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Self-Promotion Contest -- First Impressions Really Do Matter

May 2003 By Erik Cagle
Caveat printer! Do you know what your competitor, er, colleague down the street is doing to attract new customers and possibly take away some of your market share?

Chances are, it's not a calendar adorned with scantily-clad females. That may fly with the good people at Snap-On Tools, but in a business where image—the printed one, that is—is indeed everything, it behooves printers large and small to develop promotional pieces that not only accurately and succinctly inform people of your products and services, but also incorporate a nice sampling of those capabilities. Make print buyers remember your name...make them want to keep your little gizmo on their desks. Be innovative and creative, which will keep you, at worst, in step with the printer down the street.

Need some inspiration? Check out the winners of the 16th annual Printing Impressions Printer's Self-Promotion Contest. Then maybe you'll be able to drum up a promotion that will ensure your company its fair share of the market pie.

Here are our six winners, in no particular order:

Lights! Popcorn! Action!

EU Services

Rockville, MD

EU SERVICES, which specializes in direct mail communications, wanted to create a promotional piece that would introduce prospective clients to its capabilities. The result was a 131⁄2 minute video that could be used as a tool by sales representatives, as an overview for EU plant tours and as an internal mechanism for new employee orientation and training.

EU procured a video producer with editing experience and a background in both printing and mailing. The producer then met with EU's marketing and top management teams to discuss the direction of the presentation. Their conclusion was to develop a video that was interesting, engaging and fast moving, all the while giving viewers a sense of EU's ability to coordinate multi-faceted direct mail packages—"all under one roof."

Speaking of packages, the movie reel tin containing a package of popcorn and an introductory card was enticement enough for our judges to want to watch the video.

"To date, we have distributed 158 video introduction kit packages or single videos," notes Sylvia Konkel, vice president of marketing. "Our sales force reports that after sending the video package to a prospective customer, they are more than 50 percent likely to get an appointment with the contact on the next phone call because the contact is already warm to the offer.


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