Tips for Building Marketing and Community Partnerships
- Speak about your project early with neighbors, family, and local businesses. Share your ideas. Listen to their concerns and feedback. Address any problems early in the development of the project.
- Develop a comfortable level of public presentation. Have a clear focus of your mission and expected outcomes. Do not let yourself become overburdened by the administrative aspects, the rules and procedures of your project. Keep your eye on the outcomes.
- Speak about your project at service clubs, association meetings, and other gatherings. Get feedback and modify your presentation. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Offer to write a regular column for your local newspaper.
- See your shortcomings or weaknesses as future partnerships. Inventory your community and seek out those who have what you need to complete your goals. Return the favor.
- Define who shares potential customers with you. Align yourself with other businesses and attractions and openly discuss potential customers. Develop exchange promotions and track the source of your leads.
- Be innovative. The greatest achievements happen outside the "system." Don't break laws or burn bridges, just be creative.
- Regarding local ordinances: the government listens to commitments, not complaints, and so do your neighbors. If you cannot turn a negative situation into a positive passion, let it go. Work through compliance issues as required by law and in the spirit of cooperation with surrounding properties and interests.
- Engage any adversaries. Most people simply want to be heard or are afraid of the unknown impacts. Sit down with them one-on-one and listen. Address the concerns and do not whitewash them.
- Keep your business plan and marketing plan in the daylight. Make them work for you. If they are not working for you, then change them. Use your plans to support your actions and efforts.
- Work to foster a sense of community and personal responsibility among citizens.
- Manage physical growth of your operation to ensure quality of life for all citizens affected.
- Work with other businesses to encourage small town character and support of locally owned businesses.
- Build on the agricultural, timber and other resource based assets in the area.
- Maintain and enhance historic structures.
Adapted from "Your Town" Pacific Northwest Workshop, August 24-27, 1995, and Dan Hoynacki, VISIT Group, May 1997
This Fact Sheet was adapted by Desmond Jolly, Cooperative Extension agricultural economist and director, UC Small Farm Program, from the Agri-tourism Workgroup and Resources, Oregon Department of Agriculture.
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