By Cartwright Franklyn
The latest GSS [Georgetown Secondary School] boat ride is gone and it was fairly profitable, but it amazes me that a very large cooperation refused to pittance us anything. Certainly not for lack of resources, certainly the cause was noble education; I can also add that they knew we would not sell alcohol knowing that the bar alone could have covered most expenses.
Large-scale events readily obtain sponsorship as the sponsors receive significant promotion boosting brand equity. Only when similar reciprocal benefits can are assured do these giants sponsor small sale events, positive press coverage leading to good public relations (PR) for instance.
In my analysis, our lack of sponsorship was due to the perceived lack of national publicized PR associated with our fairly regional event.
These companies also never respond to neither official nor informal communication, at least man up and say no so that contingencies could be planned ahead of time.
One major company, for example, with a baseline cash flow of at least tens of thousands per day (likely significantly more), declined to donate EC$200- EC$300 worth of a particular product (and it was clearly pointed out that any amount, lets even say EC$$150 would have been welcomed) to be used as prizes (2nd-4th) for a small dance contest on board.
Still though, I thank Hairoun Brewery for sponsoring two cases of malt for invited dance groups on board and effective student ticket sellers. Coreas and Country Grocery supermarket for displaying a poster, and the Garifuna FM Djs for periodic shout outs of the event. This was our strategy regarding sponsorship, soliciting an extremely modest donation, two cases of malt in the case of Hairoun.
Next year, we will tap the same sponsors excluding those who contributed. This time, not only with letter and calls for feedback, but members of the PTA will make routine visits to the organizations.
If they still say no, or worse, refuse to respond, either a letter will be written to a major newspaper or better, the paper will be given this tagline “Two years in a row _________ says no to sponsoring school”.
After all what is the point of being a responsible corporate citizen if there is a reciprocity requirement for the least donation?