texan
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Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 12:54 am

A group with which I am involved is planning on distributing information to an area of just under 400,000 people for the upcoming elections. We've been brainstorming and came up with the regular ideas: newspaper pullout, yard signs, billboards, and internet ads.
Internet ads, while a popular choice among the group, have the drawback of having to be strategically placed on websites where large numbers of the 400,000 people visit.
Billboards give great exposure, but are expensive and will not necessarily reach your target audience.
Yard signs are quick and easy and can reach the target audience without much of a problem, but can become costly when produced large scale, may not have any effect, and can be very annoying to some.
Newspaper pullouts are actually quite cost efficient, can hold more information about specific candidates, and are not an eyesore. However, the distribution is limited, especially among the voters the group wants to target. Moreover, many people who receive the newspaper could end up merely throwing it away without looking at it, having absolutely minimal or no effect.

The only other option we can think of is the direct advertising approach of putting flyers on doors. While there is a No Solicitation Law in one of the areas, it is only legally considered solicitation if someone asks for money for a cause. The downside is that it combines a high printing cost with a small body of people who would distribute the information, making this extremely time consuming and therefore an idea of which the general group does not approve. The counter to their argument, which I have used, is that the high printing costs are offput by the lower distribution costs; the ability to reach disaffected and poor voters; direct contact with the voters, enabling us to answer questions; and a way to actually view and communicate with our communities, allowing us to see first hand what needs to be improved, how to address likely voter concerns, and being able to relay this information to the candidates.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I will not be in the area come October/November, so I would not be able to assist in the distribution. This makes it even more difficult since I am the only person in the group under 40 years of age and I was given responsibility for organizing this task and putting it on the right track.

The group in general is leaning toward either yard signs or newspaper advertising, which I view as being wasteful spending that does not accomplish our goal and will not reach our target audience.

I guess my main question is, "Am I missing any other major advertising opportunities that we could accomplish on a small budget to reach an area of nearly 400,000 people?" If not, does my argument for the door hanging flyers make sense or did I just convince myself it sounded good?  Silly

Any comments would be welcome! Thanks.

Texan
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KaiGywer
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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 12:58 am

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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 1:04 am

Not an easy task you have. You have made some valid points and have really thought this out.
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CastleIsland
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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting Texan (Thread starter):
The downside is that it combines a high printing cost with a small body of people who would distribute the information, making this extremely time consuming and therefore an idea of which the general group does not approve.

Based on your initial writing, there are major drawbacks to billboards, lawn signs, internet ads and newspaper ads. Door-to-door flyers address all these problems and would doubtless be effective. To be frank, it sounds like your group wants to win, but doesn't want to put the effort in that is required to win.

In a nutshell, you presented issues, a viable solution to these issues, and the group says "that's too much work for us." Says something about the group, no? My suggestion? Get a better group of people who are committed to doing whatever it takes to win.
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ManuCH
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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 1:15 am

What you're forgetting is the "pay for it" version of putting flyers on the door, which would be bringing the flyers to the post office and having the USPS distributing the flyers into people's mailboxes, without needing to address the flyers individually.

But I'm not sure if this is a service USPS offers - it's definitely offered in Switzerland and pretty cost effective (about $0.08 per household). It's called "PromoPost" here. Of course that's $32,000 only to distribute what you printed...

-Manuel
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texan
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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 1:27 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 4):
What you're forgetting is the "pay for it" version of putting flyers on the door, which would be bringing the flyers to the post office and having the USPS distributing the flyers into people's mailboxes, without needing to address the flyers individually.

We discussed that but threw the idea away after estimating some costs. Stamps run at $0.39 per piece, so even if we halved our distribution we would still be looking at $78,000 for distribution alone. In contrast, to print and distribute information through the newspaper the cost is $0.05 per printed ad, and we could do an 8-page spread highlighting all of our candidates. Thank you for the suggestion, though!

Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 3):
In a nutshell, you presented issues, a viable solution to these issues, and the group says "that's too much work for us." Says something about the group, no?

Trying to organize Democrats is a Herculian task, mind you  Silly Yeah, it'll probably end up me having to make an executive decision and dictate what the group will be doing and who will be doing what. Oh well...

Texan
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ManuCH
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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 1:57 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 5):
Stamps run at $0.39 per piece, so even if we halved our distribution we would still be looking at $78,000 for distribution alone.

Are you sure? When doing non-addressed distribution (ie. if you tell the post office to send your flyer "to everyone") you pay much less than a real stamp. Stamps normally cost $0.75 in Switzerland but only $0.08 if you don't put the address and just send it to everyone. Maybe they offer the service but don't advertise it - worth asking IMHO.

But yes, the newspaper is definitely more cost-effective. Just make sure you make a large ad, and across page(s) that everyone reads. Don't go for bargains newspaper editors offer you, like "it will cost you 5 times less if you put your ad between page X and Y", which probably nobody reads. There's always a reason if it costs less...

-Manuel
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
texan
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RE: Advertising Assistance Needed

Wed May 10, 2006 2:02 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 6):
Stamps normally cost $0.75 in Switzerland but only $0.08 if you don't put the address and just send it to everyone. Maybe they offer the service but don't advertise it - worth asking IMHO.

Hadn't thought of that, thanks very much for that idea!

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 6):
Just make sure you make a large ad, and across page(s) that everyone reads. Don't go for bargains newspaper editors offer you, like "it will cost you 5 times less if you put your ad between page X and Y", which probably nobody reads.

If we put it in the newspaper (which has had declining circulation numbers over the past 5 years in the areas we are trying to reach), it would be an independent pullout section, likely 8 pages, where our information would be the only information in there.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."

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