Category Archives: Sponsors

6 Minutes to Finding Your PR Moments

I had a phone call the other day from a friend who has a great public relations (PR) opportunity in the form of an event that is taking place at her business on

Uncle Jerry celebrates Pi Day.

Uncle Jerry celebrates Pi Day.

March 14 (3/14) or “Pi Day.” She was looking for some feedback on what kinds of PR might be appropriate. Since my friend has more than 20 years in the marketing industry, she’s no slouch when it comes to recognizing PR moments.

But what about everyday business people who are so busy running their businesses that they barely have time to take out the trash, let alone think about PR?

PR moments surround us, but it often hard to see them without a little guidance. These questions will help you generate a list of possible PR moments so that you can garner more awareness for you and your business. Grab a sheet of paper and use the next six minutes to put together your PR road-map.

1. What National Days might naturally fit with your business?

For example, if you run a bakery you’ll want to mark National Cupcake Day (Dec. 15) as well as National Dessert Day (Oct. 14) on your calendar. And that’s just the start, there’s also days set aside for Oreos, Banana Cream Pie and Pi Day. Google “National Days” and see what opportunities exist for your business.

2.  Does your City/Town/Village have annual celebrations?

Make sure you put each and every local festival and parade on your PR calendar. There are always opportunities to raise your business profile by marching in a parade, sponsoring a contest or hosting a booth. If you happen to do it with a zany theme or to benefit a children’s charity, media will be delighted to hear about it.

 3. Has your business been nominated for or won any awards?

Don’t wait until you win! Even being nominated for an award is an honor and a press release to let the public know about it is perfectly legitimate. If the organization giving out the awards hasn’t created a release, you can build a little good will with others and mention all the award nominees in your press release. If you’ve won a coveted award, make sure the awarding organization has a professional photo of you or your business to send with their press release.

 4. Do you or your employees have any unusual hobbies or collections?

The media loves juxtapositions, so if you are a beautician by day and a roller babe by night, that’s the kind of “opposites” that make for an outstanding story. Bonus points if there are great visual elements to the story.

 5. Is there a trend that you’ve been seeing in your business?

One local business in our area has had eight couples become engaged at their facility in the past three years. Because the business owners generally know about the proposals in advance, it opens up some fun opportunities for that company to leverage the tenth engagement or an engagement that has unusual elements (like a singing mascot). Media is always on the lookout for emerging trends (why more people are doing public engagements) with great visual elements (a newly engaged couple with a singing mascot).

 6. Is there an organization or charity that your business avidly supports?

If you have a charity of choice, especially if you have a personal story that makes that bond tight, consider raising awareness and funds for that organization by hosting a special event or activity at your business. This is truly a win-win-win, with the media getting a great positive story while the charity and your business raise awareness.

 Take this list of PR moments that you’ve just generated and plan your PR for the year. I guarantee that taking advantage of all these precious PR moments will pay off big for both you and your company.

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Sponsor the Pajama Party at the Library~An Affair to Read!

Want to sponsor a one-of-a-kind event that brings together 100 classy Dames who support the community and are family decision-makers?  Than this is the event for you!

Sponsorships are available for a variety of businesses and at several different price points.  Contact Jane Weisenbach at 317-881-1953 for all the details.

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Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Sponsorship Buck

I couldn’t believe it!  I was at another top-of-the-line event today (put on by the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce) and once again a huge number of sponsors failed to take advantage of the amazing opportunity that was provided to them.  I really don’t get it!

If you are going to support an event with money or products, doesn’t it just make sense to be there physically?  Several sponsors today didn’t think so. They just sent a few brochures or their product and called it good.  What a waste!

Maybe they have so much business that they don’t need more or maybe they had other more important things to do. Whatever the reason–thanks for your donation which supported a great cause, but I probably won’t go out of my way to find you or use your services.  I’m sure you are nice people and your products were lovely, but I tend to spend my money with people and businesses that I know, like and trust.  You, by not being there, robbed me of that chance to decide if I want get to know, like and trust you.

