We do a great deal of work with properties, brands, and individuals on building and maintaining a positive reputation. Your reputation is so important. I don’t care if we are talking about your personal reputation, the reputation of the organization you work for, or your personal reputation in association with your employer—they all matter and are intertwined.
Recently, due to COVID19, we were working with a property client which had, unfortunately, developed a not-so-great reputation during the first 12 weeks of the pandemic. They failed to communicate with their partners and sponsors. When they did, their messaging was all about them and how they needed to keep the sponsorship dollars because they were short of cash flow. Even though they had cancelled and postponed events (and they cancelled even postponed events), they wanted to keep the money. They did not reach out to partners and sponsors about their needs or support their efforts to support the community. By early June, it was evident that they were in trouble with most of their partners. They engaged us to assist. The first step was to initiate communications and determine trends and issues. Partnerships are mutual goal objectives. This client clearly did not understand that. To maintain a good reputation during a time of upheaval like COVID19 or in even the best of times, you must communicate with your partners. You need to interact and engage on a regular basis. There is always a reason to do so. You can find one.
If I were to tell you that we reach out to almost every client we have, or have ever had, 52 times a year, you might be aghast. You would say, “What the heck do you have to talk about with them every week, especially past clients?” You might think that is too often. You are reading what we do 52 times a year. Through the TMC, we provide meaningful and useful professional development to our clients, past clients, future clients, and others every week. You would be surprised how many emails I get each week from clients and others wanting to engage further. I am not suggesting you start a weekly blog, but understand that you can reach out more often than you do, and make it authentic and useful. During the height of isolation, we reached out to every prospect that was not presently a client, but with whom we had been engaged or had put a proposal in front of over the previous nine months. The message was truly asking how they were doing. It had nothing to do with our business relationship or proposal. It was just to see how they were managing and getting through all this. These people are more to us than potential clients. They are humans with families that are being affected by COVID19.
If you are connected with me on LinkedIn and have your birthday in the public domain, you will get a birthday greeting from me. Each year, close to 4,000 of my connections get a personalized hand-typed birthday message from me. And when it goes out late or I am a day behind on getting to it for some reason, I receive messages through LinkedIn like this: “Hey, where was my birthday message for today? I love getting them from you because they are so meaningful and creative.” I have a reputation and people have an expectation of me. I need to live up to that.
So, whether it is about your personal reputation or that of your organization, build it and maintain it. The key is “just do it.” Don’t talk about doing something and never getting to it. That is not the reputation you want. If you say you are going to do something, deliver on it. As Henry Ford said, “You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Whether you are looking for more content such as this or specific to the Post COVID-19 sponsorship world, the best place for insights, discussion, and learning is at the WSC® Alberta Forum in Edmonton on September 29-30 or the WSC® Ontario Toronto Forum (October 6-7) or WSC® Ontario Ottawa Forum (October 20-21, 2020). Seating for all three events is limited, so register today to ensure you get all the support you need to make your sponsorship program bounce back with success. Refund guarantees are in place, so there is no risk if you cannot attend. Register today for best pricing!
Please continue to practice social distancing when you can, stay home when you can, stay in touch with others, and stay healthy. We want to see you at WSC® 2020!
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