Tag Archives: marketing

Mass Communication Final Paper

For our mass communication final, we were to choose two questions from a list of four and write at least a page and a half response to each question. I admit I was in more of a rush on this one than usual because of unavoidable personal circumstances and how long my first question response turned out to be. I took some risks because I didn’t have time to second-guess myself. I don’t yet know my grade. I found two typos after turning it in which I have corrected here. What will happen?


2. Summarize and critique Social Marketing. How do you see the theory’s characteristics? Provide examples.

Everett Rogers was a researcher who studied the flow of information and personal spheres of influence in the early 1960s. Rogers developed the information diffusion theory and innovation diffusion theory to explain how new ideas and technologies get distributed and adopted. He found a progression through several stages: first comes awareness, then utilization by early adopters. Opinion leaders observe the early adopters and try out the new innovations and concepts on their own. If they find the new ideas useful, the opinion leaders spread the news to opinion followers that they associate with. The last group to embrace the new innovations are the late adopters who try the new ways when they see that the majority of society has accepted them (Baran and Davis 277).

Information/diffusion theories assign some of the awareness role to the mass media, explaining that elites get the process started, then change agents whose job it is to promote actions and ideas along with early adopters who are active and knowledgeable media users take over information dissemination (Baran and Davis 278). Innovations that were not a good fit for the intended users were found to fail in the long term even if people could be persuaded to try them. A top-down approach was not satisfactory without some modifications (Baran and Davis 279).

Social marketing theory is a body of thought that deals with the promotion of practices or products that take the public good into account and are not primarily motivated by profit. To bring about desired effects in society, an information provider empowers agents with various forms of support to become opinion leaders to an active audience (Baran and Davis 279).

I belong to an organization that utilizes social marketing theory effectively – the St. Louis Master Gardener program. Our Master Gardeners spread knowledge and perform volunteer work to increase area residents’ pleasure in gardens and gardening and to provide horticultural information (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Welcome Gardeners”). How does the St. Louis Master Gardener program exemplify the seven key features of social marketing theory?

Step 1. The first requirement is to raise awareness (Baran and Davis 279). Master Gardeners sponsor horticulture related events and garden tours and send speakers out to other organizations (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Welcome Gardeners”). Members can purchase apparel with the organization’s logo to wear while performing public volunteer duties (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Master Gardener Merchandise”). The Master Gardener program also uses their web site and Facebook page to promote the organization (St. Louis Master Gardeners).

Step 2. Secondly, targeting is employed to reach those who are most susceptible to the message (Baran and Davis 280). The sponsoring organizations of the St. Louis Master Gardener Program, the University of Missouri Extension and Missouri Botanical Garden, are prominent in horticultural education. The University of Missouri Extension educates one million Missourians per year (University of Missouri Extension). Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as MOBOT, is a world leader in research and as a provider scientific plant information (Missouri Botanical Garden “Research”). MOBOT provided 121.7 million dollars to the St. Louis region’s economy in 2017 (Missouri Botanical Garden “Annual & Strategic Reports”) and is a highly rated destination for tourists (Attractions of America). Many of the public sites where Master Gardeners perform work attract audiences interested in plants, gardening, ecology and outdoor activities (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Master Gardeners in Action”).

Step 3. Messages must be repetitious and promoted through several media channels to be effective even among a targeted group (Baran and Davis 280). St. Louis Master Gardeners are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours and complete 10 hours of education annually to remain certified (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Become a Master Gardener”). According the St. Louis Master Gardeners annual report, in 2018 there were 346 active Master Gardeners who contributed a total of 38,100 volunteer hours and delivered 101 Speakers Bureau presentations (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Annual Report 2018” 5). That is a lot of opportunity to communicate with members of the public who are interested in gardening.

Step 4. Images and impressions of the desired behavior must be cultivated through attractive images that are easily recognizable and compelling (Baran and Davis 280). Since gardening is the most popular hobby in the US (Pearlstein and Gehringer 64) and people across many cultures find the sight of flowers pleasing (Hula and Flegr “Introduction”), there are abundant opportunities for the media and change agents to create seductive images and situations.

