Twelve Publicity Hounds have super tips for Therese Myers of Albany, New York. She asked about how to get publicity for a bank branch opening in March. Her branch will be new in this small community in Maine, but it will be the seventh branch to open there within the last two years. Because headquarters are located out-of-state, she’s worried the media won’t be interested and she needs clever ideas.
From Lois Heinlen of Delaware, Ohio:
“To coincide with the opening, develop a “Student Board of Directors,” made up of 10 or 12 select high school juniors and seniors from the local schools. Require applications to be submitted through school guidance counselors. While giving them a chance to see how a real Board of Directors works, one goal behind the Student Board of Directors could be to educate local youth about the services available from a bank–from credit services to financial planning to future employment opportunities–and to explain the importance of sound personal fiscal management. Pay each student $10 for each meeting they attend, and direct deposit it into a savings account set up for each. In return, you will get great local publicity. You will have 10 or 12 new customers (possibly for life), and potentially many more once their parents and friends see the benefits of the program. My daughter really enjoyed her stint on the Delaware County Bank’s Student Board of Directors. In fact, she doesn’t even want to get a credit card because of the impact the board made on the students. They explained how much debt young kids get into before they’re 21, and how many years it takes to pay off those credit card bills, often delaying more important purchases like homes.”
From Dr. Wes Stephens of Elgin, Illinois:
“Have five or six stockbrokers speak on how they think the economy will performin 2005. Everyone is interested in making money and knowing how to invest.”
From Beatirce, Vanni of Istanbul, Turkey:
“March is also Womens History Month and a bank opening is the perfect time, not only to marry the two events, but to pull in the women and small business owners through the many products your bank will offer. You could hold a series of small workshops during the month on topics such as financing your future, business challenges and concerns in the local area, investing in the community, how women impact business in the state, etc. Workshops will not only bring in the numbers to your bank opening but will also prove your contribution to goodwill in the community. Further, I would think many newspapers and organizations would want to publicize these workshops.”
If you’re opening a bank branch or any other building, don’t settle for the boring ribbon-cutting ceremony the media hate. "Fun Alternatives to Boring ground-breakings, Check-passings and Ribbon-cuttings" gives you dozens of ideas that will generate mountains of free publicity. It’s available as a CD or downloadable transcript you can be reading in minutes.