It seems so simple and perhaps even insignificant, but one of the biggest challenges I have faced in working with partnerships is whose logo gets to be included in presentations and products. This can be a very big deal and requires finesse in figuring out what makes sense. Most partnership and coalition members, particularly non-profit, are volunteers and even though it may not seem like a big deal, it can be the difference between active engagement and disengagement. Here are 3 things to try to prevent a “logo war” which can also prevent damage to some of your most important relationships.
- Make a decision BEFORE the product is created (if possible): Most of the conflicts arise when a product has been developed and THEN the decision needs to be made on logo/credit. It is really important to have the conversation prior to the development of the product if possible. If this conversation happens before the product is developed, expectations are set and partners are less likely to be disappointed and upset. Alternatively, if you wait until it’s completed and many different people contributed, folks may be very frustrated and disappointed if they don’t see their logo and yet they put in lots of work. This could impact their participation in future products/efforts and ultimately erode your partnership or group. As I said in the beginning, it may seem like it’s no big deal, but it CAN be! Don’t let something this “small” become a major barrier to future work together.
- Openly discuss the pros and cons of including several logos on the product as well as who should have their logo included. Who will be actively participating in the work? Or, if it’s after the product is developed, who actively participated in the work? Who is funding the work? Who has had their logo on a product in the past? Will having multiple logos enhance the product or distract from it? Asking these questions can help understand expectations from participants and can help figure out the best solution possible when developing a product. Also, depending upon the product or the situation, it may be possible to list the names of the organizations or people participating at the beginning of the product rather than everyone’s logos.
- Consider whether there is an “all encompassing” logo that would represent all parties involved. Many times a partnership or coalition has an overarching name/logo that would include everyone who participated. This may be a coalition, consortium, alliance or other group. You could include that logo on the product and a link to a website or other page that lists the members or participants. Or if it’s a product with multiple pages, there may be a space to list the names of the organizations or people participating.
Ultimately, you need to have open and honest conversations about logos. As I said in the beginning, it may seem small and insignificant, but it become a very challenging situation if you avoid having the honest and open conversations.
So, what about you? What has worked for you in figuring out which logos to choose and how to share credit?
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