Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Good for Business... Yours and Ours

Not wanting to sound overly "sales-y" or blow smoke in anyone's face, I tend to choose my words carefully, even if my job at the station is promotion.

Honesty is a far better way to build a good relationship. Sure, a misleading or exaggerated statement can make a big splash. But if it's later found to be false, the hollowness left behind is far more damaging than saying nothing at all.

There's no doubt this is a tough economic period for everyone. In significant ways, non-profits are pinched even more; we rely on the generosity of our supporters to keep going. When those supporters are preoccupied with stretching their resources to make ends meet, thoughts of being generous - no matter how well-intentioned - fade off their radar.

That brings me to the 2009 Spring Auction.

The auction is another story. Businesses who donate goods or services get back at least as much - sometimes far more - in publicity and public relations value than they give.

It's bartering, really. There's no actual money that changes hands. We call it a donation, but it's not a donation in the traditional sense, where one party gives something to another without getting anything in return. Our donor-businesses get plenty in return - not the least of which is being associated in public with the quality and trust of the PBS brand.

Trading goods and services for air time on Rhode Island PBS allows even the smallest business with no advertising budget to get in front of consumers, and stand elbow to elbow with larger companies (maybe even competitors).