Being a Director almost always also means being the marketing department. I have just finished my first ever time to run promotions for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc. We have had them before. I just wasn’t in charge of them. I am not at all sure I did it well. But I did it and that is a thing to be proud of.
Being a Director means I have to do things I am not 100% comfortable doing. I remember the first time I got in front of a tv camera. I was SWEATING! But it was free publicity for my business and they wanted to talk to someone with skin in the game. I was very excited that they called me. I had been courting the station to some degree for a few months: watching as many news shows as I could and sending in email comments about news items that related to my business. My childcare center was downtown, so it wasn’t hard to find things that were relevant. Anything that had to do with downtown, children or families was liable to get a quick note from me. This was well over a decade ago, so they weren’t as swamped by email as they are now. I stood out, so I got a call and people heard about my center.
How do we stand out in today’s market? Sending an email is unlikely to do it. We all get far too many to count now. We need clients to know we are here and are relevant. We can advertise. Lord knows, I do. Everybody does. How much do you believe in the ad copy you read or hear every day? 10%? You may be conveying 100% true information, but people filter it out. Marketing is more than buying a well executed google ad. It is getting in front of people in different settings, so your customers start to know like and trust you.
How do you position your self as a knowledgable and likable person? Getting on the local news might still be a good way to get noticed, but how do you get the news to notice you? I have had some success with hand written notes. They are the rarity now that email was back in the dark ages. Tweeting images also has some traction. You have to engage with them, build a relationship.
Texas Director helps a lot of my centers get into the paper. Local papers need local content to stay relevant. Having a great event that highlights a worthy cause or brings in dignitaries, is the key strategy there. The images you send also play a central role. Make sure you send both portrait and landscape pictures, because you never know what space they need to fill. Believe me pictures of cute kids sell! Your write up of the event should be as close to newspaper copy as you can make it. The less work the editor or beat reporter has to do, the more likely you are to get in the paper.