Step 5. Members of the intended audience must be interested enough to seek information (Baran and Davis 280). Master Gardeners are compelled by the program’s requirements to constantly add to their expertise (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Become a Master Gardener”). Gardening takes considerable knowledge to engage in successfully (Sweetser), so it’s not very difficult to get participants in the nation’s most popular hobby to seek and consume information. Gardening could even increase in popularity due to home trends that include maximizing use of outdoor space (Ballinger “What’s Hot: Trends in the Pipeline for 2018”), gardens that enhance wellness (Ballinger “Elements of a Residential Therapy Garden”), and the trend toward consuming more locally grown food (Ballinger “Agrihoods Feed Buyer Interest With Hip Amenities”).

Step 6. As the audience becomes more informed and engaged, influencing audience priorities and decision making are the next tasks according to social media theory (Baran and Davis 280). The media can be used to transmit messages to encourage the desired behavior and is usually more affordable than using change agents and opinion leaders (Baran and Davis 280). The St. Louis Master Gardener program has an advantage with access to a team of change agents and opinion leaders who volunteer their time and even pay for the tuition to become a Master Gardener (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Become a Master Gardener”).

Step 7. Finally, the audience is exposed to marketing techniques designed to stimulate action (Baran and Davis 280). The actions that the Master Gardener program wants to encourage in the general public are to engage in and enjoy gardening (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Welcome Gardeners”). As evidenced by the activities already mentioned, Master Gardeners provide a lot of free and low-cost advice to make gardening more successful and enjoyable to our audience. Some of the institutions that make use of Master Gardener services provide inspiration to the public with beautiful plantings (St. Louis Master Gardeners “Master Gardeners in Action”). The Master Gardener calendar of activities includes events such as plant sales, tours, holiday celebrations and classes about not only growing plants but using their harvested products (St. Louis Master Gardeners “STLMG Calendar”). Such activities help to stimulate interested persons into starting a garden or expanding their gardening activities.

Social marketing theorists try to make their information/innovation diffusion efforts more effective by requesting feedback from consumers and making changes during a campaign if necessary (Baran and Davis 281). They hope to avoid the pitfalls of information/innovation diffusion theory when applied to audiences that don’t want or don’t understand the innovations they are encouraged to adopt (Baran and Davis 278). Social marketing theory has several weaknesses, for example a campaign can fail to work as planned if there is no two-way communication between an early adopter and a party that resists the innovation (Baran and Davis 281).

I inadvertently found myself demonstrating some effective and ineffective aspects of information/innovation diffusion theory and social marketing theory when my husband and I started installing rainscaping features to prevent damage to our house and yard. As part of my Master Gardener continuing education, I attended a Project Clear presentation by the Metropolitan Sewer District, also known as MSD, on what homeowners can do to help MSD control flooding, sewer backups and poor water quality in our region (Hasenfratz). Social marketing theory assumes a benign information provider primarily interested in the general well-being of the community (Baran and Davis 279). In MSD’s case, if homeowners adopted the practices advocated by MSD, MSD would benefit by having some of the pressure taken off of them while society in general would also benefit by enduring less property damage, reducing some of its own costs and creating a healthier environment for humans and other species. I took on the role of opinion leader when I wrote about rainscaping on the Schnarr’s Hardware Company business blog and my husband and I became early adopters when we started installing rainscaping features (Baran and Davis 277). MSD was successful in convincing me to go through the social marketing theory steps all the way to Step 7, activation (Baran and Davis 279-280).

