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Business Heroes Among Us

Have you ever seen People Magazine's 'Heroes Among Us' series? What if People Magazine or another media outlet started sharing stories of Business Heroes Among Us?

Photo of Ashley Jablow
10 18

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I used to subscribe to People Magazine (a guilty pleasure!) and always enjoyed the Heroes Among Us series, where they highlight an individual, a community or an organization who helps others. 

When I started thinking about creative partnerships that businesses could take up, and ways to surface and spread stories of businesses innovating for world benefit, it occurred to me that an outlet like People Magazine might make sense. 

As you can see below, I have some ideas about how these stories could be used and spread. But here's where I could use some help from the community:
- how could we ensure that these stories felt genuine to readers, and didn't come off like a paid promotion by the company?
- how might we engage readers in joining the business in its world benefit efforts?
- what might a magazine like People 'get out of' this partnership, beyond having a new story to tell to its subscribers?

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

Here's how it works: Rather than focusing only on individuals or nonprofit organizations, People Magazine could feature (say, once a month - or 1 out of 4 issues) a Business Hero Among Us. This would share the story of a for-profit business – could be local, national or global - that is dedicating some or all of its innovation budget on creating new products or services that benefit the world. The article, rather than just being a promotion for the product, could highlight the human and world benefit elements of the journey that the company went through to get this innovation to market: what team initially proposed the idea? How did they spread awareness and a sense of urgency for this innovation internally? What steps did they need to take in order to test, refine and ultimately launch this innovation? And how are they now measuring the impact they're having? For example, imagine a company like Nike and say that they had just developed a new shoe made out of scrap rubber leftover from some other production process (totally hypothetical, but seems like an innovation for world benefit to me!). The article could highlight the process they took to get internal buy in to create, test and launch the product. It could also talk about where they sourced this scrap rubber, and how much rubber they're taking out of landfill each day/month/year.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

If you're like me, you've seen issues of People Magazine in practically every nail salon, doctor's office, or waiting room. So first, I know there would be opportunity for people to read about and be inspired by these stories. How could we take this stories and make them even easier to share? Maybe leveraging the People mobile app?


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Great idea, I think visibility is key

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