Create Your News Story and Community Involvement

I love the chapter on Marketing in my new book.  It is long and I think it is excellent! The topics are Marketing Matters, Finding Hidden Doors, What Marketing Will Do, Some Promotional Ideas (4 pages of specifics),Building Your Brand, They Buy Your Story, Marketing Material, Websites, Business Cards, Postcards and Letterhead, Power of One Business Card, Letterhead Designs, Target Your Customer, Types of Marketing (Direct, Advertising, Publicity, Referral, and Event and Content), How To Write Great Newsletters, Make the Newsletter PERSONAL, Flyers to promote your Classes, Products and Services (yes email), A Flyer Should Tell, Promotional Gifts, Your Mailing List, Publicity, Call Over and Over, Blogs, Create Your News Story, Community Involvement, Press Releases, Rules for News Releases, Get Those Photos!, PR is Essential, Advertising, Internet Advertising, Referral marketing, Great Referral Story, Event Marketing, God is the Master Marketing Planner, Content marketing, Marketing is YOU,  and Marketing  G.R.A.C.E. Those are only the topics in just one chapter of the book!!! Now do you know why I had to print a 400 + book????

I am going to take two of those topics-Create Your News Story and Community Involvement and give you a specific illustration of a project which I did several times which ALWAYS got a beautiful newspaper article and once even got TV cameras out to a school to cover the story.  Since my business was sewing my example is a sewing one; however, whatever your hobby business you could dream up a project similar to this and truly do a great job for kids in a school as well as MARKET YOUR BUSINESS IN A WAY THAT WOULD GET YOU FABULOUS PUBLICITY—MARKETING!!

I did several of these quilt projects for our grandchildren’s teachers. It was a great way to offer an end of the year teacher gift and later to make an art project which would be used to auction to raise money for the school. I might add that at the ones which were given for auction, the parents all got together and bid to buy the quilt; they then gave it to the teacher. One teacher kept the quilt for an art project for her room year round to display. Whatever the final purpose of the quilt, this project has usually received newspaper coverage and we even got TV coverage one year.

First you get permission to do this project from the principal. If it is to be a surprise for the teacher the principal is enough because the teacher will have to be absent from the room if it is to be a surprise for her.  Several years Tony Coulson brought a Baby Lock embroidery machine (actually two) to the room and we embroidered each child’s name (on the muslin, stabilized square) while they could watch the miracles of machine embroidery. That actually took a very long time so later we just had the names embroidered before we went to the classroom. The kids loved doing their own embroidery if you have time to do it.

I had cut up pieces of quilt fabric with themes that children love. Just any shapes. The children then chose the pieces they wanted to use on the quilt square with his/her name. They glued down the pieces and had much fun arranging the pieces before gluing with washable glue.  The pieces were arranged around their embroidered names.quilt-pictures-plus-other-stuff-030quilt-pictures-plus-other-stuff-028

One mother helped us by interviewing each child to ask the question, “Why I love Mrs. _____(teacher’s name).  These “why I love” were entered into a computer.  We snapped each child’s picture while that child was holding her/his name on a card. Then we snapped the picture without the card. Without the card picture the quilt maker would have had no idea which child was which!!!

My quilt maker then photo transferred the statement by each child underneath the child’s picture-onto another muslin square. She also zig zagged the pieces to the front piece and pieced the picture of the child behind the child’s art work. Then she put the quilt together.

What a surprise this was to the teacher and to the children. This is an art project as well as a writing project for little children for the classroom. As I said we had several newspaper articles as well as some TV coverage for these activities as well as a total buzz in the school about machine embroidery and quilting. It was a great way to outreach in the community and get GREAT media coverage for my business.

By the way, it is a good idea to call in advance to the newspaper or TV station to give them dates, etc. It is necessary to write up a story also unless they want to come write the story. I always think it is a great idea to write a story to send. Editors can change it anyway they want to but editors are VERY busy and much more likely to use the story if you have written the story.  Most of the time they will change but having written details is very important I have found. For newspaper I found they usually sent their staff photographer but your having pictures to send would not hurt. If you use pictures you must have written permissions of any child that is to be photographed. Most schools have these on file but if they do not have them, don’t use any children’s faces in the photography.

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