We encountered resistance to our innovation when our next-door neighbor decided that our rainscaping features were ugly when they were under construction and she called St. Louis County to complain. St. Louis County ordered us to undo our rainscaping but we decided to contest the order because we judged it to be uninformed and arbitrary, and we eventually prevailed (Winkelmann). Once back-and-forth communication with the County decision makers was established, events progressed quickly in our favor. I provided feedback about our experience to MSD so that they can make any changes they deem necessary for future success, as advocated by the hierarchy-of-effects model of social marketing theory (Baran and Davis 281). According to social marketing theorists, MSD might encounter less resistance to the innovations they are promoting by using Step 1 to raise general awareness and Step 4 to make the solutions look more attractive (Baran and Davis 279-280). Perhaps MSD could also use Step 5 to encourage information seeking by demonstrating how homeowners could solve more of their problems and save money with apparently still avant-garde rainscaping techniques (Baran and Davis 280).

4. Explain Cultivation Analysis. How do you see the theory? Be sure to include examples.

Cultivation Analysis is the theory that television presents a view that does not necessarily reflect reality, but because people believe it does, reality changes to conform to television (Baran and Davis 287). The originator of the theory, George Gerbner, worked on projects along with colleagues as they attempted to explain whether perceptions created by television create parallel realities in the lives of viewers (Baran and Davis 288). In the Violence Index they explored the effects of televised violence on real-life aggressive behavior. Their Cultural Indicators Project expanded the social issues studied beyond only violence (Baran and Davis 288).

One of the assumptions made by the researchers in the Cultural Indicators Project was that television has unique qualities that make it exceptionally dominant and worthy of study. Nearly all homes in the US are equipped with television. There are few barriers to the medium’s consumption. For most users, one is not required to be able to read, pay a lot of money, or leave the home to use it. Television combines sound with pictures and appeals to nearly all age groups (Baran and Davis 288-289).

The earliest critics of mass media, the mass society theorists, feared that media would usurp the role of social institutions they considered reassuring and stabilizing such as the family, education, the military, religion, business and politics (Baran and Davis 33). Research by Gerbner in 1990 seems to confirm earlier critics’ predictions. Television, a form of mass media not yet imagined by mass society thinkers, had come to replace the influence of real-life institutions, at least among heavy users (Baran and Davis 290).

In Post-World War II America, many citizens were learning new ways of living and attempting to conform to the ideal lifestyles displayed via the newly prevalent medium of television (Hine 9). Television sets enjoyed rapid adoption between 1950 and the middle of the decade, increasing from 3.1 million sets sold per year to 32 million (Heimann 5). Television sitcom families became role models for people seeking reassurance as they navigated a society that was very different from that of their parents (Hine 10).

Moving from the cities to the suburbs was trendy and caused people to become more isolated from each other as they lived with more actual space between homes and drove their own cars instead of using public transportation (Hine 23). Suburban dwellers were considered malleable and desirable by marketers in part because of their reliance on media for information instead of traditional social institutions such as the family (Hine 24). Media based authorities assumed a parental role as they advised the nation on how to manage and enjoy life (Hine 27).

Some designers of physical spaces recognized that a vision seen on a screen was something that many movie and television viewers wanted to experience for themselves. Architect Morris Lapidus designed outrageous buildings designed to appeal to tastes derived from Hollywood rather than elite classic architecture. Disneyland the theme park was a companion piece to Disneyland the TV show, and was deliberately designed to give visitors an experience that reflected the expectations developed through television viewing (Hine 150-152). The works of Walt Disney and Morris Lapidus are examples of yet another cultivation analysis premise that appears to be correct – Gerbner’s 3 Bs of Television, “the idea that television blurs, blends and bends reality” (Baran and Davis 290, 292).

Works Cited

Attractions of America. “Top 10 Tourist Attractions in St. Louis, Missouri.” AttractionsofAmerica.Com, 2012-2017, https://www.attractionsofamerica.com/attractions/top-10-tourist-attractions-in-st-louis-missouri.php. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Ballinger, Barbara. REALTOR Magazine, “Home & Design.” National Association of Realtors, 2019. magazine.realtor/home-and-design. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Baran, Stanley J. and Dennis K. Davis. Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future. Seventh Edition. CENGAGE Learning, 2015.

