Who are you targeting? Where do you find those people? How do you get your point across to them? These are some of the basic questions that we ask our clients at the outset of a communications campaign.
Often sponsorship is part of a communications programme which puts the right information in front of the right people at the right time.
Yet whether it’s a major sporting event, an industry awards ceremony, a piece of influential research or any other sort of opportunity that crosses our path, all too often we see both sponsors and organisers struggling to make the most of the opportunities.
As is so often the case, it’s about getting the simple things right. Here are Pelican’s top five tips for making the most of sponsorship opportunities.
- Make the most of what you’ve got. Whether you are looking to sponsor or be sponsored, think through what you can offer. Many of the most successful partnerships we have worked on have involved little or no money at all but instead have involved trading product or services. The result is a partnership of much more value to both partners.
- Think it through. Bashing out the detail or trying to change terms half way through a programme is much harder than at the start. So take the time with the right people at the start to think through what everyone is going to need; and what things might go wrong. You can then be prepared for the best and the worst.
- Go long-term. Constantly changing sponsors is in no-one’s interest. If, for example, you sponsor a different awards programme every year, then you get no opportunity to build on the benefits of previous years. And a programme which is constantly looking for and then promoting new sponsors looks badly organised and unprofessional: people ask why the sponsors never come back. There are plenty of examples of long-term partnerships where there are clear benefits for both: think the O2 Arena. When was the last time you heard it referred to as the Millennium Dome?
- Be flexible. Often opportunities come along with a nice clear, defined offer… which doesn’t fit with what sponsors want. With a little thought something which suits everyone can usually be found, but a lack of flexibility from those looking for sponsorship or a potential sponsor’s unwillingness to negotiate brings things to a halt. If both sides try to think through what the other wants, there can be a great deal to be done.
- Agree it! Get a solid agreement with clear metrics in place right at the start. Seem too obvious? We continue to be amazed by the number or sponsorship agreements that are made on a handshake – and then fail when expectations on either side are not met.
Pelican has worked on a wide variety of sponsorships on both sides of the fence over the years – from science education centres, award-winning sporting events and leading pieces of research. We help to make sure that everyone involved gets the very best out of an agreement. To see how we can help, get in touch through the website or call Sarah on 01457 820 807.
Pelican Communications are specialists in the environment, food and drink, outdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people development. Contact us for marketing and communications expertise.