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Advertising and Community Relations -- The Best of Both Worlds

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  • Michele Pariza Wacek
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      Article Title:
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      Advertising and Community Relations -- The Best of Both Worlds

      Article Description:
      ====================
      Looking for low-cost but big bang marketing opportunities?
      Try combining advertising and community relations and see
      what happens. Check out this real world case study for
      ideas you can use for your own business.


      Additional Article Information:
      ===============================
      650 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
      Distribution Date and Time: Fri Sep 2 01:08:38 EDT 2005

      Written By: Michele Pariza Wacek
      Copyright: 2005
      Contact Email: mailto:michele@...

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      Advertising and Community Relations -- The Best of Both Worlds
      Copyright � 2005 Michele Pariza Wacek
      The Artist Soul
      http://www.TheArtistSoul.com



      Have you ever noticed that in communities without big
      universities, high school sports take on an even bigger
      importance?

      That's what it's like where I live.

      But like everywhere else in the country, our high school sports
      are always looking for ways to make a few extra bucks. Enter the
      high school baseball sponsorship program.

      For a nominal fee (really nominal) businesses can display a
      banner around the baseball field for the season.

      To me, this is a perfect example of a win-win situation for
      everyone.

      Businesses get to advertise to parents (who are currently
      purchasing adult products and services) and kids (who soon will
      be purchasing adult products and services). They are able to
      control their message because they choose the banner (one of the
      strengths of advertising). And, because the parents and kids
      viewing the ads know the proceeds are going to help high school
      sports, they tend to view those businesses more favorably (one of
      the strengths of community relations).

      Best yet, high school sports benefit from an influx of cash.

      See how this works? As a business owner, you get the best of all
      worlds: Control of your message (advertising), frequency of your
      message (advertising), affiliation with a good cause (community
      relations) and the good feeling knowing you're supporting a
      worthwhile cause (community relations).

      Creativity Exercise -- How to find win-win advertising and
      community relations opportunities

      Grab some paper and pens (I'm partial to the fun gel pens) and
      let's start with some brainstorming.

      First, start by making a list of everything you're looking for.
      I would include:

      * What advertising opportunities does the association offer?
      For this purpose, make sure they offer some sort of
      advertising or sponsorship package.

      * Is it a cause near and dear to your heart? (Or even just
      something you believe in?)

      * Does the cause reach your target market? This is important.
      In the above example, as cool as I think that opportunity is,
      I'm not racing to sign up. Why? Because chances are, I'm not
      hitting enough of my target market to make it worth my while.
      And since there's a limited number of these opportunities, I
      could potentially be taking something away from a business
      that could really benefit from it.

      However, here's something else to think about. Basically when it
      comes to target markets, this is what you have to decide: Is the
      cause more important than you getting business out of it? The
      more closely aligned the cause is to your target market, the more
      likely you'll see results from your participation. But again, if
      this is a cause you're passionate about and it reaches absolutely
      no one in your target market, you may still want to participate
      simply because it is so important to you. (I would still look for
      ways to get something out of your investment -- see (LINK TO) How
      to Use Community Relations to Grow Your Business for more ideas.
      There's nothing wrong with reaping some reward for your time
      and/or money.)

      Now that you know what you're looking for, start digging around
      for opportunities. Start by calling the local Chamber of Commerce
      and networking groups like the Rotary and Kiwanis and other
      organizations that have their fingers on your community's pulse.
      Ask about both high-profile events and ones off the beaten path.
      Make sure you research them both -- high-profile events may seem
      too pricey on the surface, but dig deeper and you may discover
      it's perfect for your business. And you may strike gold with
      smaller venues.

      You can also try calling your local area school sports coaches,
      band directors and fine arts program teachers -- all frequently
      offer programs that might include sponsorships and/or
      underwriting and/or various forms of advertising. Ditto non-
      school run sports programs like dance, gymnastics, Pop Warner
      football, AYSO soccer, Little League, YBL Basketball, etc.

      With any luck, you'll discover your own win-win situation.



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      Michele Pariza Wacek is the author of "Got Ideas? Unleash Your
      Creativity and Make More Money." She offers two free e-zines
      that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting
      marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful
      at attracting new clients, selling products and services and
      boosting business. She can be reached at:
      http://www.TheArtistSoul.com Copyright 2005 Michele Pariza Wacek


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