Hasenfratz, Carolyn. “MSD’s Project Clear and Our Local Water Issues.” Schnarr’s Hardware Company, 2017, schnarrsblog.com/msds-project-clear-and-our-local-water-issues/. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Heimann, Jim. The Golden Age of Advertising – the 50s. Taschen, 2005.

Hine, Thomas. Populuxe: From Tailfins and TV Dinners To Barbie Dolls and Fallout Shelters. MJF Books, 1986 and 1999.

Hula, Martin, and Jaroslav Flegr. “What flowers do we like? The influence of shape and color on the rating of flower beauty.” PeerJ vol. 4 e2106. 7 Jun. 2016, doi:10.7717/peerj.2106. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/plant-science/plant-science/research.aspx. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Pearlstein, Karen, and George Gehringer. “Indoors Out/Outdoors In.” Casual Living, vol. 51, no. 5, May 2011, pp. 64-66. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=60680069&site=ehost-live. Accessed 14 October 2019.

St. Louis Master Gardeners, 2018-2019, stlmg.org/. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Sweetser, Robin, “10 Tips For Beginner Gardeners: Things To Consider When Starting A
Vegetable Garden.” Yankee Publishing, Inc, 2019, www.almanac.com/news/gardening/gardening-advice/10-tips-beginner-gardeners. Accessed 15 October 2019.

University of Missouri Extension, “Pride Points.” Curators of the University of Missouri, 1993 to 2019, http://extension.missouri.edu/about/pride-points.aspx. Accessed 15 October 2019.

Winkelmann, Carolyn Hasenfratz. “Drainage Problems Are Bringing Tom and Me To Court.” Carolyn Hasenfratz Design, 2019, www.chasenfratz.com/wp/drainage-problems-are-bringing-tom-and-i-to-court/. Accessed 15 October 2019.


Further reading: If you like the topics I wrote about above, you might enjoy more resources that I found but did not use.

Gardening for Beginners: 11 Tips for a Successful Start

2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features

Human ethology

Displays That Pay Releases SHOWCloud for Interactive, Multi-Channel Displays

One of the companies I work for is launching a new product! For any of you who are attending Startup Connection 2015 today, I’ll see you there!

SHOWCloud solutions allow companies to amplify their brand presence with interactive, multi-channel content that is easily displayed on any screen.New platform transfers flat displays into interactive marketing communications walls

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) November 18, 2015

Displays That Pay® announced the release of their latest display solutions suite, SHOWCloud™ for Trade Shows at Startup Connection 2015. SHOWCloud solutions allow companies to amplify their brand presence with interactive, multi-channel content that is easily displayed on any screen. SHOWCloud transforms flat TV displays into dynamic walls that draw customers to trade show booths, engage them with real-time content and capture leads through mobile tools.

The SHOWCloud service provides multiple panels of video, social, web and scanable mobile codes on any display sharing viewable web browser content. Each display provides up to four panels of content that can be dynamically updated on the fly using the SHOWCloud mobile controller on a smartphone, tablet or Internet of Things (IoT) device.

Each display provides up to four panels of content that can be dynamically updated on the fly“Brands already have a tremendous amount of digital media content – from videos to social media to slides and images. SHOWCloud solutions allow them to organize and use this content to share their stories through separate panels displaying these multi-channel media assets,” said Mark Rice, CEO and founder of Displays That Pay. “SHOWCloud makes this content exciting and interactive so people are drawn in and want to engage.”

To support interaction at events, SHOWCloud for Trade Shows allows companies to display social media feeds like Twitter and Instagram and invite people to interact through hashtags and short URLs. Companies can also display scanable QR codes or use NFC tags at their booth to capture leads or download content. Existing applications from IFTTT services can trigger automated processes to effortlessly transfer a relevant show photo to a display via SHOWCloud’s Dropbox integration.

SHOWCloud customers can:

  • Display mobile, social, video and web content simultaneously
  • Embed video content without any coding
  • Collaborate with team members using a Dropbox folder linked to the display
  • Showcase up to four panels and expand and collapse panels as needed
  • Start and stop carousel displays providing live presentations
  • Add new content from anywhere using the SHOWCloud mobile controller or Dropbox
  • Display without Wi-Fi using smartcard backup
  • Captivate customers after the event with a SHOWCloud monthly subscription

Contact Displays That Pay for SHOWCloud for Trade Show pricing information, which includes dedicated pre-event support and remote support during the event.

