Guerilla Influence

· For general programming of course, local papers are the greatest source of “free advertising” in the form of sending news releases. But there are methods to enhance your chances. If none of your staff has been trained in writing news releases or taking good pictures, it might be worth the investment to find training, send one or two people and let them train others. If you send well-written articles and good pictures, editors will love you for it and your material will get printed.

· Develop an e-mail distribution list of the media you want to send to and use it. Most papers today can accept digital articles and photos. This gives you a quick way to get information out. If you’re not sure what the media needs, a personal visit is in order. In fact, personally visiting media periodically will also go a long way in making your material appear in print.

· Use “fusion marketing,” which is essentially using an event that is already going to draw a crowd as a venue to promote other programs. For example, if you have a Spring Yard and Garden event attended by thousands of local residents, use the fact that you have that many of your audience in one place. Set up a booth with flyers, brochures and other information about programs you’re pushing and use the opportunity to have people fill out a short survey–have giveaway items for them if they do the survey.

· Many municipal and county engineering or Information Technology (IT) departments have large format “plotters,” which are inkjet printers used to print out the big construction plans. But they can also print out big color posters very inexpensively. We worked out an arrangment with our IT department to buy them paper and ink. We design our posters for programs or special events in Microsoft Publisher, e-mail it to IT and they print it. Then we’ve worked out arrangements with local (high traffic area) merchants to display them. This is excellent free advertising.

The key to guerilla marketing is to use what you already have or can get free to promote your programs. These are just a few ideas. So what are some great marking ideas that you’ve successfully used? Got any ideas you can share? Call or e-mail me or the magazine and we’ll get them out to the field.

Randy Gaddo is the director of Parks, Recreation and Library Services in Peachtree City, Ga. He can be reached via e-mail at dls@peachtree-city.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (770) 631-2542.

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  1. The Marketing Mission
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  5. Marketing For “Guerillas”

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