Everybody competes for success. And in order to have success, you need successful campaigns and interesting cases, media coverage. If you're proposing a project that's going to be a loud one, that will bring the companies some dividends, then this is your big strength compared to other projects.
Never begin communication asking for something. Begin with a proposal. Moreover, the companies could be involved in several other projects. Should your project look less successful for them, then you'll probably get a refusal. Arguments like "please help us, we've got an important social problem that needs to be changed or else everybody's going to die" have stopped being relevant since long ago. No one pays attention to such projects because there're more successful proposals. So your proposal has to be put forward with a strong creating backing. And also tell them what exactly your future partner is going to get from your proposal.
A simple idea, which even a kid can grasp. Messages have to be precise. This guarantees that it will get to the last recipient unchanged, without any loses on its way. You can test your messages on your acquaintances and friends, and even better — on kids.
Tell stories. You cannot think up or buy cool stories, you have to go to the field to get them — seeking real events or/and real people. Because in conversation with partners it's worth it to recall a real story from your own experience. It may have positive or negative contents; but it's important for it to be genuine. Afterwards, when people will be talking about your project, they, most probably, will be recalling exactly these real stories.
Infotainment has won. These days nobody is struggling for mockup logos, everybody is struggling for involvement. PR and communications, all this stuff, have being crossing into the emotions zone. People will be experiencing emotions and will be voluntarily talking about your project. Journalists, opinion makers — if they wrote about you on their own account, then your project has worked out as a really creative one and all subsequent have to be of the same kind.
Understand what your donors or clients give you the nod for. Naturally, these could be reports, number of publications, number of the opinion makers involved. But sometimes these can turn out to be gratitude from other people and other aspiring moments.
Truth is the best communication strategy. When you have agreed on a meeting with potential partners, be frank with them during a conversation. If you're asked about something, but you still don't know all the details, then you'd better tell everything as it is. And after that promise to tell everything later. The important thing is not to promise an ideal world. Because you can never achieve it. If you find out about some faults in the work beforehand, you can try to make things right. And even if it's still remains a failure, it's not worth it covering it up. What it does worth doing, is draw conclusions from these failure stories.
Always follow the "win-win" approach. For any partnership, in order for it to become a lasting and strategic one, you must remember about "win-win." Motivation for partners can not only be financial or advertising. Emotional motivation also works perfectly: involve your partner as an expert that will support with their knowledge or invites friends.