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You’ve Got Mail (From Senator Grassley): Questions to Ask Yourself Now

By Diane Knoepke Dec 9, 2009

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has made it a personal mission to uncover [questionable] relationships between non-profit healthcare groups and pharmaceutical and medical device companies, ostensibly to prevent any censored or conflicted information from making its way into or out of the organizations we trust. This week, 33 more organizations received their "Grassley letters," following in the long line of sigh-inducing paperwork that has ramped up since last fall.

The letter does not assert that all relationships are questionable, but rather that “operating with transparency sends a message that there is nothing to hide.” Yet many feel that behind those words is a Congressional witch hunt of sorts, wasting time and resources while there are more important issues to tackle.

No matter what you think of Senator Grassley’s efforts, there is a silver lining if you squint hard enough. Most of the bigger questions (those behind the detailed dollars-and-cents questions) are good ones, and I suggest that whether your organization is under scrutiny not, you take time out in the coming weeks to ask yourself and your colleagues:

  • Are we proud of our corporate relationships? If not, why not? And if not, what can we do differently?
  • Do our corporate relationships complement our organizational culture?
  • Are we keeping our audience needs top-of-mind in all of our corporate relationships?

You will likely find yourself with increased confidence in your offerings and their purpose in service of your organization. But if you find anything to change, you might want to send some mail of your own—I’m sure Senator Grassley would appreciate a thank you note.

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Diane Knoepke

About the Author

Diane is managing director, client leadership for IEG Consulting, where she supports the team’s growth and innovation. Throughout her career, she has advised more than 50 property and brand clients on marketing and social value creation, sales, measurement and strategy. She delights in helping people change organizations more effectively. Follow Diane on Twitter!

 

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