About Displays That Pay
Displays That Pay transforms flat displays into engaging, interactive marketing walls to capture attention and generate leads. The company’s central product, SHOWCloud, is a cloud-based application supporting brand exposure and sales engagement at major trade shows, events and venues. Learn more at http://www.displaysthatpay.com.

Media Contacts

Rosie Hausler
Phone: +1 (425) 301-6740
Email: rosie.hausler@soundcmo.com

Mark Rice
Phone: +1 (314) 385-5211
Email: mark@displaysthatpay.com
Internet: http://www.displaysthatpay.com

How to Start a Blog

A friend of mine solicited advice in Facebook on this topic, and since what I’ve written is probably too long for that platform, I’ll make a blog post out of it!

 

  1. First think about what the purpose of your blog is. All of the decisions you make will flow from that, so be clear in your mind on why you are doing it. What is the theme, if you have one? Pick out a title that fits the theme and purpose. While doing business blogging as part of my living, I was taught that one of the purposes of blogging and other social media is to give your company a more personal feel and create a connection with the audience. Whether your purpose in blogging is to make money or just express yourself, informality is expected so if you want to go off topic now and then and write about whatever is on your mind at the time, that is ok to do.
  2. Decide whether you need your own domain name. Is it acceptable to have your blog at myblog.wordpress.com for example or is it important to have www.myblog.com? If you want your own domain, is there a domain name available that fits your chosen title?
  3. Decide whether you want to use your real name or a pen name.
  4. Decide what email address you want to associate with your account. If you’re using a pen name, you might not want to use the same email address you use when you’re using your real name online. Also if you want readers to be able to contact you by email, it might be useful to have a separate email for this so you can better manage the spam settings. On most platforms that I’m familiar with, allowing readers to contact you by email is voluntary.
  5. If you have any interest at all in Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms, get an account in each to complement your blog – using your pen name if you have one, or it’s ok to use accounts under your real name if you don’t mind revealing all your online activities to the world. Many blog platforms allow you to link your blog to these accounts and it makes promotion of your blog a lot quicker and easier and gives people more ways to interact with you. You will most likely to be prompted to link these accounts when you set up your blog so it’s convenient to have them ready before you start. It’s a lot of work to fill all the social media platforms with content, so whenever you can have one account propagate content to the others automatically it’s a big help. For example, my Twitter account accepts feeds from my other activities, mostly automatically, and I rarely have to go straight to Twitter to add content, though I still can if I want to – http://www.limegreennews.com/ – the rest of that web site is very out of date, but the Twitter feed at least is current!
  6. Select a blogging software platform. Make sure you picked out a title and how you want to identify yourself online before you start playing around with the software because you often cannot change the name after you start setting up your account. I don’t think you can go far wrong with WordPress because people have written a lot of useful free plug-ins and you will be able to do a lot with it. If there are certain special features that are important to you it might not hurt to look at a comparison chart of different blog software, such as this one – http://startbloggingonline.com/blog-platform-comparison-chart/ or this one – http://weblogs.about.com/od/choosingabloghost/p/BlogSoftware.htm. It isn’t strictly necessary to use “blogging” software to have a blog because the meaning of the word “blog” comes from “web log” which is just a web page that is updated frequently. If you use “blogging” software it will make it easier for people to understand what you’re doing but if you want to get more creative with the format, you can do that.
  7. Select an avatar image to identify yourself as you set up your account. There will be other decisions to make as you set up the account, they will vary depending on the platform, just keep your purpose in mind while doing it and those decisions will be easy.
  8. Now comes the fun part – filling the blog with content! Whether doing personal or business blogging, if I’m stuck for an idea I ask myself, what’s going on right now in my life that might be interesting to someone? A project, an observation, an interesting event? If you have an interesting life, finding time to write will probably be more of a problem than finding things to write about. In any kind of creative work, I find it helpful to keep a notebook or scrapbook at hand to jot down any ideas that I can work on later when I have time. Also if you’re stuck in a situation where you are in a waiting room or a line or something, writing is a great portable activity – write a rough draft and refine it when you get home! With today’s mobile devices, you don’t even have to wait until you get home!

