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Re: was marketing...now Publicity

From: celia storey <storey@aristotle.net>

Glenn asks:

>My wife, Linda, has just been appointed Publicity Chairperson for our
>local club.  Neither Linda or myself has had any experience at this before
>and Linda is the first person in our club to hold this position.  How do
>other clubs handle publicity for shows and sales?  How do you all bring in
>non club/AIS members to these events?
In Arkansas, we have a statewide daily paper and a central state weekly
newspaper and dozens of small weeklies and dailies around and about. The
two big papers run gardening features routinely, usually "notes" stories
prepared by an agent of the Cooperative Extension Service. We also have
county agents with regular radio call-in shows.

To publicize our events, I send scatter-shot" press releases to every
newspaper in our central area (get the addresses from a reference at the
library). Then I send targeted notices to the county agents with the
outreach forums. We used to have a section editor who ran iris photos when
I included them. She's gone away, though.
Always include reliable contact numbers on your press releases. Last year a
smaller paper called us and did a feature story on the iris' history in
their town -- not what the release was about, but hey, great idea.

This year I plan to add a few garden club newsletters to my list,
especially the Master Gardeners.

Another member of our club specializes in TV and radio contacts. She calls
the people who have noon talk shows on the local TV stations. I follow up
with press releases to the TV station assignment editors.

I also send extra notices to the activities calendar editors at the two big
newspapers -- there are two of them at each paper. they don't coordinate
their coverage, so sometimes you get two mentions in each paper.

We also run off a lot of 8.5x11 mini-posters and hang these around town, in
libraries, at grocery stores and so forth. Our members are lazy about this,

Some years we get more publicity than others. Usually we get some. We are
trying to combine aggressive marketing with a good public location that has
foot traffic built in, such as the annual Flower and Garden trade Show and
or a local mall.

We have had a display planting at the State Capitol since the 1970s. That
helps, too, especially when we keep it weeded.

Little Rock, Arkansas, USDA Zone 7b
257 feet above sea level, Little Rock soils are often acid, sandy loam, rocky
average rainfall about 49 inches (more than 60" in '97, but less than 42"
in '98)
High humidity, moderate winters, hot summers; but conditions seesaw
Extreme recorded temps: HI 110 F, LO -13 F

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