Relationships – Building strategic partnerships

Greg Spooner – Relationships – This is what you need to build relationships with strategic partners.

Say anytime that we’re on the hunt for funding and for product it all starts with relationship building for us and we needed the opportunity to certainly establish a list of people that we want to talk to but we’ll also know that through networking we’ll meet other people and that’s where it all begins for us, is finding the community. And then over a period of several months and sometimes as even as long as a year, you get an opportunity just to continue to talk and figure each other out and after anywhere from five to really eight valuable exchanges, valuable interactions, that’s where we really see the momentum start to build.

When we met some wonderful people from Panasonic after the initial understanding of what we were actually doing in creating content out in the middle of the ocean in a harsh environment and delivering it via satellite back to students in the classroom and back to live news feeds to national television. We saw value in the product that they have to be able to create and distribute this media, they saw the value that they could provide in that there is really tough that’s going to withstand these environments and is going to integral to our success.

Moving forward with something bigger, our title sponsor for the 2013 trek west from Africa to Miami was sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and we were never even expecting to find and connect with what would end up being to this day, a great partner like them and it started out with just running into them at a convention, seeing them at a few more meetings, creating the friendship and then always saying, “Hey, here’s what I’m going to do. I hope some way we can work together down the road,” and that blossomed into the primary funding avenue for this expedition and we had the great opportunity at certainly bringing them on as partners but also as friends and we could see how they had tools that we could utilize to spread the word and they had a community of people who would want to hear what we’re doing and they saw us as a vehicle to promote what they were doing. And on expeditions that don’t even exist within the boundaries of Canada, we still have an opportunity to work together and there’s a great symbiosis I think that can be developed if patients is understood and also having a real sound plan as to what you want to do and how you want to do it is developed prior to.