11 Strategies to Power Sponsorship Media Success

The sponsorship deal is signed; the venue is finalized, the stars are committed to appear, and now you need to invest in a strategic communications plan to optimize sponsorship exposure in your hometown and key business markets. My experience shows that these ten+1 strategies can produce solid returns on that investment:

Strategy 1: Practice the golden rule

Adopt an engaging attitude and be collaborative in your media outreach. Have a “media friendly versus foe” mindset and be responsive, respectful and resourceful to help media develop compelling and relevant sponsorship stories.

Strategy 2: Find a friend

Identify an important reporter who will value your product/event (and charity beneficiary) enough to be the champion who will impartially communicate the news and value of your sponsorship.

Strategy 3: Offer proprietary access

Present news as “behind the scenes” or in exclusive “one-on-ones,” and reflect core news values: novelty, impact, needs, prominence, proximity, timeliness in your story ideas (see earlier Enterprise on values.)

Strategy 4: Provide first-class, innovative facilities

Assure that the event’s on-site facilities are fully equipped for media to have a virtual newsroom (internet access, phones, faxes, electrical, radio booths, news conference rooms, etc.) and a convenient, easily accessible location to the event action..

Strategy 5: Create a face for your event

Identify a reputable, engaging spokesperson who loves your sponsorship and will connect and build trust with the media. Use a company officer prominent enough to attract attention and respect and who will be readily accessible. (Sometimes the event director or charity officer is a strong complement.)

Strategy 6: Train all spokespeople

Train all spokespeople to communicate with print and broadcast media, and re-train for optimal effectiveness, if already trained. Help them appreciate that sports media have different styles and the sponsorship is the primary focus.

Strategy 7: Prepare a crisis communications plan

Anticipate any crisis (accident with stars and fans, severe weather issues, terrorism, etc) and develop a plan with policies, procedures, principles, prepared statements and primary spokesperson identified, trained and fully briefed and engaged in the crisis. (Buy event insurance).

Strategy 8: Develop and brand your messages

Focus on the WIIFY for the community, cause, spectators, volunteers, etc. with this coveted sponsorship. Create the most compelling, clear, cohesive and relevant messages that will breathe life into your sponsorship and create the template from which all spokespeople will speak.

Strategy 9: Create a dimensional rollout plan

Build a plan that tells all your compelling stories comprehensively in a regular, timely and consistent news stream. Review the 7Ps of your organization: people, promotions, processes, products, programs, purpose and principles; and research and brainstorm the newsworthy stories related to your sponsorship.

Strategy 10: Manage and allocate resources

Identify who runs this program, who is in charge, who knows all and manages the many facets of this important plan. If internal team, make this an organizational priority. If external team, make managing and developing the agency a priority. Don’t let this important plan idle; make it proactive by leading it.

Strategy 11: Establish success measurements

Growth in business is the goal as are growth in reputation and relationships. Start with baseline goal for media coverage, reputation enhancement, increased and improved relationships, and favorable impressions; and then systemically evaluate your success.

I know these strategies will help produce returns for your sponsorship investment. Good luck with your sponsorship media relations and let’s enterprise soon about your next strategic communications opportunities and challenges.