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Blogger Sponsorship for Conferences Part II: Finding a Sponsor



Finding sponsorship to help defray the cost of  attending conferences isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are a lot of steps involved, but the hardest part is finding a sponsor. Finding a brand that shares the same message at your and your blog, and, is willing to pay for you to be a spokesperson is no easy feat. Why should they send you when they have P.R., Marketing and even social media people already on staff? It’s with this is mind that you should seek out sponsors.

Ask yourself:

  1. Who is the biggest advertiser for my blog or community? Is there a person, business or brand with whom you already share a relationship? There’s a major online name I’m negotiating with for a few upcoming events. I sent a proposal to them because they’re a major advertiser and because my community benefits from their service – and vice versa. Check your blog’s advertisers first. They might surprise you and say “yes!”.
  2. Who shares the same message? Is there a brand or service promoting the same thing as you on your blog? If the advertiser thing doesn’t pan out, approach the like-minded brands first. It doesn’t make any sense to choose a sponsor who has nothing to do at all with your niche or topic. Find the folks who are the best fit.
  3. Who will best benefit my community? Choose your sponsor with your community in mind. If the brand is a product or a service your community can relate to, they’ll be more inclined to take you up on your recommendation. This will make the sponsor happy. If it’s a product or service having nothing to do with your community, there won’t be much love on either end. Remember, your sponsor is looking for a little ROI action. If they’re footing your bills, they want to get a little something-something in return.
  4. Who will best benefit from my community? See above. If a business sponsors you and your blog, how will it benefit? Are you sure your community will respond? How likely are they to invest money in this product or service? If this brand can’t benefit from your community, it’s not a good fit.
  5. Who will best benefit from my expertise? Community is important but so are you.  What brands will benefit most from your expertise? Do you have a blog with very high traffic? If so, an ad will do well. Are you a social media expert (if there really is such a thing)? Perhaps your guruosity is just what your brand needs to spread its message. Target your areas of expertise and then target the places that can benefit the most.
  6. Who needs a conference presence but doesn’t have a large staff? Maybe there are some startups that would like to have a presence at conferences but don’t have the team members or funds to invest in a booth. It might be more cost efficient for them to pay your airfare and hotel then to lose their own staff for a few days.

Once you have some idea of who or what makes an ideal sponsor for your blog, make a list. First start with advertisers or people you already have a relationship with. Then do a websearch for products, services, startups and websites that are a good match.

Next in the series: Writing up a proposal for sponsorhip.

Also see: Blogger Sponsorship for Conferences Part I: What Do You Have to Offer?

Image via John Weise’s Flickr Stream

Here Are My Heroes…. Who Is Your Hero?


A few days ago a dear friend introduced me to a group of very special people and a wonderful organization; The Bob Woodruff FoundationStephanie asked if we could help them spread the word for their TweettoRemind campaign and their goal to raise $1.65m by Memorial Day. We of course said yes!

What is Tweet to Remind?

Here is Bob in his own words:

After I was severely injured while reporting on location in Iraq, my family and I realized we had a unique opportunity to reach out and help many of our nation’s injured heroes. In January 2008, my wife Lee and I started ReMIND.org, an organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for service members injured in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their families. Our current project is the TweetToRemind campaign, which asks individuals and corporations to donate $5.25 or more in an effort to raise $1.65 million by the end of the Memorial Day weekend.

Please read the whole thing, join the campaign and let us know who your heroes are and give what you can to support this worthy cause.  It will certainly make you a hero in my eyes.

As for my heroes I have a lot of them starting with my Mom. After adopting my sister and I when we were babies she sacrificed quite a bit to give us the best life we could ever hope for.

All the men and women serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard are heroes to me. The amazing volunteers at Soldiers Angels, Fisher House and Semper Fi Fund who lead by example and show all of use civilians how we can do our part.

But today thanks to BlackFive I have some new heroes. Their names are Rachel Pertile and her son Evan. Two days before Thanksgiving in 2008 Rachel tried to annonymously pay the bill for a group of soldiers eating their lunch at a local restaurant. The soldiers found out what she had done and thanked her before she could leave.  Three days later Evan was diagnosed with brain cancer. More on this story from BlackFive:

Evan, now 6 years old, has had two neurosurgeries, radiation and is now having chemotherapy. All of his treatments have been at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. In January, Pertile was on a flight making her way from Memphis back to her home in Colombia when she broke down in tears.

“It was the first time I had gone home since we had ,come to St. Jude’s and we have three other boys and I really wanted to go home and spend some time there,” Pertile said. “But I was really sad to leave Evan because he had just started losing his hair in chunks.”

Sitting next to Pertile on the flight was Brenda Bowen, who works in Classroom Services at the Command and General Staff College. Bowen offered Pertile an ear and a shoulder, and when she found out Evan’s affinity for “Army guys,” she knew there was something she could do to help.

“She told me about her son and how he loves Soldiers, and I thought ‘I bet I can get a few Soldiers to send him messages,'” Bowen said.

After the flight, Bowen contacted Col. Bob Burns, the director of the Center for Army Tactics at CGSC.

“We start getting faculty and the students to send notes to the boy,” Burns said.

Evan has a page at caringbridge.org, a Web site for people to connect with loved ones and others during a critical illness.

“There were a significant number of messages that got posted,” Burns said. “And then it kind of grows like these things do, and guys in Iraq start sending notes.”

What Evan began doing next surprised everyone. Pertile said Evan had been receiving messages on his Web page saying he needed to eat to be Army strong and that Army Rangers have to eat to be strong.

“He started eating – he had completely quit eating and he was like ‘I gotta eat,'” Pertile said. “It was remarkable, it was just incredible, like this unseen force helping my child – the generosity of others.”

In addition to the messages on the Web site, Evan has received his own set of ACUs, a beret and a certificate designating him as an honorary Soldier.

Pertile said she welcomes posts to her son’s Web site http://caringbridge.org/visit/evanpertile. To register, enter an e-mail address and create a password.

Please go read the whole thing at BlackFive.  This story is chock full of heroes that we should all try to emulate.

Who are your heroes?

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