Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

In this high-tech, fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the joy and power of play. That’s why The Goddard School, the leader in early childhood education, is celebrating the importance of learning through play with its Block Party event.

On Monday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Oct. 6, The Goddard School is encouraging everyone to stop by and play at The Goddard School Block Party. The event, hosted by Goddard Schools across the nation, will focus on a variety of playful learning activities, including the “Largest Game of Simon Says” record attempt on Friday, Oct. 5 at 9:00 AM PDT/12:00PM EDT.

“Playing alone and with others not only builds brain development, it also helps children develop social skills and a sense of ethics,” said Kyle D. Pruett, M.D., Education Advisory Board Member for Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School. “Play helps children learn to solve problems, teaches regulation of emotions, and builds resilience and confidence.”

Current research supports the long-term impact of play-based learning on children. The Goddard School has used this child-focused approach since it opened its first school almost 25 years ago.

“It’s important as early educators to remember to encourage creativity in young children,” said Sue Adair, director of education for GSI. “Our approach is based on accepted research that clearly indicates the deepest, most genuine learning occurs for children through play and fun activities lovingly guided by highly trained teachers.”

The event kicks off in schools this week with a national Cardboard Box Challenge inspired by Caine’s Arcade and Imagination Foundation’s similar mission of celebrating creativity and children’s imaginations of everywhere. Schools across the nation are encouraging their children, faculty and families to create something unique with a cardboard box base. Photos of these creations will be uploaded to The Goddard School Facebook page for public voting during the week of the Block Party.

To learn more about The Goddard School Block Party and The Goddard Schools located in your area, visit www.goddardschool.com/blockparty or call 1-800-GODDARD.

Word of mouth is the most credible source of information about a product, aside from actual personal experience with a product.  What consumers tell each other about your product has a huge impact on your effort to recruit new customers.

How can you control what people say about your product?  Encouraging customers to say nice things, and preventing them from slamming your product is hard – many marketers assume that doing so is impossible.  But you can influence word of mouth, and you must try to do so.  Following are some ideas for how to manage word of mouth communications about your product:

  • Make your product special.  A product that surprises people because of its unexpectedly good quality or service is special enough to talk about.
  • Do something noteworthy in the name of your product or company.  Support a not-for-profit organization in your neighborhood.  Stage a fun event for kids.  Let your employees take short sabbaticals to volunteer in community services.  All of these strategies have worked well in the past to generate positive publicity and word of mouth.  Get creative.  Think of something worthwhile — some way of helping improve your community that will make people surprised and happy about the good you’re doing in the name of your product.

Source:  Marketing for Dummies, by Alexander Hiam, MBA

The Importance of Public Relations

Friday, June 17th, 2011

A press release is the most under-rated form of promotion.  Why?  Because it’s free, and, moreover, a press editorial is perceived by the audience as true; whereas advertising tends to imply skepticism.

  • All newspapers need press releases to help fill their pages.
  • Local newspapers need news submitted by their local community – or they have to pay more for journalists to go out and ‘get’ news.
  • Press release publicity carries more credibility than paid-for advertising.
  • People are largely unaware that much of what they read in the local newspapers is in fact carefully planned PR.  They are, therefore, more receptive towards it and believe that it is without question.
  • A photograph improves press release pick-up by 100%.

Complete a press release today!

Press Releases: Follow Up!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Distributing a press release is only half the effort — the other half is the follow up.

How do you follow up with media contacts?

Prepare for your phone call.

  • Read the press release
  • Understand the key message; what is important to the reader?
  • Formulate a five-second summary. Why should the media be interested?

Know your contact.

  • Review your media distribution list.
  • Know when and how the release was distributed.

Be sensitive to reporters’ schedules, especially when they are on a deadline.

  • Avoid calling the press after 2 p.m. Contact weekly publications on Thursdays or Fridays, when they are likely beginning new stories.
  • Avoid calling radio and TV stations an hour before their broadcast.
  • If a journalist calls you, contact them immediately – or you may lose a story.

Be polite, professional and brief.

  • Say hello, your name and why you are calling – in two sentences.
  • Ask them if they received your release.
  • Provide your five-second summary if they want to know what the release is about.
  • Ask if there is any interest in doing a story.
  • Offer to answer any questions they may have.
  • Offer to leave your contact information.

Remember that reporters are people, too.

  • They work for a living.
  • They operate under strict deadlines.
  • They receive dozens of “did-you-receive-my-press-release” calls per day.

Above all, be a resource not a pest.

  • Your media contacts will be receiving more press releases from you in the future.
  • You will want to maintain a good relationship with your media contacts.

There is a way of “doing well by doing good” – it’s called community outreach. Community outreach efforts provide personal satisfaction, value to your community and value to your business – all while building a greater sense of unity with your customers, employees and neighbors. Consider making community outreach an important part of your marketing strategy and you will develop another competitive advantage for your
business.

It may not be easy to measure the return on investment of a community outreach program. The benefits may be intangible, but the value is there nonetheless. Community outreach should be viewed as one of the many contributing factors to your business development efforts. Not all community outreach opportunities will cost your business money, some may only require a few spare hours from volunteers.

Community outreach strengthens customer ties and improves public image. Grow your grassroots marketing efforts by participating in your local Chamber of Commerce, serving on a board for a local charity and performing volunteer work. Take your involvement a step further by supporting local events, sponsoring sports teams and participating in activities. If you are tenacious with your community outreach program,
you can generate positive buzz and free press coverage.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Become a valuable member of your community!  This means more than sponsoring a local sports team and hosting a food drive (although these are important, too).  It is about doing ‘good’ because it is the right thing to do.

Identify a need in your community and fill it!  Roll up your sleeves and do something.  Clean up a local park or vacant lot, participate in Habitat for Humanity, build park benches, organize a local blood drive with the American Red Cross or paint a mural in your community.

Your community is tight-knit; people notice things and talk to one another.  Find a reason for people to talk about you and your business!

So, what should you do?

  • Find a need within your community.
  • Make a plan.
  • Get buy-in from your employees.
  • Invite current customers (perhaps through an email invitation).
  • Let the media know!
  • Smile and complete the job!
  • Share your accomplishments.