Criteria for Ad Agencies when Evaluating Partnership Opportunities

The following are criteria for ad agencies to consider when evaluating partnerships related to charitable giving, events or sponsorship opportunities for clients:

1. Is the event/cause compatible with our objectives, values and mission statement?
2. Will this partnership help us effectively reach our target audiences?
3. How many people are expected to attend the event or be exposed to the sponsorship/donation?
4. Does the organization have a solid track record and good reputation?
5. Is the chemistry right?
6. Is the partnership compatible with our brand’s personality?
7. Does the partnership provide opportunities to develop new business?
8. Is there an opportunity for employee involvement?
9. Will management support the partnership?
10. Will certain segments of our customer base have objections to this partnership or be offended by it?
11. Are any of our competitors involved?
12. Is there a logical tie to our business?
13. How does this partnership compare with other available opportunities?
14. Are the organizers open to new and innovative approaches?

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

Ad Agencies Should Consider Incentives when Making Recommendations for Corporate Giving

Many companies want strategic giving and increased profits to be tangibly correlated. For example, a corporate may agree, over a specific time period, to give a percentage of its profit from product sold to a charity. The more products that are sold, the more money will go to the charity. This approach provides incentives for the charity to marshal its resources to support the company and to prosper as the company prospers.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

Energy Company Sets Good Example of Strategic Giving for Ad Agencies

In the old days, Carolina Power & Light contributed to charities based solely on merit. Gifts were not tracked, nor was there a focus on employee involvement.

Under new leadership, CP&L became more strategic in its giving by linking charitable goals to its business objectives, streamlining grants to three areas: education, the environment and economic development. This new focus led to a greater sense of impact by enabling larger investments in programs that will have a sustained effect and enhance employees’ volunteer opportunities.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

Ad Agencies Benefit from Sponsorships and Philanthropy with Direct Link

Whether it is strategic philanthropy or cause marketing, the most mutually beneficial relationships generally are those in which the organization has a direct link. Here are a few examples of causes that directly tie with industry and corporate objectives:

• A pharmaceutical company that contributes to medical-cause charities
• An architectural firm that renovates buildings at children’s homes
• A food company that supports food stamp funding programs
• A bookstore that sponsors a literacy program
• A music store that sponsors a concert
• A toy manufacturer that contributes to child abuse causes

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

Strategic Philanthropy Provides Focus for Ad Agencies

Traditionally, corporate philanthropy has had the aim of helping worthwhile causes while advancing a company’s name recognition, public image and competitive edge. Today, however, the trend toward “strategic philanthropy” – giving in a way that benefits the corporate bottom line – continues to grow as more companies are focusing on areas that resonate with their customers and dovetail with business objectives.

Increasingly, charitable gifts are being viewed as “investments” rather than donations. As a result, companies expect a return on such investments and there is more emphasis on long-term (3-5 years) giving partnerships.

Another tradition approach – pooling funds through an organization such as United Way – is declining because it lacks relationship-building opportunities and generally speaking is less effective in reaching long-term corporate objectives.

Ad agencies that help their clients be strategic in their giving also will help their clients’ bottom lines.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.