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To Sponsor or Not to Sponsor: That is the Question for Your Utility

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Managing Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner Freelancer

I hold 32 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too. The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various...

  • Member since 2016
  • 941 items added with 430,716 views
  • May 14, 2018 7:26 pm GMT

This item is part of the Special Issue - 2018-05 - Customer Care, click here for more

Businesses often wrestle with whether to commit to sponsorships because there’s often no clear-cut gain to them.

As a utility, it’s not as if you’re going to attract people who have never heard of electricity; in other words, you aren’t going to be making money from a sponsorship.

In fact, sponsorships are going to cost you money, not to mention time spent by employees crafting sponsorship arrangements, handling details and attending events to get out the utility name.

So, why even bother?

It’s all part of image. Sometimes you have to spend money on things that don’t make money to be a well-rounded organization – and also to engender goodwill.

Becoming a sponsor of a highly regarded entity in the local community is worthwhile to build a strong image. Whether it’s the winning pro sports team, the beloved zoo, the art museum or the popular Fourth of July festival, you’ll gain points through association.

Make sure to vary your sponsorships. Don’t put all your time and effort into a sponsorship with one organization.

Sure, you can pick a couple organizations where you’re a prime sponsor, but spread yourself out. Be a secondary sponsor for several smaller organizations or events. And, depending upon your size (and your community’s size), pick out some tertiary targets, too – things such as a Little League, the local Boy or Girl Scout council, community theater and so on.

Whatever you choose to sponsor, be sure to vet it carefully. You don’t want to be stuck sponsoring a group or organization receiving negative publicity.

Granted, some things can’t be predicted, but you can increase your odds by sponsoring groups and organizations that have a long and positive track record.

In addition, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth from your sponsorship. Your contract should include specific details about what you’re getting for your contribution.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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