Demands vs Requests vs Opportunities



I help run the online presence for a variety of organizations, some of whom are non-profits. I share access with others on the various platforms (Facebook, G+, blogs, etc) and sometimes I run into posts from others I would prefer not to have associated with our project. Usually these particular posts are coming from unpaid volunteers; folks who are passionate about the cause but lacking in some of the nuances of public relations.

This morning I woke to find someone had made a demand on a Facebook page I help run that I know is going to twang against the eyes of some of our page viewers. Basically they said: “Help our ambassador with his needs.” Pretty straightforward, not at all enticing. That’s not how I would have chosen to broach the topic. A demand like this that shows up in my own Facebook newsfeed is one I can blithely ignore. It doesn’t reach out to me at all.  My funds, my time – these are both limited, as they are with most people. So I scroll right on by.

We Have Something You Want!

I would probably linger on the thought if it was presented more as an opportunity for me to leverage my limited resources. So something like:

“Our ambassador is heading to a big public event on a national scale and we think you might want to be a part of it!”
“Have your name associated with our positive messaging!”
“Sponsorship opportunities abound for qualified collaborators!

Can you feel a difference? The whole flavor of the ask has changed. We’ve gone from demanding or begging to suggesting we have a limited commodity for the right people that’s very desirable. Now instead of an unqualified demand the ask has been repositioned as a valuable opportunity for a select few.

Help Us Help You!


Together we ROCK!

We’ve added a subtle value to the sponsorship by suggesting we won’t open it to just anybody. The phrase ‘qualified collaborators’ implies there are certain characteristics we’re willing to hold out for in order to assemble a healthy collective that benefits us all.

Here’s the hierarchy of the ask:

  • Buy me a soda.
  • Could you please buy me a soda?
  • I’m going to drink a soda in front of a big crowd, let’s talk about your message being on my cup!

Is there a statement that draws you in more than the others; one that seems to suggest a valuable excahnge opportunity?

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One Response to How NOT to Make Requests

  1. Norna vela says:

    Great! Perfectly written.

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