Be Prepared: Partner Toolkit Essentials
This motto applies to scouts, and also to social impact leaders who understand the power of well-timed co-promotion.
If another social impact leader or an influencer asks to promote your work, you should be able to quickly give them everything they need to broadcast a message about you. Those assets should include:
Brand assets (logo and/or wordmark) in a variety of file formats (JPG, PNG, EPS, SVG, PDF, AI, etc.)
Boilerplate core messaging that succinctly describes your organization, and the program or campaign being highlighted
A list of hashtags used for the program or campaign
- A list of links to applicable pages on your website (if you make these trackable, you can better measure the impact)
Action page in your Action Center
Blog posts about the program or campaign
Homepage as a last resort
- Photos or graphics pre-sized and formatted for a variety of uses and platforms
- Any visual digital elements directly connected to the program or campaign
You should have all of these components in a Partner Toolkit accessible by everyone. If you can build out a custom page on your website with these assets, great. You can also add them into an accessible Google Doc or Notion template. For campaigns or programs with multiple components, you might want to use a Dropbox or Google Drive folder. Create subfolders if you’re running multiple campaigns so that you can direct your partner to just the assets they need.
If you have these assets ready to go when you start your campaign or program, you’ll be able to respond quickly when an influencer asks for promotional assets. Plus, you’ll be able to make it easy for partner organizations to co-promote with you.
Done in 30 Minutes
When you’re contacted by an influencer or peer, or ask someone to promote your action or success, whatever you send them should have minimal impact on their day-to-day operations. Make it easy for them to do good.
It should take them under 30 minutes to promote you using the information and assets you supply them with.
And there’s an important internal benefit to this too: it will take your team less time to gather what you need if they’re not working from scratch each time.
More Benefits of Co-Promotion
The biggest advantage to cross promoting is getting your message out to people outside of your current network and list. Working with partners provides a host of additional perks as well, including:
Reduce Mission Creep: For example, if you’re a food policy organization, you don’t also have to focus on immigration justice, even though it’s related to food insecurity. Instead, you can partner with an organization that does.
A New Messaging Channel: Think about co-promotion as something to add to your arsenal along with a website, action center, social media, and email.
Messaging Delivery You Control: Algorithms control who receives your message on social media — even when you pay to boost it. While a partner experiences the same thing, you increase your chances of being heard and shared organically when you’re riding the momentum of another organization posting on social media about your campaign or program.
Trusted Source Promotion: You can always buy an email list to expand your potential audience. But you have to build trust with everyone on the list. Co-promotion creates an elevated level of trust right away. It’s like getting a restaurant recommendation from a friend whose tastes match your own.
Future Opportunities: A successful partnership can lead to additional collaborations that can help you achieve your mission
How to Find Your Partners in Good
As previously mentioned, good candidates for co-promotion include aligned organizations. If you do policy work, co-promote with a boots-on-the-ground organization, or vice-versa. If you’re an activist organization, co-promote with an aligned social enterprise. A social enterprise could align with a local foundation.
The permutations are many and varied. The goal is to share supporters and advocates through cross-promotion instead of sharing mailing lists. As people increasingly opt out of sharing their data, both organizations can honor commitments not to share their lists by co-promoting instead.
You might think of co-promotion as community marketing. Because your supporters are already aligned in your issue area, this cross-pollination can help grow the greater community.
Take Your Toolkit Public: Create a Sign-On Page
One partnership strategy we’ve helped execute is a sign-on page. This page on your website or action center makes it easy for partners to endorse your campaign or program. Through the sign-on page, an organization can send a message to lawmakers, state leaders, business leaders, policy makers, or any other group, organization, or individual they want to influence.
A simple form expresses support from an organization, rather than an individual for your campaign, program, or policy.
Encourage your partner to have their own sign-on page so that you can demonstrate your organization's support for their efforts.
How to be a Good Partner
Some good etiquette to keep in mind when empowering a partner to co-promote you includes:
Be Clear With Your Ask - Ask for one straight-forward thing – like asking them to reshare a tweet or promote your campaign to their audience with an email or in their newsletter
Follow Up - Share your campaign metrics and analytics and let them know if their co-promotion had any direct influence on your campaign. They should feel that your success is their success and an overall win for your mutual issue area.
Offer Something in Exchange - They should know that they can rely on you for future co-promotion of campaigns, that you’ll be happy to connect your network with their organization, and that you’ll share access to other resources that move your cause forward. For example, you might recommend a reasonably priced physical space or to recommend your organization to a valuable volunteer.
- Partner Without Poaching - One aspect of concern in co-promotion might be how to share supporters without drawing support away from each other. Some guardrails here are important to build trust and keep everything mutually beneficial.
Co-promote for actions instead of fundraising. You can ask your partner to promote your petition signing campaign. This is low stakes for everyone involved and allows both parties to fundraise only among the people on their respective lists.
Be clear about who owns contact information. Co-promotion doesn’t mean combining mail lists. Combining lists may violate your promise to your supporters not to share their information. Each partner keeps and maintains their own list while promoting their partner(s) via their list.
Share campaign and program content, not contact information. Let your partners know what you’re up to and ask them to promote you when something significant warrants it.
Make co-promotion a component of your awareness strategy. Social impact leaders should be working with each other to establish the goals each has for co-promotion.
Resolve any hesitation up front. If there are concerns from any partner, work through these before engaging in cross promotion efforts.
Co-branding and co-promotion campaigns can have a positive effect on more than the partner organizations involved. We think of this kind of activity as raising awareness of an entire issue area. An avid supporter of a local food bank might never hear about the policy-focused nonprofit that’s making it easier for people to access nutritious food. A dedicated customer of a social enterprise might not realize that one of their favorite companies works with the community foundation in their county.
Co-promotions can connect the dots for people who want to dedicate more time, resources, and energy to causes they’re passionate about. Plus, they can help social impact leaders fulfill one of their toughest mandates — growing awareness of their organization and cause.
Grab a partner (or two, or more) and dance your way to reaching more people primed to become part of your supporter community.