From the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur

Hit the Road
We've all heard of the Adopt-a-Highway program--its litter-removal signs feature sponsors' names. But what is the program, and how can it work for you?

Originally started in Texas in 1985, the program now extends to 49 states. Companies sponsor a 2-mile stretch of road along a highway for two years and are responsible for keeping it clean, according to Department of Transportation guidelines. (A Google search will lead you to a contact in your area.) In return, the sponsoring organization receives a reflective sign with its name. Anyone over age 12 may clear the litter, but it's also possible to hire a company to clean it four times per year. Costs range from $300 to $500 per visit.

"This program provides a way to gain visibility by doing good," says Peter MacCracken, principal of Strategic Communications, a public relations consulting firm in La Jolla, California. "Survey after survey demonstrates that there is a correlation between companies' corporate character and business success. And those companies have the benefit of the doubt in the mind of the public in a crisis situation."

So remember: Flaunting your good side may just be the way to clean up in the marketplace.


2/3
of American moviegoers say they don't mind the ads that play before movies.
SOURCE: Arbitron

QUICK PICK
Frequent customer contact can help build loyalty, but exactly how do you interact with your customers? One option is to send a postcard newsletter, such as Newsletters To Go's One-Minute Newsletter, Little Nudges (www.newsletters-to-go.com). They provide the content, you supply your masthead, and-presto!-you've got a custom newsletter. Simply select the color of the postcard, the graphics and a quantity; prices range from 47 to 63 cents per piece. The postcards are then delivered to your door for mailing. Maury O'Connell, editor of Little Nudges, recommends hand-stamping postage to strengthen the personal connection with customers. And of course, as with all aspects of marketing, consistency is key, so mail your postcards on a regular basis.
-E.G.

Marketing consultant and speaker Elizabeth Goodgold is the author of Duh! Marketing Awards (www.duhmarketing.com).