November through March is a busy time at Sustainable Waterloo Region. That’s not to say we spend the other eight months of the year watching the grass grow and clouds float by, but December is our fiscal and carbon accounting year end, which marks the beginning of planning and writing our year-end report and the planning of our Evening of Recognition in March. This year the Evening of Recognition is being held on March 22.

In addition to the excitement and challenges presented by creating a strategy to publicly recognize our members’ achievements, the PR team is busy collaborating with local media to forge mutually-beneficial partnership and sponsorship opportunities.

Negotiating sponsorships, building relationships

Sustainable Waterloo Region is really excited to be discussing sponsorship opportunities with media outlets from across Waterloo Region and the GTA. We’re in discussions with Alternatives Journal, the Cambridge Times, Corporate Knights, Exchange Magazine, Rogers Television, the Waterloo Chronicle, and the Waterloo Region Record. Some of these partners we’ve worked with in the past, some are new relationships, and some are old relationships with new opportunities. We’re incredibly excited by the opportunities these relationships provide because as a not-for-profit organization, this kind of support allows us to continue to provide a valued offering for our members.

Developing new skills

Negotiating media sponsorships has also been a fantastic example of how volunteering with Sustainable Waterloo Region can help build career skills. Neither Jenn (Carreiro, PR Coordinator and Social Media Manager) nor I had ever approached a media outlet about partnership, let alone actually negotiated a sponsorship contract. It’s been exhilarating and stressful and satisfying all at the same time, as stretching your comfort zone always is.

Attend our Evening of Recognition

This is also a really great opportunity to segue into our other big project – the Evening of Recognition. Last year we hosted our first Evening of Recognition, and the event was a great success. This year is shaping up to be even better. Besides being able to connect and celebrate with our membership and friends, we get to share the stories and highlights of our members’ successes in the past year. For many it’s been a ground-breaking year as they began to measure their carbon footprint seriously for the first time; for others it was an opportunity to really begin to work towards their carbon reduction goals. We’re really looking forward to being able to share these successes with all of you – stay tuned to learn more as the stories begin to unfold.