A Wall Street Journal Blog, Market Watch, posted this Q&A with George Hamilton, the executive in charge of Dow Chemical's Olympics sponsorship. It's an interesting perspective on how Dow is using the investment for B2B, CSR, and PR purposes. Hamilton predicts $1 billion in incremental business from the partnership.
I'll be joined by leadership coach and trainer Robb Pardee next week for a workshop in Philadelphia, presented by the Philadelphia Business Journal with promotional support by PANO. (Details and registration link here.) Robb will discuss using LinkedIn to Supercharge your Nonprofit, and I had the opportunity to ask Robb a few questions. Even if you're unable to attend, you'll readily see possibilities for your sponsorship relationship-building.
Robb, tell us why are you so enthusiastic about LinkedIn.
Part of my enthusiasm about LinkedIn comes from my own experience. LinkedIn has dramatically impacted my business and increased my exposure more than any tool I have used in the last 5 years. The other part of my enthusiasm comes from the possibility that LinkedIn represents. I talk to people all the time about creative ways they are using LinkedIn to grow their businesses or advance their careers.
How do you see LinkedIn being such a great sales tool?
LinkedIn is such a great sales tool because it is open; anyone can create a profile. You can leverage 95% of LinkedIn’s functionality for free. It takes much of the sales cycle that used to take weeks of phone calls or relationship building and throws it wide open. It shows me the relationship connections that I didn’t even know I had. And people actually want to be contacted via LinkedIn, where a cold call to the same person would probably be turned away.
What's the biggest mistake people make when using it?
There are two big mistakes that people make on LinkedIn. The first mistake is not thoroughly developing their profiles. A complete profile is much more likely to come up at the top of search results. The other mistake is creating a profile and forgetting about it. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be interactive inviting people into conversation with you.
What are three things attendees will be able to do better, faster, and more efficiently because of your LinkedIn presentation?
First, they will gain an understanding of the business value of LinkedIn for sharing their brand.
Second, they will learn to optimize their LinkedIn profile for personal and organizational branding.
Third, they will be exposed to the power of LinkedIn company pages for communicating their message.
While the world’s top athletes are competing for gold and glory at the 2012 Olympics in London, a small group of running and biking enthusiasts plan to get sweaty and slimy in another competition on August 12 in Boulder, Co. The Muddy Buddy “mud run,” is scheduled to take place as the Olympic games come to a close.
NBC created an app so fans and followers could tune in in real time, space-time coordinates be damned. Cool idea, right?
When you find the app on Apple's App Store, you might notice the user ratings and that they skew to the poor end of the rating scale, by about 2:1. The first version has 2,783 one-star reviews, with 1,252 five-star ratings. The new version, out since August 1, has a comparable ratio: 535 one-star vs. 309 five-star reviews. I don't know about you, but my curiosity was piqued.
"Messy mess of nothingness." --upstatenyguy
It seems like NBC launched the app before doing simple usability testing. In the five minutes while I had the app on my iPad until I deleted it, I noticed two problems:
When you open up the app, you're presented with an array of viewing options, a broadcast nirvana for Olympics fans. However, no matter which one you select or how quickly you go from video to video to do a little sampling, you are forced to watch a Citibank TV spot.
Don't even think about using the app unless you know all your cable TV coordinates. Some one-star reviewers noted that they do not have cable which is why they wanted the app. Others, like me, have cable, but have no idea what our login and password information is because we don't email our cable company.
Are you creating the app to extend your brand or to gather big data and bombard viewers with commercial messages? Nobody objects to commercial messages but being held hostage by commercial messages is a big turn off, resulting in angry fans and a backlash to the creativity and innovation that went into the app to begin with.
If you're going to create an app that also serves as an asset or platform for sponsors, create it in plenty of time before your event and invest in usability testing. Improve it so people want to download it, and not delete it.
Gail Bower is president of Bower & Co. Consulting LLC, a firm that specializes in dramatically raising the visibility, revenue, and impact of non-profit organizations. She’s a professional consultant, writer, and speaker, with more than 20 years of experience managing some of the country’s most important events, festivals and sponsorships and implementing marketing programs for clients. Launched in 1987, today Bower & Co. improves the effectiveness and results of clients’ marketing, events, and corporate sponsorship programs.
Does the recent economic upheaval that sent seismic shifts through our culture have you wondering what to do next with your sponsorship development efforts? Marketing and sponsorship specialist Gail Bower wrote this short guidebook for you. Get the confidence, perspective, and techniques you need to jump-start your sponsorship strategy today.
“A professional GPS system to keep you on a successful track.”
- Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE,
President & CEO
International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA