Ways to Spread the “Go Local” Holiday Message in Your Community
Every community has its own personality and small businesses know how to reach their audiences. Below are suggestions on tactics to help kick start your Go Local for the Holidays campaign. In addition, we offer resources such as sample local op eds and press releases to enhance your visibility in the community and generate buzz during the holidays about Banking Local, Shopping Local and Dining Local.
- Work with the town council or Chamber of Commerce to build synergies between the local businesses and your bank to promote “Go Local for the Holidays,” and create a way to reward people for shopping local. For example, if you spend a certain amount of pre-determined dollars with proof of purchase at local businesses, you can win a range of gifts, such as a dinner , a Kindle, an iPad, free house cleaning, or a movie night. Gifts would be donated by local businesses.
- Promote the “Go Local” holiday message in local publications, including neighborhood newsletters or the local paper. Customize our op-ed for the local newspaper concerning the importance of “Go Local” and supporting local businesses which in turn helps support the local bank and the community.
- Create “Go Local” holiday window decals to put on local businesses the community bank does business with. This helps customers know they are supporting a local entrepreneur. (may want to direct them to MPI for this)
- Post frequently during the holidays on local Web sites, such as The Patch http://www.patch.com/ or the town’s Facebook page.
- Start a “Tweet for the Holidays” Twitter campaign/ Send out helpful hints about holiday related topics and local announcements.
- Have a special “Savings Account from Santa” program encouraging parents to open savings accounts for their children as a gift.
- Plan for employees and management to attend and or sponsor local holiday events to illustrate the bank’s commitment to being a part of the community..
- Use the bank’s Facebook page to start a “Banking local during the holiday saves me ______________” message string to engage visitors to your Facebook page.
- Work with the local homeless shelter or church to sponsor a toy or food drive, advertise it on your Web site, include a postcard or small brochure in paper monthly statements, email or text the message to customers, “Go Local, support your neighbor in need during the holidays.”
- Sponsor a “Go Local” day at local schools, places of worship, the local library or recreation center the first weekend of December. Encourage everyone to make a commitment to “Go Local” by utilizing resources in the community (such as your community bank and area small businesses) rather than going to nationwide financial centers, mega-retailers and on-line shopping.
- Coordinate a “Holiday Taste of [City/Town Name].” Invite your local restaurant, specialty food and bakery small business customers to offer samples in your lobby to show your “Go Local” spirit and help introduce their offerings to local residents and customers.
- Set up a place in your lobby to highlight local merchants for customers who are supporting the “Go Local” initiative. That way, while customers are in the lobby they can see just how much they can do to help support the local community.
- Host a “Go Local” holiday open house at your community bank. Invite customers, locals, key stakeholders and media to the event. Use the open house as a forum for new or potential customers to meet your staff and your long-time customers. Provide brief remarks about how your community bank is encouraging the “Go Local” movement and how your bank is different from megabanks and credit unions. You can even have a customer talk about their experience and why they value your community bank’s offerings.
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