By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator Of PrPro And Owner Of Energy PR

The appropriate sponsorship can inject rocket fuel into a PR campaign. It can provide a fresh reason for you to talk to and/or entertain your customers and talk to the media. And contrary to the astronomical sports sponsorship deals that grab the headlines in the national media, a sponsorship package needn’t cost a fortune.

The real trick is to choose one that is right for your business and your budget and then maintain some control over the process so that every opportunity for you to benefit from the connection is explored.

So how do you spot the right opportunity?

- Think about your company, its values, personality, offering and audience – do these fit with the opportunity?

- Research what’s out there – in your business community, industry sector, local area. Don’t just say yes to the first one that approaches you.

- Does the cause excite you? It’s better if it does.

- Be careful of political causes – you may alienate people, and rarely do business and politics mix well.

- Be careful if the cause is controversial – again think about your audience, what will they think?

- Check out the parties thoroughly. Make sure any potential recipient is bona fide and respectable; you don’t want a ‘business conned’ story emerging on the back of your generosity!

- Do more with one cause rather than supporting lots of causes a little bit.

- Try to find something your staff can get involved in – even throw it open to their suggestions – or have them form a committee where the cause is chosen.

- Set yourself a budget for sponsorship and review it each year.

- Be completely clear about what you are offering, how long for, what you expect and what the cause will get in return, how your logo will be used, presence on website, use in promotional materials etc.

- Measure afterwards. Did it deliver what you wanted? Assess what you would do differently.

If you follow these simple steps you will turn sponsorship, which can be a potential minefield, into a PR masterstroke!

Follow Louise on twitter @louisefw

Louise has two businesses to help you get your PR motoring: For more training and tools so you can do your own PR visit www.prpro.co.uk If you are looking for a PR agency visit www.EnergyPR.co.uk

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