Dilema - My charity has been featured on TV, how can I make the most of this exposure?

I am the marketing manager of a charity that has just finished its first series as the subject of a fly on-the-wall documentary. While this has been great publicity, we haven’t got a penny out of it. How can I make sure we reap the financial benefit from this TV exposure?

Nigel Currie, chairman, European Sponsorship Association and director of sponsorship agency GEM Group

The media need editorial material and you're doing them a favour by allowing them to film you. You may think you're the ones getting all the benefit in terms of free exposure, but it's only a benefit if you are able to attract interest and action from those watching.

Analyse the coverage you've received so far and imagine you are a viewer. Will they be able to do anything or get in contact with you from what they see?

You have to find ways of getting your logo/name, telephone number and website address onto the screen. Make sure all the staff have polo shirts with the website address and other information clearly displayed and there are plenty of other signs around the offices containing similar information.

Speak to the producer about your concerns. It may be possible to get a plug at the end of each programme, including details of how to get in contact with you.

There may also be ways to develop a special element within the programme specifically designed to raise funds.


Oliver Hickson, director of PR & sponsorship, Central Office of Information

Analyse the viewing figures and demographic to give you an audience profile and frequency for the potential sponsor. You can then start to define a commercial value by benchmarking figures against comparable programmes.

I would ensure that, in the first instance, the broadcaster provides appropriate programme support collateral, such as viewer fact sheets or online information that promotes your charity.

Consider other commercial benefits. For example, there may be licensing spin offs – books and DVDs giving the sponsor branding or editorial opportunities. Other areas to explore could be online activity, media relations support and editorial on air.


Ceri Glen, account director, Red Mandarin

Do you own the rights to the programme format, and have you agreed with the production company that you can sell programme sponsorship? If you have, then the broadcaster might sell the rights and give you a cut.

Have you negotiated anything with the production company covering this issue? You may find that ITC broadcast regulations prevent any form of sponsorship being featured in the programme.

We doubt if you could actually sell your charity to a sponsor as a sports team might, unless of course all your staff wear branded clothing and every time they're featured they stand in front of the sponsor's board!

Use the great publicity the programme has given you to find new sponsors for your core activities. While your profile is high, get in front of the right people to talk about the long term opportunities you offer – remember that not all sponsors are just chasing media exposure.

You could even suggest to the production company that your search for commercial sponsorship – the lifeblood of many charities – would make a suitable feature in their documentary.


James Wilkinson, senior account executive, Creative Tank

First, remind people about the first series and talk about the latest news and how their money could help you.

This message could be placed through media such as print, mail shots or television, or ask the channel which did the programme to do an update.

Work out who watched the first series, their average age, their socioeconomic group, their sex, their hobbies. Get as much ammunition as you can to encourage the right companies to sponsor your second series. As you are a charity, you should negotiate with the channel to reduce the commission.

When talking to potential sponsors, state that this programme will be watched by X amount of people and the PR and exposure it generates will be great for all parties involved.

Once you know when the second series is being aired you should start planning all pre and post-documentary promotions, encouraging people to stay attached to the charity and increase the donations after the second documentary goes out. You could set up a website competition. Once you have people's e-mail addresses you can send reminders that encourage them to spend just a little more.


Nigel Firminger, account director, Total Media Charities

Many charities will find themselves in similar situations where advertising and response are mutually exclusive.

It's too late now for the first series, but even for the next one you should be asking if broadcast sponsorship is the only or best answer. Establish your primary objective: if it's pennies rather than publicity, you need to fashion a specific call to action to fund this.



Each week, we pose a new dilemma about a situation that can emerge while working in the media or marketing business, inviting readers to respond with their viewpoint or advice. Your responses to our latest dilemma (below), however short or long, can be emailed to amandal@mediaweek.co.uk

A colleague and I have a well-known, long-standing feud that originated from a fight at a Christmas party. A massive pitch has come up, which we need to work together on. My boss says the industry will be watching us.

How do I approach my colleague effectively and professionally when I still hate his guts?

I have taken a few weeks off work due to a bad back. The colleague who's been covering my job has been really good in the role, possibly better than me, and gets on well with my boss. I need to have some more treatment on my back but I'm afraid if I take more time off I won't have a job to come back to.

How do I reassert myself and keep my job?

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