When working in tandem with another organization on a campaign, it’s imperative that both sides of the partnership be in sync with messaging, says Jerry Davies, media relations director for Farmers Insurance Group, which has paired up with March of Dimes to work on its Be a Hero for Babies Day three years running. The following are some other tips that companies should heed to fully ensure synergy and cohesion in a cause-marketing partnership:
• Conduct face-to-face meetings. “It’s easy to get into these teleconferences and get their names,” Davies says, “but the names fade [from memory] when you don’t see them in action or hear from them personally.” Once you can easily attach a name to a person, then “it’s coordination after that. It doesn’t require meeting physically every week.”
• Run press releases and other items by your partner before releasing them to the public. Make sure you do this to ensure that “you’re on the same page in terms of the dollar amounts and statistics listed in the press release,” Davies says. Good communications play a vital role here as well as in mastering logistics of a campaign as broad as the Be a Hero for Babies Day event.
Beyond the external collaboration, the army of Farmers Insurance employees that mobilized around the event was critical to the success of Be a Hero for Babies Day. Using this campaign as a template, Doris Dunn, director of corporate communications for Farmers Insurance Group, offers this best practice for gaining employee buy-in:
• Get people to see what’s in it for them. “One of the reasons we do [the Be a Hero for Babies Day]—and we encourage the agents to do it—is because it’s good publicity for them,” says Dunn. “We want them to be community citizens. [With this event], we let the agents know that they’re doing good for babies—March of Dimes is a great organization. At the same time, they can help their own businesses by getting their names out.”