Brokering partnerships.You and I are deal makers. We act as intermediaries between members and government, the media, and others, bridging differences in terminology and temperament, doctrine and philosophy.
Usually we deal in policy. But as the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), Washington, D.C., and other associations are proving, we can broker tangible products and services as well. Creating relationships between federal agencies and for-profit companies serves the association's public policy agenda and member needs.
The logic of partnerships between government and industry is often strong. In recreation, for example, the private sector provides the products - boats and bikes and bats - but government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels often provide the places for their use, from national parks This is a list of national parks ordered by nation. Africa
The logic of partnerships applies as well to trade fairs and tariff negotiations or scientific research and development. Associations coordinating public-private partnerships Public-private partnership (PPP) describes a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. These schemes are sometimes referred to as PPP or P3. can produce important economic and social benefits.
But before 1988, when a landmark agreement with the U.S. Forest Service broke new ground, public-private partnerships were hamstrung by statutory, philosophic, and operational impediments IMPEDIMENTS, contracts. Legal objections to the making of a contract. Impediments which relate to the person are those of minority, want of reason, coverture, and the like; they are sometimes called disabilities. Vide Incapacity.
What's in the way?
The low. Park concessioners are obvious candidates for cooperative marketing: They have provided overnight accommodations and food service in national parks for more than 100 years. ARC could produce a dynamite dynamite, explosive made from nitroglycerin and an inert, porous filler such as wood pulp, sawdust, kieselguhr, or some other absorbent material. The proportions vary in different kinds of dynamite; often ammonium nitrate or sodium nitrate is added. free National Park Service guide if we could sell advertising. But the federal government does not endorse specific products.
Even photos of any federal employee in an agency uniform with an identifiable product brand concern federal ethics officers. Other legal limitations include bans - or near bans - on the use of federal funds Federal Funds
Funds deposited to regional Federal Reserve Banks by commercial banks, including funds in excess of reserve requirements.
These non-interest bearing deposits are lent out at the Fed funds rate to other banks unable to meet overnight reserve for advertising and marketing, prohibition of any advertising materials within the boundaries of federal areas such as parks, and an inability to offer exclusivity to any private partner. Until very recently, we found the term marketing sent bureaucrats running, even if they were responsible for managing hundreds of millions of recreational visits to parks annually.
Conflicting philosophy. Partnerships change functions and roles, which entails risks and uncertainties. Public agency employees are rarely risk takers Risk Takers is a Canadian television documentary series, which profiles people in dangerous professions.
The show originally aired on Discovery Channel Canada, and also airs on the North American channel Discovery HD Theater. , in my experience, because their system rarely rewards innovation and invariably in·var·i·a·ble
Not changing or subject to change; constant.
in·vari·a·bil punishes failure. Large organizations try to standardize stan·dard·ize
1. To cause to conform to a standard.
2. To evaluate by comparing with a standard. everything with procedures and manuals. For the partner relationship, though, there is no standard procedure. The association, as change agent, encourages bureaucrats to behave more like entrepreneurs.
Operating "I. The greatest impediment A disability or obstruction that prevents an individual from entering into a contract.
Infancy, for example, is an impediment in making certain contracts. Impediments to marriage include such factors as consanguinity between the parties or an earlier marriage that is still valid. , though, has been the lack of common goals. The for-profit world measures success by profit made on goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax. sold. Public agencies have a diverse set of service objectives, ranging from protecting the environment to aiding the economically disadvantaged. A partnership between two entities using different yardsticks to measure success is almost guaranteed to be fractious frac·tious
1. Inclined to make trouble; unruly.
2. Having a peevish nature; cranky.
[From fraction, discord (obsolete). and susceptible to an early demise.
Associations can find a common language because they understand both mind-sets. Ten years ago I brought together representatives from the Disney Company and the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State Park Service. With two intelligent, imaginative people in the room, I expected an animated conversation. But they spoke different languages; we had an awkward 15 minutes of stilted stilt·ed
1. Stiffly or artificially formal; stiff.
2. Architecture Having some vertical length between the impost and the beginning of the curve. Used of an arch. , unproductive talk.
Since then, I have taken a more active role translating in these meetings. In recent discussions, for example, a senior national parks official referred to private concessioners' half billion dollars in profit. I pointed out that the figure represents gross sales Gross Sales
A measure of overall sales that isn't adjusted for customer discounts or returns, calculated simply by adding all sales invoices, and not including operating expenses, cost of goods sold, payment of taxes, or any other charge. .
The private sector is also not blameless blame·less
Free of blame or guilt; innocent.
blame . It could serve society's needs more assertively - for example, through recycling. In brokering, associations find ways to broaden the private view and sharpen the public focus. We help develop common goals.
Relationships labeled "recreation partnerships" during much of the 1970s and 1980s involved private sector gifts to public entities. Individual national parks compiled gift catalogs' for prospective partners, listing needs from research money to interpretive in·ter·pre·tive also in·ter·pre·ta·tive
Relating to or marked by interpretation; explanatory.
in·terpre·tive·ly adv. facilities. The resulting thank-you letter or special treatment accorded a company's executives ignored some wisdom expressed by Norwalk, Connecticut, Mayor William Collins William Collins may refer to:
Then in 1988, an agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and the Forest Education Foundation (FEF FEF forced expiratory flow.
forced expiratory flow
forced expiratory flow rate. ), Anaheim, California “Anaheim” redirects here. For Annaheim, see Annaheim, Saskatchewan.
