2017 is a big year for Elmore Public Relations—we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary! For the past 25 years, our agency has been working with numerous clients to help them achieve their goals, or as we say – connecting strategy, expertise and results. Each week we’re highlighting a year of Elmore PR.
Last week in our 1999 post, we were reflecting on our time and work with the Houston Symphony as our first performing arts client. This week, we’re sharing the power of collaboration in public relations as we head into the 2000s.
It was the turn of the century and Elmore PR was coming into its eighth year as an agency. We were busy developing meaningful relationships with our clients and helping them find creative ways to achieve their goals. We’ve always believed in the power of partnerships, but as digital technologies change how we communicate, harnessing the power of collaboration can be an influential tool to break through the clutter and strengthen multiple brands.
One of the many services we provide involves identifying, making introductions and negotiating partnerships for our clients. Two of the most common forms of collaboration in our industry: 1) two organizations partnering with one another or 2) an organization working with a media partner. When done successfully, these relationships can be incredibly impactful. When establishing a collaborative relationship, these are a few key points to consider in order to maximize the benefits:
- Evaluate your potential partner and their work or audience to ensure that your collaborative work will reach the right people.
- Make sure that both parties have aligned goals. Develop clear objectives through strategic planning, and establish key performance indicator (KPI) metrics for evaluating success.
- Assign the right roles and responsibilities to the appropriate parties.
- Maintain a trusting, respectful and transparent working relationship throughout your collaboration. If it’s a success, you’ll want to keep it going.
- Review KPI metrics to understand any positive or negative outcomes. Even if it wasn’t a soaring triumph in the first year, key learnings can influence positive changes to strengthen the partnership or even improve operations of the individual partners.
One of our more memorable collaborating clients was IKEA. One example involved a collaboration with Buffalo Bayou Partnership for their annual KBR Kids Day. IKEA helped furnish and create the Kids Zone, an area where young children could participate in interactive activities. The non-profit benefited by receiving furniture to create this fun play space while IKEA had the opportunity to give back as well as expose a broad audience to their products in a creative way. This collaboration worked well, because Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Kids Day was a fun, family-friendly event and it aligned with IKEA’s mission of being a family-friendly brand.
For another successful collaboration, IKEA connected with Urban Land Institute (ULI) – Houston. In 2013, ULI – Houston led a tour of different forward-thinking, energy-efficient buildings across the city. One of those tour stops included spending time at our local IKEA and exploring their photovoltaic system, which at the time powered approximately 50 percent of the store. This system was made up of 3,388 solar panels. Both organizations were deeply committed to elevating the importance of sustainability efforts, and the opportunity gave IKEA a chance to inform more people of their energy efficient efforts while fulfilling a tour stop for ULI – Houston.
We’ve witnessed the power of collaboration first hand and have seen great results come of it! Next week, we have a very special guest joining us—Kim Castillo, who we have worked with at several organizations over the years. As one of our most successful collaborators, she’ll expand on the impact of these connections through a special Q+A session. Stay tuned!