Words matter when it comes to organizations’ corporate relationships.
- I worked for an association CEO; we had a robust corporate partner program. The association CEO never called the companies “vendors”. He sometimes called them “sponsors” or “partners”. He often called them “business friends”. (Big smiles from sponsors when the association CEO said this.)
- I have a slide in some of my PowerPoint presentation. I remind folks that the word “partner” is a noun and a verb. Associations often say that company is the association’s “partner”. However, does the association truly “partner” with the company? (“Partner” as a verb has much greater value.)
- Association Forum announced in 2022 that it is getting rid of its Supplier Partner and Consultant membership categories. The new category is Supporting Member. Artesha Moore, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO of Association Forum, pointed out that these companies and consultants “are focused on designing products, services, and solutions to help associations solve organizational and societal problems.” (A “win” for members and companies.)
Words matter when it comes to building relationships with corporate partners.