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California, located 28 miles southeast of Los Angeles. , set a new precedent. The Forest Service wanted visibility and financial support for its initiative to designate and improve selected automobile routes as "scenic byways." FEF, which represents and is affiliated with recreation organizations, set out to answer that need by finding a partner in the recreation industry. It courted the Plymouth division of Chrysler Corporation, Highland Park, Michigan Highland Park is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 16,746 at the 2000 census. The city is completely surrounded by Detroit except a small portion that touches the city of Hamtramck, which is also surrounded by Detroit. . Plymouth sought to be associated with the fun of driving and to reinforce its leadership in the minivan field.
Significantly, FEF's negotiating changed the rules for public-private partnerships. The agreement provided for a major automobile company to take an active, visible part in a public program. The Forest Service symbol has appeared in Plymouth's national advertising, and Forest Service employees regularly appear by a Plymouth vehicle at displays about scenic byways at state fairs, recreation shows, and other public events.
Negotiations took six months. Despite enthusiasm from the leadership of the Forest Service, finalizing details for the partnership proved arduous. FEF President Edward McArthur made numerous trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with Forest Service attorneys and tackle bureaucratic bu·reau·crat
1. An official of a bureaucracy.
2. An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure.
bu inertia. To clear copy for advertisements and brochures, McArthur created opportunities by not taking no for an answer. Refusal meant coming back with a new twist. The Forest Service said it could not display the Plymouth logo on an official Forest Service sign, for example. Fine, said FEF. How about putting it on a different sign right below?
FEF's brokering role also meant shielding Plymouth executives from some negotiation details - another case of the association acting as interpreter and ambassador between two cultures. Corporate executives are presented with a dozen marketing ideas; when they finally say yes, they expect action right away. The federal government doesn't work that way.
Even so, McArthur says he wishes he "had invested more time shaping the partners' expectations of each other. Each side was too unaware of the very different organizational constraints and philosophies. Tensions about delays in clearing materials and sensitivities about use of certain symbols have arisen," he says. "More than anything else, this successful program continues because we act as a buffer and facilitator, preventing the two partners from being forced to work together too closely."
In its final form, the program extends over three years and is renewable. It includes Plymouth funding for joint exhibits at large consumer shows and fairs; a national contest featuring an automobile and recreation items as prizes; an advertising supplement describing the byways program in Reader's Digest Reader's Digest
U.S.-based monthly magazine. Founded by DeWitt and Lila Wallace, it was first published in 1922 as a digest of articles of topical interest and entertainment value condensed from other periodicals. Magazine, an annual cash contribution from Plymouth for scenic byway enhancements; signs noting the Plymouth involvement in the byways program along the routes; and a visible Plymouth-Forest Service linkage in paid advertising, consumer shows, and printed materials.
Another success story
That same year, ARC contracted to find prospective partners for a similar byways program at the Bureau of Land Management. BLM BLM n abbr (US) (= Bureau of Land Management) → les domaines manages the largest block of federal lands - more than 270 million acres - but is restricted to a dozen western states and has little visibility and thus less attraction for companies as a partner.
To find potential partners, ARC looked, market by market, at the advertising budgets of companies focused on the West. Careful analysis identified several large regional and national companies with roots and special interests in the region.
ARC; too, discovered that bridging the interests of private companies and public agencies can prove challenging. Several prospective corporate partners expressed optimism for months but never came through with a commitment. A willing partner in the tobacco industry was ruled out by the federal agency as inappropriate for image reasons.
After six months, ARC finally secured two private sector partners for the BLM program: Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , and American Isuzu Motors, City of Industry, California Industry (or City of Industry) is a city in the San Gabriel Valley section of Los Angeles County, California, United States. It was incorporated June 18, 1957. The population was 777 at the 2000 census. . For Farmers Insurance, the attractions were a strong correlation with its prime marketing territories; an outdoors theme linking the environment and its leading product line, automobile and truck insurance; and a mechanism for building good relationships with state government officials, important for a company in a state-regulated industry. Still, ARC made four major presentations and several small ones before the chair signed an agreement.
Isuzu's interest was caught when it learned we were courting Chrysler's jeep Division. Executives saw the program as a showcase for Isuzu's sport and four-wheel-drive vehicles, ideal for scenic but low-standard roads. Like the Forest Service, BLM was attracted to the partnership as a means to provide on-the-ground resources otherwise unavailable in tight budgetary times.
Isuzu, however, wanted an exclusive agreement - no other car companies in the program. The difficulty there is the federal government can't say no; if another car company asked to join the partnership, BLM would probably have to say yes. ARC was able to "disinterest dis·in·ter·est
1. Freedom from selfish bias or self-interest; impartiality.
2. Lack of interest; indifference.
To divest of interest.
