THE POWER OF PR with Danae Jones
There is no question in business that we get asked to contribute to so many organisations and sponsor so many causes. And it’s sometimes easier to just say no so people stop bothering you and asking you to put your hand in your pocket.
But I’d like you to think about it differently for a moment. Have you ever sat down and really thought about what organisations, charities, not for profits or causes align with you and your business? The cause doesn’t need to be associated with your industry, but the organisation might embody a whole heap of goodness that is important in life and to you and your team emotionally.
I encourage you to sit down with your team and take the time to brainstorm this. Then choose one or a handful of entities you wish to support.
Now I don’t want you to think that you need to contribute significantly to all of these organisations, it might be something considered quite small for you, but could be received as something very big for that organisation.
If you don’t have surplus cash to donate, consider in-kind support. This could be demonstrated in a variety of ways – here are just a few ideas:
A member of your team sitting on their Board or Committee and offering your skill sets to that organisation on a pro bono basis
Offering to initiate a third-party fundraising event to help raise funds for the organisation. It could be something as simple as you decide to chip in $1,000 and you ask your team to come up with a fun way to match the donation. It might be a morning tea or a dress a certain colour day to work in return for gold coin donations from your staff. This might be a regular activity that you run over a period of 3 months to build up the fundraising bucket for the organisation before you do the official hand over.
It could even be something as simple as purchasing tables at one of the charity events throughout the year and encouraging all your big spending clients to come along and also help raise money for the cause.
My point is, sponsorship does not have to be for big business, everyone in business can get involved in some way shape or form and attract a mutual benefit from it.
Sponsorship Marketing has been defined as:
“A corporate sponsorship is a form of marketing in which a corporation pays for all or some of the costs associated with a project or program in exchange for recognition.” Source: Investopedia
Sponsorship is a Marketing and PR tool just like any other form that you can use in your business to help you achieve your desired goals.
Before entering into a sponsorship agreement you need to first be clear about your reasons for doing it, how much you want to spend on it, and what you want to achieve from it. Do you want to do it as part of your marketing mix, or do you just want to do it because it makes you ‘feel good’ (i.e. contributing to your child’s school or sporting team) with no expectation of anything in return.
Once you are clear on what you do or don’t want to get out of it, then you can start to work up your sponsorship plan. Let’s assume you do want to achieve recognition from the sponsorship – then you need to develop a sponsorship strategy so you achieve best BANG for BUCK.
Just some benefits of Corporate Sponsorship include:
Improving your public image or perception in the marketplace as a ‘good corporate citizen’
Increase your degree of influence
Increase your brand awareness
Increase employee satisfaction
Assist with market research
Target a niche group
The key to the most successful Corporate Sponsorships is ‘mutually beneficial’ agreements.
Danae Jones is Principal of PR & Marketing firm Danae Jones Consulting