A strategic partnership is social change gold in our world. Partnerships unite leaders working to advance issues. They allow for an exchange of resources that amplify both partners’ work. And they generate new ideas for making effective and lasting change.
Partners cans also work together to combine communications superpowers to make a big splash for a campaign or initiative.
Here are four ways you’ll see success engaging partners in your communications efforts:
Recognize It’s a Two-Way Street
Communicators jump for joy when partners can provide us with resources and audiences to accelerate impact and amplify reach. But remember that partnerships are a two-way street. To build a successful relationship, it’s crucial to underline how your organization offers value to your partner.
What resources can offer your partner? Can you promote their message to your large email list, make an introduction to a field leader, or share their content with your social media networks? These offers can go a long way to nurture a strong partnership.
Consider Creative Ways to Reach New Audiences
Partners can also help your organization reach audiences to which you do not have a direct line. Consider creative ways that you can collaborate with your partner to reach new audiences.
Salud Today does a great job at leveraging the Twitter networks of new partners in weekly TweetChats aimed at improving Latino health. Next week, Salud Today will host a chat focused on solving Latino malnutrition and hunger. To offer new perspectives and amplify the reach of the conversation, the organization will smartly engage relevant partners, like Food Recovery, Campus Kitchens and a food waste journalist.
— SaludToday (@SaludToday) September 20, 2016
Make it Easy for Partners to Promote Your Work
Just like you, your partners are probably working on a million different things! If you’re running a campaign and want your partners to share it with their networks, make it effortless for them to do so. Offer canned tweets and a Facebook post so they can simply copy and paste. Or, share a draft email that your partner can forward to its email list. Doing this legwork will make it easy for them to say YES. They’ll also be grateful for the extra time you save them.
Engage Partners in Media Outreach
Partners can also serve as interview sources on a topic to which you may be only peripheral. Reporters seek issue-area experts to develop dynamic stories that involve many perspectives, and you can make their work easier by engaging partners around your news to be interviewees in a story you pitch to a media outlet. This offers dual benefits: Your organization will earn media coverage; and your partner will also be featured as a thought leader in the story, raising its profile.
By connecting reporters with issue-area experts, you’re also helping reporters create a better story. Being helpful will position you as a go-to resource for that reporter, which will come in handy for future media relations initiatives.
How have you seen success working with partners? Share your story below.