I learned this technique back in the day when I worked for a non-profit organization that survived on the donations of local businesses. One of the things I did to encourage good will in our community toward the organization (and me) was to read local newspapers and clip anything newsworthy and positive about a local business owner or company employee.
Once I clipped it, I would write on the clipping something like "Kudos! Thanks for all you do. Brenda at Organization Name." I would then mount it on a piece of letterhead and have it laminated. Usually, the person received a visit from me to deliver the clipping. Sometimes, I mailed them. Those folks never discarded their clippings because it was about them. They also remembered me positively each time they looked at it. I can't tell you how many times they would thank me for the same little news article.
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Over the years, I've used this techniques many times in my notary business. I don't always laminate the article. If I am out of laminator pouches, I put the clipping in an inexpensive document frame. (My most recent laminator is a Scotch brand - great little tool.)
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So, how can you put this to work?
1-Decide on a way to present your congratulatory message.
- Will you put the clipping on letterhead?
- Should you create a template exactly for this purpose?
- Will you just include your business card?
- The possibilities are endless on making your name stand out. Oh, and whatever you do, be sure to include your name and phone number!
2-Invest in your choice of a laminator and pouches or frames.
3-Now, watch the newspaper (or online news)!
- Either type of format (online or paper news) will work for this purpose. In fact, both have their highpoints:
- Online news articles will be easier to manipulate into colorful and engaging presentations. You can highlight names with different colored fonts or use colorful fonts in the article.
- Paper news articles have that old school look of permanence.
- Coaches and athletic directors win at sports. This opportunity will present itself many times.
- Local schools are often award winners -- hit up the principal and top district administrators.
- Watch for real estate brokers who win awards or do something charitable.
- Doctors and hospitals are always doing good!
- Local banks and bankers contribute frequently to causes or help out with Little League sports, etc.
- The local title companies that have been so hard to break into will eventually do something newsworthy.
- The local tourist bureau or chamber of commerce will award many recipients during their annual banquets.
- Deliver the clipping in person as often as possible.
4-Don't limit yourself to local celebrities.
Watch for good news on national title companies you want to do business with by searching their names Google.
5-You may also use email or not be quite so fancy.
- Even if you just want to send the news story by email and congratulate contacts that way, it will have some impact.
- You could also do a handwritten card that says "congrats" or something similar on front. Of course, you'd want to staple your business card to the clipping and enclose it with your card.
- Making a presentation of your congratulatory message (like those above) will be more memorable to the recipient, but you've got to work with what you can and any effort will be better than not using this old tried and true strategy.