Let ASA's PR Kit
Help You Reach More Customers
By Angie Wilson
In the "How's Your Business" section of this issue you can read all about how ASA members are doing these days. Now, how will you take your business to the next level? A key element is communicating with your current and future customers the services offered at your business and what sets you apart from the rest of the pack. Let ASA help you in those efforts.
The marketing and communications team recently created an easy-to-use PR Kit to help you promote the business features your community ought to know about your shop. Here's the kicker: The ASA PR Kit is free! It's available exclusively for members and can be accessed in the Members Only section of the ASA Web site (www.ASAshop.org). Currently there is a paragraph highlighting the kit once you get into the Members Only section that contains a link to the kit and its downloadable files, or there will always be a link in the left menu to get you there.
We have created 18 press releases you may use to promote your business - and we're willing to add more as needed. These pre-written, customizable releases simply require someone from your business to "fill in the blanks" as needed, and expand on the text that's already there when applicable. Then have someone proof the document before e-mailing it to your local media contacts.
In addition to press releases, the kit contains a tip sheet on speaking with the media, a few photography tips, an "Open for Business" message that can be placed on your Web site if you like, and some basic "starter pieces" for banner and Yellow Page-type ads.
We will be adding more items as they become available. If you have suggestions for additional press release topics, etc., I would love to hear them. This kit is part of the benefits package you receive as an ASA member, and I want to keep it as up to date as possible. (Your member number is needed to access the Members Only section. That six-digit number can always be found on your AutoInc. label.)
As our slogan says, "You keep them going. We keep you going." Let us help you consistently get the word out about your business to your customers and local media. All the tools are waiting for you online. And to find your local media representatives, use the Media Guide available through a link on ASA's home page. Go to www.ASAshop.com and click on the video camera/newspaper icon toward the bottom of the page in the yellow boxed area.
By using the contact sources readily available, and the pre-written releases in the Members Only section of the ASA Web site, you could have your first message at your local newspaper or radio station in no time.
Be sure to have someone at your business proof your release as I know from experience it's difficult to find your own typos. The text you distribute will have a direct effect on the perceived image of your business.
After you have completed the press release file, proofread it and forwarded it to your media contacts, deliver the quality service you promised, and start planning your next announcement. Between your special offers, your employees' accomplishments, your community activities and the newsworthy traditions of your business, you likely have much to communicate to those who live in your area. Don't keep the good news to yourself. Share it, and do so consistently. This is the time to reach out to consumers and let them know you're open for business. ASA's PR kit is designed to help you do just that - quickly and conveniently.
Over the past several months, I've talked with several members nationwide - including Dan in Ohio, Joel in Washington and John in Pennsylvania - to help them get started. If I can help you get started using ASA's PR Kit, send me a note or you can always call ASA's membership department at (800) 272-7467, ext. 295. Your success is the best measure of the value of ASA membership. Let's make 2010 your best year yet!
||Angie Wilson is the vice president of marketing and communications at the Automotive Service Association. She can be reached at angie@ASAshop.org.
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