So, at the risk of being too obvious, here are a few key ways to make sure your sponsorship pays:

1) Show up for the event.

2) Have a professional presentation for your products or services.

3) Find a way to tie your display to the event with a game or an interactive experience.

4) Make sure that you talk to as many people as possible.  Not just about your business, but also about theirs.

5) Give everyone you meet a “take-away” item or gift.

6) Follow up after the event.

Bonus Tip: If the attendee mailing list isn’t part of the sponsorship package, ask for it!  Most event planners are willing to play “let’s make a deal”  right now because good sponsors are at a premium.

My frustration level is so high around all these phenomenal “missed” opportunities that I am going to offer a Sponsor Boot Camp.  The first organization that can get 15 businesses lined up for a 2-hour sponsorship workshop can have my services for free.

If you are planning an event and you KNOW that some of your sponsors need help, this is an amazing opportunity for you to help your sponsors figure out their ROSI (Return On Sponsorship Investment).  After all, happy sponsors return to events that make them money!  And that’s a win-win for all of us!

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WAMM Fest 2009-Having Fun & Helping the Community

The first ever WAMM Fest was held over the weekend at Craig Park in Greenwood, Indiana. The event was put together by the Greenwood Sertoma Club and proceeds will go to fund children’s programs at the Greenwood Fire, Police and Parks & Rec Departments as well as several other causes that Sertoma supports such as scholarships.  Local band  “Tastes Like Chicken”  (and many others) rocked the crowd and fabulous art vendors plied their wares (as evidenced by the more than $200 I spent on art alone).  And there were more local brews and wines then one person could ever reasonably hope to sample in a day.

Stay tuned for details about next year. You don’t want to miss the fun!

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Sponsors: Don’t Miss Your Opportunity

I was at a luncheon today where a sponsor was given a few minutes to get up and talk about their product.  They took their three minutes in front of a mostly-members crowd, reminded them that purchasing the product benefited their organization and then sat down.  Not being a member of the group,  I was a bit in the dark about what they did, so I asked the member on my left about the sponsor’s product.  I had to laugh when she said, “All I know is that he’s from Connecticut and they are having a seminar on the product tomorrow.”  Truthfully, she ended up with more info than anyone else at the table.

What a waste!  This sponsor committed the sin of believing everyone already knew about his product, and so he didn’t go into any level of detail–he didn’t even have information on the tables for our reference.  Of course, we’ve also been at events where the sponsors drone on in excruciating detail about every single feature or their product, which doesn’t help the cause either.

What to do?  Well, first off it’s not enough to know your audience (and we could argue today’s sponsor didn’t).  You actually have to know your audience’s pain and then speak to it.  If he had said, “How many of you have ever had trouble getting a reporter to return your phone call or email?” Most of the room would have perked up.  There isn’t a PR person in the world who hasn’t had that problem.  And most of us HATE making more than one call to a lukewarm reporter.

Since I was trying to be fair and balanced in this blog, I took the extra time to do a little research on this product.  The sad thing is, even with the company flyer that I went out of my way to pick up and a visit to their website, I’m STILL not sure exactly what their product does because I couldn’t find any mention of it on their website.  For crying out loud!  If you are going to market a product to PR people, do you think you should employ some basic PR or marketing principles???

So for the next hapless sponsor of this luncheon, I give you the following advice FREE:

1) Speak to our PR pain.

2) Give us collateral materials (i.e. printed brochures, flyers or even business cards) to reference while you are talking.

3) Make it easy for us to find out more about your product.

4) Grab our attention with well thought-out give away items.

5) Make your seminar irresistible and invaluable (especially if it is tomorrow).

In this economy, if you are going to pay perfectly good money to be a sponsor, you need to wring every last drop out of each opportunity.  Otherwise, it would be cheaper and easier to save the plane fare or gas money and just hand it over to next homeless person you meet. Which, if you can’t get that product sold, may be you!

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