06 August 2008

The hard sell...

“Citizens of Ottawa, lend me thy bank balances!”

By now most readers already know that I regularly dabble in Ottawa community events and, more specifically, all things Irish. I have now started my second year as the voluntary Chair of Communications for the Irish Society of the National Capital Region. You have undoubtedly seen my ugly mug on television during the city’s annual Irish Week festivities back in March. Taking on this role has been quite the challenging addition to an already busy work schedule and personal life, but it provides me the welcome opportunity to expand my skills as a communicator and to delve into certain areas where I am currently limited in my day-job with the government.

In the GOC, the word “Sponsorship” has a horrible taint associated with it. It is both a forbidden word and practice (compliments of Mr. C’s lovely scandal a few years back). Consequently, any form of self-promotion or blatant appeal for financial aide has never factored into my job…all submissions to Treasury Board aside, of course…haha

In a private or non-profit organization, the rules of the game are infinitely different. Here one can freely partake in the time-honoured tradition of begging for money, accepting favours and, shock of all horrors, aquiring not one but many sponsors. There’s no “partnering” “supporting” or “special friend” status here; people give you money and you are expected to talk about it.

Intrigued by the whole notion of sponsorship, I decided to gain some practical experience by volunteering as a pitch hitter for the 2009 St. Patrick’s Parade (yes, because I don’t have enough to do already). Despite having just made the offer to help at last night’s Board meeting, I now find myself editing a final sponsorship package during today’s lunch hour (fear not dear tax-payers, this is an un-paid lunch break and I work extra time to make up for these blog updates! ) To be honest, I’m actually looking forward to trying to find new sponsors for our growing parade and not necessarily the same usual local suspects, although I will gladly accept a cheque from them as well!

On the rare off-chance that a potential sponsor may be reading this post, I’d like to encourage folks to check out the Irish Society NCR website for further information. A Sponsorship Package for 2009 St. Patrick’s Parade will be posted shortly.

Wish me luck folks! With a bit of luck and a good measure of smooth talking, next year’s parade will hopefully be bigger and better than ever. We may not be as big as NYC, Toronto or Montreal, but we are Canada’s capital afterall! We are a generally wealthy population, replete with key decision makers and we LOVE to shop…hint, hint, hint…

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