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Marketing Buzz 7/01

Promoting your business through community concierge services and cheap publicity

At Your Service

Sheri Britt-Rogers spends most of her days bringing new customers to the businesses in her community. That's because the 31-year-old owner of Pressed For Time Concierge Service in Columbia, South Carolina, is paid to attend to various requests and errands on behalf of her corporate and individual clients. From transporting pets to the veterinarian to arranging for flower delivery, hair appointments and housecleaning, Britt-Rogers is a one-woman directory of local firms.

Letting concierge services know about your business is an effective way to promote the venue's product or service, agrees Sara-ann Kasner, president of the National Concierge Association. The key is in delivering more than the concierge or the customer expects.

"I stake my reputation as a professional concierge on quality and presentation," says Kasner. If the customer isn't happy with your company, that reflects poorly on the concierge.

Kasner says the number of companies and office buildings that turn to concierge services to help employees save time is growing. How do you find and woo these hired shoppers? Look online or in your local phone book. Try local business groups or concierge associations. Send information in the form of brochures or samples. And, finally, set up meetings with company decision-makers. According to Kasner, concierges continually try to enhance their services by researching vendors who meet high standards.

On the Cheap

Want fast publicity without paying top dollar? Check out these options:

PR to go: With help from GetMediaCoverage.com, you can attract more than 30,000 media contacts worldwide. The site's experts will put together a winning press release about your company, product or service and distribute it to your target market. Prices start at $350.
Gifted thrift: Why bother creating a unique ad campaign when you can recycle one that already works? Go to Admine.com to customize existing print or broadcast ads-for about a third less than it would cost you to develop one from scratch.
Easy does it: Check out Creative Workshop from Cardinal Brands to create brochures, business cards, newsletters and more by using hundreds of graphic elements. Requires Windows 95 or higher, 32MB RAM and a CD-ROM drive. Street price: $30.
-Peter Kooiman


Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates and founder of BoostYourBiz.com.


Contact Sources

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the July 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Marketing Buzz 7/01.

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