Other tips for getting ideas for content:

 

  • Do you get emails with interesting topics that might spark some commentary from you? Collect them in a folder in your email software, and when you’re feeling dry, read some and see if you get inspired.
  • Have you read articles online or in publications that are interesting? Clip them or print them out and put them in a folder to look at on days when you want to write but need ideas.
  • Have you written a substantive or interesting email or social media post? Turn that into a blog post! For example, a fellow artist at an outdoor show once asked me for advice for finding shows. I wrote him an email and later used it as a newsletter article because I thought it would be helpful to other people.
  • Reviews are enjoyable to read and a good service to the readers and are always a good fallback if you’re stuck for ideas.
  • If you want to cover a certain topic, you can use the Yahoo News service to have emails sent to you with links to news articles that include keywords of your choosing. Open yourself up to news outlets that cover the topics of interest to you – free community papers, bulletin boards, newsletters, online magazines? A blog is a good place to report timely news since it’s meant to be frequently updated and informal, and posting news is a useful public service too.
  • Is someone you know doing something interesting that fits your theme? Interview them!
  • Consider allowing guest bloggers. Perhaps you have a friend with a blog and you can strike up a deal where you can occasionally write a post for their blog and they write one for you. Be sure to allow including a link back to the guest author’s blog – that will expose both of your blogs to new readers.
  • If you don’t have time for a substantial blog post, don’t feel intimidated – it’s ok to post just a photo, or a couple of lines of commentary, or embed a video you like now and then. Remember it’s informal! It’s more important to post frequently than it is to post long, substantial articles. I personally like to read long, substantial articles, so I would not follow a blog that did not include one from time to time. However I’m probably not typical and many people in your audience would probably rather read something short. I’m always being told to cut down my writings – but I usually refuse if I can get away with it! My reasoning is that people who want to read my blog want to read things written in my “voice”, so I don’t want to mess with that. There are literally millions of other people they can read if they don’t like my style. There is a lot of competition so the way to stand out is to be yourself, in my opinion!

Craft Fair Checklist

I’m pretty experienced at this craft fair stuff, but I still forget important items now and then. At this past Saturday’s Farmers Market I was organizing the change in my cash box and saw that while I had brought coin and fives, I had forgotten ones! Those are pretty important, luckily I had a 20 on me and I got some ones by buying breakfast from another vendor. I decided I’m going to do something I should have done a long time ago and make a checklist which I will print out and use as a packing guide each time I do a show. In the past I’ve forgotten the cover for my canopy and I’ve been next to a vendor that had to go home because they forgot supports for their shelving and lived too far away to make it worthwhile to go home and come back. Lapses like that can ruin your day. If you check off each essential item as you pack then you can avoid disappointments. Here is my own list – use it as a guide to make your own!

Tables

Table cloths

Wrinkle releaser

Tent

Tent cover

Tent stakes

Hammer

Tent weights

Tarps

Chair(s)

Inventory list

Receipt book

Pens

Cash box

Calculator

Change

Tax rate for locale

Belt pouch

iPhone

Auxiliary battery for phone

Square

Promotional materials

Bags

Boxes

Packing paper (blank newsprint)

Mirror (if selling jewelry)

Signage

Sketchbook

Pencils

Some portable craft item to work on

Hand sanitizer

Tissues

Snacks

Drinks

Sunscreen

Sunglasses

Hat

Rain poncho

Jacket

Roll of orange caution tape

Extra price stickers

Pliers

Wire

Twist ties

Duct tape

Scissors

Masking tape

Paper towels

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the merchandise!