Noun 1. " the other companies we had approached by not encouraging them. The partnership is a de facto [Latin, In fact.] In fact, in deed, actually.
This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs that must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. exclusive.
The BLM Back Country Byway Program is now off and running. A full-color brochure on the program was incorporated into the Farmers Insurance magazine, mailed to 5 million policyholders, and provided to BLM and state tourism agencies for free distribution. Isuzu has furnished vehicles for several byways dedication events. The two companies sponsored a national design contest for an attractive, low-cost information kiosk and launched installation of the winning design at each of the BLM byways. Farmers will also feature stories on the byways in each issue of its magazine and encourage its network of more than 30,000 employees and agents to become actively involved in adopting local byways.
The experiences of FEF and ARC underscore The underscore character (_) is often used to make file, field and variable names more readable when blank spaces are not allowed. For example, NOVEL_1A.DOC, FIRST_NAME and Start_Routine.
(character) underscore - _, ASCII 95. the need for careful analysis of prospective partner needs - to flag irreconcilable differences The existence of significant differences between a married couple that are so great and beyond resolution as to make the marriage unworkable, and for which the law permits a Divorce. early as well as to identify good opportunities. Inadequate analysis, for example, failed to alert ARC that the regional orientation of BLM would prove unacceptable to the vehicle manufacturer initially approached.
In new partnerships, ARC will also budget more association costs into the deal. Keep the price presented to corporate partners as low as you can, but be honest about the management time and other indirect costs Indirect costs are costs that are not directly accountable to a particular function or product; these are fixed costs. Indirect costs include taxes, administration, personnel and security costs. See also
Ambitious partnerships with major corporations are likely to involve public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most and advertising agencies retained by these firms. The agencies can be very helpful to your project management, especially if you make clear that you are sensitive to the overall themes of their campaigns. ARC has been extremely careful to include agency representatives in all high-visibility meetings and to use the agencies as conduits for much of the information flow between partners.
Both FEF and ARC have benefited financially through brokering, and they have increased public visibility for each organization. just as important, the two organizations have used brokering to pursue their fundamental purposes and satisfy member needs.
Whether in the field of recreation or health care, education, transportation, or trade, public-private partnerships can progress beyond public service announcements and charity on the part of corporate America. Dynamic, innovative marketing efforts can be initiated - and association executives can be the brokers who design and manage these very productive partnerships.
Derrick derrick: see crane.
famous hangman; eponym of modern hoisting apparatus. [Br. Hist.: Espy, 170]
See : Execution A. Crandall, CAE (1) (Computer-Aided Engineering) Software that analyzes designs which have been created in the computer or that have been created elsewhere and entered into the computer. , is president of the American Recreation Coalition, Washington, D.C.
A Brokering Checklist
1. Start with your proposed public sector partner and a program compatible with your organization's purposes. Understand the legal limitations you face - such as an agency's preclusion from distributing materials with advertising - as well as traditions and attitudes that might make certain companies inappropriate partners.
2. Outline attributes of the agency that are of potential value to corporate partners, from technical expertise to public image to land resources Noun 1. land resources - natural resources in the form of arable land
natural resource, natural resources - resources (actual and potential) supplied by nature .
3. Conduct a brainstorming session with your staff, key members, and others to identify potential corporate partners. Look for links between activities, products, and services. Sometimes regional identification will suffice - a bank, for example, may welcome the chance to improve its local image.
4. Research your prospect list, seeking out information on each company's products or services, customers and markets, and corporate structure. At the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), Washington, D.C., we look at annual reports, press releases, Moody's business guides, and magazine advertising.
5. Develop a primary prospect list of two to three noncompeting companies. For example, ARC selected an auto company, an insurance company, and a telecommunication firm for the Bureau of Land Management project. We prefer working with nonmember companies; be sure not to play favorites if you make offers to members.
6. Simultaneously prepare an attractive, persuasive, written presentation and a strategy for delivering the proposal to a high-ranking corporate executive. Remember that your proposal is unsolicited so it must sell the concept first, then the specifics of the program. Use board members' corporate connections, or consult colleagues at associations to which your target company belongs. Try to present the proposal to an executive who does more than allocate the advertising or public relations budget.
7. Prepare agreements for all parties to sign - government agency, corporation, and association - so that the roles and responsibilities of each are clearly laid out. Governmental and corporate players change constantly, a signed agreement overcomes failing memories and unrealistic expectations. Your role is that of managing partner.
ARC draws up contracts in plain English Plain English (sometimes known, more broadly, as plain language) is a communication style that focuses on considering the audience's needs when writing. It recommends avoiding unnecessary words and avoiding jargon, technical terms, and long and ambiguous sentences. without relying on legal counsel - we don't want to lose a partner in lawyer-to-lawyer negotiating. Our intent is to involve not bind, so we include a comfort zone of escape clauses.
8. Stroke the partners as often as possible, with reports and planted news stories, letters of thanks, and VIP events. Maintain their interest in the project, especially during periods of low partner involvement.
9. Make your full membership part of the partnership through reports stressing the achievement of your organization's goals through the partnership and the heightened esteem for your organization in the eyes of the involved government agency.