Neighbourly.co.nz, a website which aims to foster “interaction and conversation between neighbours and community organisations” says the partnership with BP will help pay for the day-to-day running of the website as well as support the platform’s ongoing development.
“It’s essential that Neighbourly partners are focused on connecting with and enhancing their local communities and BP ticks both of these boxes,” says Neighbourly co-founder Casey Eden.
“As well as sponsoring Surf Lifesaving New Zealand for over 47 years, they’ve worked alongside Young Enterprise Trust to empower young Kiwis in business leadership and innovation for over 22 years. These lengthy partnerships are testament to BP’s commitment to New Zealand and New Zealanders.”
So is the relationship essentially an economic one?
“To be frank, yes,” he says. “They’re helping us financially. We’re a fledgling website so that support is essential for us, and in return we’ll give our partners opportunities discuss the issues they want to talk about with our members.”
“That could be AMI discussing safety tips before a big storm or after a natural disaster; it could be BP talking about the Neighbourly awards – they’re interested in sponsoring awards that recognise worthy community members who are doing good things – it could be The Warehouse looking for someone to cook sausages for charity outside the building.”
Eden says that while the partnership is a case of ‘audience-as-product’, the sponsored content that’s to be included will be carefully curated by the Neighbourly team.
“The reality is that no-one has more onus to get this right than we have. If we burn our users, they’ll leave, so it’s a case of taking it slowly and keeping a really close eye on the content that’s being put forward.”
“For us it’s a case of only working with partners who really understand that this is a long-term play.”
Since launching in June 2014, Neighbourly has grown to a membership of over 115,000 across 1,700 suburbs. In April the company announced its partnership with The Warehouse and insurance provider AMI in November of 2014.