Helen Keller once said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.
The problem is, when working with colleagues we can all make the assumption that their buy-in to partnerships should be automatic. We can see them as a service provider and do not consider the marketing and comms team’s priorities, including being responsible for protecting the brand. This often can lead to a breakdown in communication and lack of willingness to help.
We are sure that we have all been in the situation where we have swung by one of your marketing colleagues’ desks (or indeed send them an urgently flagged email) for them to sign off some partner marketing materials which need to be approved within the hour. We often focus on the task-based nature of the relationship and don’t spend the time to step back and see how our colleague’s expertise in their area of work could add to our partnerships.
With over 70 years of experience in charity-corporate partnerships, the Remarkable Partnerships team have put together our recommendations to create a genuine Partnership Culture with our marketing and communications colleagues.
Recommendation 1: Listen, learn and find your common purpose
Listen and understand your marketing team’s objectives. Then, just like you would do with your partners, find your common ground, your common purpose. You both want to reach more of your ‘service users and providing them with the help they so desperately need. Corporate partners are integral in being able to achieve this. They can help you reach new audiences and provide much needed funds to provide front line services. Once you know your shared goals, you can then make a plan.
Recommendation 2: Create a collaborative culture
Set up a regular meeting with the marketing team to understand current projects you are BOTH working on. Involve them in planning of any new projects right from the beginning. Work with your colleagues to make them aware of your team’s function, responsibilities and goals. Get them to suggest how their expertise could be used on partnerships. Rather than focusing on tasks, focus on their skills enhancing your prospect and partnerships discussions.
Recommendation 3: Plan for success
Planning is key to make the relationship a success. Put together an independency table, which includes what both parties want from the relationship, key responsibilities, and deadlines. You can also create a partnership benefit matrix together to make sure you are offering your partners realistic benefits which can be delivered.
Recommendation 4: Take along to client meetings
Involve them in your pitches, take the team to your client meeting to be the expert in the room. You are far more likely to get the action completed if they have agreed to it to the partner.
Recommendation 5: Celebrate Success
Make sure you celebrate success and recognise their contribution to the whole organisation. It is about working together for the whole journey and involving them in every stage, not just when you want something!
Creating a partnership culture will enable you to achieve Remarkable Partnerships which will have a transformational impact on the people who need it most. Invest effort and time in your internal partnerships and you will reap the rewards.
If you would like any help in building relationships with internal stakeholders, we can deliver Purpose workshops to bring your team together with a common purpose.
Feel free to get in touch about this or any other queries by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org