I was trying not to stew about something for a couple of days and then I realized I could poke fun and rant about it at the same time - voila! The reason for blogging.
But first, let's do a little marketing 101. I have worked in marketing before, but - fuck me! - even if I hadn't, some shit should be really, really basic.
Such as: don't send an invitation for someone to try out for a Miss Teen 2014 Pageant if the recipient is a man in his 30s. (Yes, this really happened to my good friend Mike D!)
Seriously, there are some basic tenets of marketing - particularly business to business marketing. Among them:
- Know your audience
- Know your product
- Don't assume the audience will buy your bullshit
- Don't waste your audience's time
So I propose to add one more to this, namely: Don't piss all over my tiny nonprofit and then try to tell me you're watering our garden.
When the founder left, they made a huge song and dance, contacting us and reassuring us that they'd be there to support us, blah blah blah. They requested a meeting and said they wanted to work with us on policy issues and have a presence at more of our events.
Then, after I spent a lot of time on preparing a proposal, they proposed to piss all over us - and try to make it look like they were doing *us* a favor.
This is the second time a company has tried this snookery on us, and it fucking pisses me off. Mind you, we help people - including the employees of both of these companies, where we are part of their employee assistance plans - for free. We don't charge anyone for our services, and both of these companies have called us in many, many times for help.
Therefore, when we do get event sponsors, there are benefits, e.g. advertising.
Companies X and Y had the balls to send me emails that started with, "We are proud to support your organization once again this year," and then continued to read, "Instead of a monetary sponsorship..."
And all of this involved - surprise! - their "sponsorship" consisting of a tiny donation of product (they have done a much bigger one every year before this, in addition to money) and of "having a presence" (read: free advertising) at our events "so people know we still care about mental health."
With company X, my boss ripped them a new asshole, because they're the biggest provider of mental health services in our region and we are constantly getting complaints about them and helping their clients find resources that they should, but won't, provide. You could call them Miser.
On company Y, instead of spitting (OK, before spitting) I politely noted in my reply email that we couldn't provide the free advertising, since it was a benefit for cash sponsors. I noted the reason that they had received this advertising in years past was because in addition to a (bigger) product donation, they also did a significant cash sponsorship.
I don't understand greed. I really don't.