Up until 11:04 last night, we were in a dialogue with a certain group about sponsoring their initiative. They do cool work, helping teens understand and eliminate the toxic surroundings in their lives. We care a lot about this, given what we do (the replacement of toxic vinyl binders with the responsible ReBinder).
The conversation broke down when it came to reciprocation for the sponsorship. After weighing our options, we chose to decline. We cared enough about the organization and its success to state what didn't work for us, giving them the opportunity to amend/change if they so choose. They were offering links and a facebook post in exchange for $400/day of free product going out to their teen award winners.
Here was our feedback pertaining to what we would get, "After consideration, the links just wouldn't be that valuable. The page from which you link has a PR of 0. Your Facebook page has a 6, which is nice, but your links are structured as nofollow most of the time, and even then, the frequency of your updates would most likely keep the page from being crawled. It would cost us about $400 and we can't justify it." Not that $400 is a ton of cheese, but we have steadfast rules on how we spend sponsorship dollars.
We'd shared these rules with them months prior. These rules were born from the fact that we compete against well funded, smart, aggressive competition who choose to make and sell toxic vinyl products. We use every dollar we have to kick their asses. So when we sponsor something, it needs to help us do that. We thought this was in line with the goals of this requesting organization.
Here is the response from the Executive Director of their organization, "Wow Brent, Talking about missing the point. Seems like you base life on metrics as opposed to humanity. You should only know how awesome the kids are that are involved in this initiative. But based on your response, I am sure you wouldn't really care much. Sorry we have supported your business in the past. Your off my radar screen..." So - to the point:
- The Kumbaya economics of most green initiatives don't work for all parties. If it doesn't work for all critical participants, then it doesn't work. Most things that don't work go away over time. Understanding the participants and what they need is key to any successful, large scale initiative. This piece is missing from most green initiatives.
- For people that are all about making love not war, what's with all harsh, visceral judgement of anyone who disagrees with you?
- If you can't negotiate with people who disagree with you, then you can't negotiate. You'll end up stuck on an island, singing your own praises while the world passes you by. Worst part of this, we agreed with her.
- Burning bridges doesn't work out in the long run.
- Hubris is unbecoming, grammar is attractive.