / Wisconsin people & ideas
Volume 52, Number 2 (Spring 2006)

Fischer, Joan
Your true cause,   pp. 20-22


Page 20

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BY JOAN FISCHER 
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Business leaders and all staff 
members who care about their work: 
Why do you get up in the morning? 
It's a deceptively simple question, 
and the first one Jim Armstrong poses 
in his new book, Beyond the Mission 
Statement: The Guide to Creating Truly 
Effective, Cause-Based Communications 
(Paramount Market Publishing). 
Armstrong is the founder and creative 
director of Good for Business, a commu- 
nications firm based in Madison that 
since its establishment in 2001 has 
promoted everything from Clif Bar, 
British Telecom, and AIDS Awareness to 
the Waukesha Economic Development 
Council, Kimberly-Clark, and T. Wall 
Properties. An advertising professional 
with 25 years' experience and more 
than 500 awards behind him, Armstrong 
believes that every business has a 
cause-a reason for existing that tran- 
scends making a profit or increasing 
shareholder wealth. His mantra is "A 
business isn't a brand to be built, but a 
cause to be believed in." 
"Not every business is ready to 
operate from a place of noble cause. But 
I think the number of businesses that 
are is growing," says Armstrong. "Their 
cause can be institutional-they want to 
make a culture of work where 
employees are truly honored, revered, 
and cherished; external-they have an 
incredible product or service that will 
truly make the world a better place; or 
community-based-they want to leave a 
positive imprint and legacy on the 
community they call home. Their cause 
can also be a combination of all of 
these. And often it is." 
Full disclosure: Armstrong and his 
team are responsible for the changes in 
the Wisconsin Academy's own look and 
message over the past three years, 
including our new logo and, as of this 
issue, our new magazine name. During 
the course of this work, Armstrong 
became a member of the Wisconsin 
Academy board of directors. 
We   can  say  firsthand   how 
Armstrong's method of "unearthing 
cause and creating communications," as 
he puts it, really does have the 
profound effect of an unearthing. Our 
organization's value and purpose, which 
felt difficult to formulate, became much 
clearer to everyone-to our leadership, 
our staff members, and to the audiences 
we serve. 
We're not the only grateful ones. 
"Connecting with Good for Business 
has been one of the best things that's 
ever happened to us," says Anne Katz, 
executive director of Arts Wisconsin, 
which before working with Armstrong's 
group was called the Wisconsin 
Assembly for Local Arts. 
"They have been amazingly generous 
with their time, energy, and creativity," 
says Katz. "Good for Business was an 
integral part of our strategic planning 
process in 2004, helping us crystallize 
our vision, mission, and purpose and 
leading us to our new beginning as Arts 
Wisconsin." 
Good for Business is now working 
with Arts Wisconsin on promoting 
Wisconsin as a destination for cultural 
tourism. 
Those who cannot directly experi- 
ence the Armstrong touch can now turn 
to his book, which will be published in 
April. At its heart is the "mission in a 
message," a process to create a cause- 
based communication plan based on 
answering 10 essential questions. 
Seriously addressing those questions, 
a discussion that ideally involves all 
20  SPRING  2006  W  ISCON SIN  PEOPLE  &  IDEA 
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