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It’s the industry’s dirty little secret. You get about 10,000 copies of the chamber Directory/Community Guide, but thousands are stashed in storage or in the conference room, only to be dumped at the end of the year.

These five cost-effective ways can help get those books out-of-the-closet and into the community generating visibility for the Chamber and its members!

Operation Thank You

Many chambers use “Operation Thank You” where volunteers and staff hand deliver a copy of the Guide to each accessible member. The Guides get out the door and members receive one more personal touch from the chamber. Cost: some pizzas and time.

No Limits

Real estate agents and developers love community guides. Don’t just limit it to members. Deliver a box to every real estate office and developer in your community. Let them know they can drop by the chamber to pick up more when they need them, or set aside an hour or two to deliver to several places each week. The Guides get one step closer to your targeted audience and you might just get a new member or two out of the deal. Cost: some time.

Blanket the City

Locate a flyer distribution company to deliver the Guides to residential and business addresses across your community. It’s more of a financial investment so target certain business areas and have membership follow up on those businesses right away. Cost: maybe $200 per thousand, depending on the community.

High Traffic Placement

Place the Guides in high traffic locations like airports, bus/train stations and hotels. Set a calendar reminder to restock on an every-so-often basis. If your chamber is separate from your community’s convention and visitors’ bureau, drop some by the CVB as well. Cost: some time.

Recruiting Tool

Major employers and growing companies use the Guide as a valuable tool for recruiting. Contact the Human Resources staff, deliver a box to their location, and let them know you will gladly provide them with more as needed. Cost: some time.

An investment in a well thought-out distribution strategy will pay dividends in future editions. Advertisers want to know their message is being seen far and wide. Distribute as many as possible and resist the temptation to charge an over-the-counter fee for your guide.

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