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And the Award Goes to. . .—Sherburne

January 2007
LAST MONTH, I suggested some ways that you can put public relations to work and get the word out about your business. This month, the topic is self-promotion—a subset of PR in which you can showcase the skills, expertise and capabilities of your organization. The two go hand in hand.

In November, for the third year in a row, I had the pleasure of judging the DICE Awards. DICE, the Digital Imaging Customer Exchange (www.dicegroup.org, formerly the Indigo Customer Exchange), has been around for more than a decade and just reached the 300-member mark. The group has expanded beyond owners of Indigo presses to owners of any digital press, and secured sponsorships from both Kodak and Xerox in the process.

For me, the DICE Awards are the highlight of the DICE meeting. Users submit items in a number of categories and submissions are judged by a panel of three industry experts on a variety of criteria. This year, there were five categories of entries: Best Personalized Customer Acquisition, Best Personalized Customer Retention, Outstanding Self-Promotion, Best Use of Digital Printing, and Excellence in Digital Printing. Based on the ranking of the judges, a VDP Extraordinaire award was also given to the “Best-of-Show” single entry that best represented the sophistication and power of one-to-one marketing—regardless of the purpose.

My favorite category is always self-promotion. It is exciting to see how enterprising print service providers are using their own technology in creative ways to get their message out. There were 24 entries in this category from 18 companies. They ranged from standard capabilities brochures to calendars, books, posters, holiday cards and postcards.

The winning entry was submitted by Seattle’s Revolution Inc., and was by far the most creative entry I have seen in the past three years. It was a board game called “Get Revolution” that is customized for each client and includes their specific business challenges, represented both in the game and in the game pieces, which often represent the customer’s key competitors. The game is packaged in a box that looks as though it could have come from Parker Brothers or Hasbro, and includes images of the sales rep and the target customer’s logo.

The construction of the game in and of itself is impressive, but the process for deploying it is where the power lies. The process starts with a letter to the customer, is followed up by sending the game to them—minus the board. When the salesperson calls on them in person, he or she then brings the board to complete the process.
 

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