Event: Reputation & Managing Corporate Partnerships in Charity Communications.
This was an evening discussion I attended last week. I was already tired and longing for my bed, or at least my sofa, however as is usually the case when you make the effort to go somewhere, it was well worth it. Organised by Women in PR and hosted by FleishmanHillard Fishburn (FHF) at their (impressive) office, it was a really interesting debate.
Ali Gee from FHF, giving the important and challenging corporate perspective.
David Hamilton from The Scouts talked about their relationship with Tesco and other sponsorship ‘deals’ they have for things like camping equipment etc.
The delightful Louise Ansar from Type 2 Diabetes UK talked about their phenomenal partnership with Tesco.
Macmillan’s Michelle Sykes talked about their impressive relationship with Boots which has grown organically and now offers support to their vast customer base on medication as well as beauty related advice, for those affected with cancer. Macmillan also works with Nationwide Building Society to support a large number of their patients who experience financial difficulties, due to their illness.
Amanda Azeez from the NSPCC discussed their new relationship with O2 and its support in their campaign to keep kids safe online.
Treat it like you would a new relationship. It will be very exciting in the beginning, then they move in! This is when you have to keep making the effort to keep it exciting, going to lunch, taking them out for drinks and inviting them to special occasions. You even have the same option of going to your parents (board members) for advice if things become challenging.
The panel discussed the importance of choosing a partner who’s goals and values align with yours. Type 2 Diabetes UK for example have a symbiotic relationship with Tesco where both benefit. Not just because Tesco raised £18.6M (yes, that’s right, £18.6M!), but also because Type 2 Diabetes is linked to lifestyle and if we eat more healthily we reduce the risk of having this disease, so Tesco is well placed to communicate this message to its customers as well as its 330,000 employees. I was fascinated to hear that it’s quite difficult to spend £18.6M, and a team had to be hired to assist!
An interesting question was raised – Is there any such thing as a “charity” anymore? Dan Hodges article in the Telegraph explores this further, using Kids Company as the unfortunate example, read here if you’re interested.
The discussion went on and we could easily have been there for hours more. It was a great event with some practical advice from the panel, for charities of all sizes. Thank you to Women in PR, FleishmanHilliard Fishburn and the panel.
Written by Angela Thomas
Angela heads the Corporate Communications and Agency Practice and her experienced team covers the full cycle of life in the agency world. More stories from Angela.