How to Make an Event Promotion Checklist

I’ve been working hard lately promoting my upcoming class, “Polymer Clay Beads with Pearl Ex Pigments”. It’s the first in a series, so I’m figuring out some new processes and making several new promotion pieces. The next one should take a lot less time to promote, but only if I remember what I did and can find all the parts – there are quite a lot as you will see!

First I’ll make an action list of all the tasks to perform in a logical order.

  1. Write up event description and create promotional image – a photo, a logo or whatever image shows what the event is about.
  2. Create event registration form on web site.
  3. Create any short URLs, campaign codes or QR Codes you might need.
  4. Write up event announcement with link to registration page and post on web site(s). If you have a separate mobile-optimized site post it there also.
  5. Write and send out press release to media outlets. If you’re new to this find some on this promotion resources page.
  6. List event on all the suitable free online events calendars you can find.
  7. Promote to all appropriate social media outlets.
    • Blog
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Tumblr
    • Google +
    • Pinterest
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube (if you have video or slide show)
    • More!
  8. Create banner ads and place where appropriate.
  9. Create flyers and distribute.
  10. Create postcards and send to your snail mail list.
  11. Create announcement email and send to your email list. For my email I used ExactTarget software and made use of the Social Forward feature. I had more than one event to announce in my email and Social Forward allows me to break up the content into segments and enables recipients to share the parts of the email that are of interest to them with their own social networks.
  12. Send reminder emails to your list of those who have registered as event date gets closer.

I recommend you use my list above as a starting point and use it to make your own promotion checklist, adding and subtracting action items as needed. Then make some kind of master document that includes notes, links or whatever information you will need to carry out the tasks and remember what you did so you don’t have to figure everything out again the next time you have an event to promote. It’s useful to make this document in some kind of format that supports tables such as a private web page, Word document or Excel spreadsheet. Then you can put appropriate links and info in the row next to each action item to make everything easy to find and remember. If you are part of an organization share this document with others involved in the project so you can all benefit from the knowledge you’ll gain during the promotion.

The importance of consistent branding across channels

When creating an identity for your company, it’s important to present a unified look and feel across all channels. A few examples of channels are emails, web sites, print ads and mobile apps. Common elements that help identify your brand can be logos, colors or fonts. Sounds, type of paper or photography styles are examples of other choices that can play a role in forming your brand identity.

Few would argue that this concept is wrong, but believe it or not at one of my former jobs I had to persuade some people to make the branding more consistent. Today I had an experience that illustrates why consistent branding is important. I was working on one of my mailing lists, and needed to find a first and last name for a contact in my database. I did a search online for the email address, and found a web site with a logo and color scheme that made me remember a business card that I collected about three years ago. I looked in my business card folio, and voila! There was the information I needed. I never would have remembered where I made this contact if I had not remembered the logo and color scheme. If your potential customers want something that you have, making yourself as memorable as possible with consistent branding can help!

Templates for Tent Cards

I’m planning on using tent cards when I exhibit my crafts in the upcoming year to highlight certain products or draw attention to deals and sales. I designed templates for two different sized tent cards to hold changeable inserts in two sizes – 3.5 x 3.75 inch and 5.25 x 4 inch. The latter is a good size for postcards. Tent cards can be used for other functions also, such as business events, parties, receptions and more.

One example of how you could use these at a business event is to put promotional messages with QR codes on the tent card inserts. Prospects with smartphones on their person can scan the codes and see mobile content that you have prepared for them.

To use these templates, first print out the four pages included in the PDF download. Cut out the two tent card templates and inserts and if you like laminate them for durability. Trace around the tent card templates on card stock and cut out. Cut four diagonal lines in the front of the tent card to make corners for holding the inserts. Score and fold tent card piece along dotted lines and tape the end tab to the back of the card to form a tent shape.

Create inserts and push them into the corners on the front of the tent cards to hold them in place. I’ve included sheets of inserts laid out so you can see how many fit on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. If you want you can scan or import the insert sheets into the graphics software of your choice and use them as a guide to create content to print out.