Sarah Ford | April 8, 2015

Making Partnerships Work Harder and Better

By Sara Garvey

In 2013, after transitioning its functions from a regional to national model, Time Warner Cable (TWC) established a new Corporate Brand & Reputation team. As part of that department, the Community Investment team was formed to manage non-profit partnerships and engage with communities to enhance the TWC brand. With its signature initiative, Connect A Million Minds (CAMM), the company sought to partner with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) organizations outside of school hours. A natural fit in many markets was the local science museum, due to the considerable audience size and the many programs that museums offer to the public.  One early organizational step was to identify best practices so we could scale up, despite limited geography or resources.  With a significant number of museums in each market, we had to analyze efficiencies, best performers, measurement capabilities and investment assessment models. The result would be consistency leading to better visibility for TWC and stronger partnerships for our Community Investment team.

Fortunately, we already had some long-term partners with whom we could begin the analysis. I saw this as an opportunity to refresh, refocus, and revitalize some legacy partners, and so, examined twelve museum partnerships with the goal of determining best practices we could roll out across the country.

It was the time to standardize contractual elements, create new elements that delivered mutual benefits, and pitch new ideas that we knew were working well in other markets. Taking into account the variety in museum size, target audience, location, and resources, I strived to make each partnership unique and relevant to the museum at hand, while still pushing for consistency in branding, social media, and measurement.  

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