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Networking & Marketing
The Homer Chamber of Commerce offers a plethora of options to satisfy your marketing needs. We offer website advertising, which is an opportunity to market to the 6,000 average monthly visitors to our website; a newsletter insert, produced monthly in electronic and hard-copy versions which is mailed to our over 500 Chamber members; mailing lists to get your information out to other chamber members, as well as many other options listed below to meet your networking and marketing needs!.
Great opportunity to network with other Chamber members and the public, and learn more about community issues. Luncheons and Presentations are held once per month on a Turesday between September and May. Members are allowed to make short announcements at the start of each luncheon. A wide variety of speakers present on topics relevant to the community. Time at end of presentation for question/answers with speaker. Lunch is optional and available for a fee; open to the public.
Opportunity to learn more about other Chamber businesses and network with members and the public. Several members can host a mixer together. A hosting fee of $100 includes a newspaper ad submitted by the Chamber, fliers put up around Homer, updates to Newspaper and Radio on-line calendars. Hosts provide food, door prizes, facility tour and any special activities. Mixers are held year round, typically the 3rd or 4th Thursday of the month, from 5pm to 7 pm
CHAMBER NEWSLETTER AND EVENTS CALENDAR
Chamber members and community organizations are encouraged to send business news, events, meeting and information of interest to the community to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for listing in the Chamber's events calendar or publication in the monthly Chamber Newsletter.
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC)
SBDC provides counseling, seminars, and resources to Chamber members and the community via their office at the Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Center building or in Soldotna. Call SBDC directly to make an appointment for either Homer or Soldotna or to reserve the Chamber SBDC office: 907-260-5629. Click here to learn more about the SBDC.
SPONSORSHIP & COMMITTEE NETWORKING
An excellent marketing tool is to associate your business with a non-profit organization or event. You can promote your business by sponsoring one or more the the Chamber's many fundraising and community events, such as Clean Up Day, the Shorebird Festival, Winter Carnival, Jackpot Halibut Derby, Winter King Salmon Tournament, and more. As a sponsor or donor, your business will receive benefits such as advertising on event flyers, website pages and in the Chamber Newsletter. Volunteering on Chamber and community event committees also offers opportunities to network with other members and help support and improve events that benefit our community.
CHAMBER MAILING LIST
Primary Business Chamber members can purchase mailing labels or an electronic mailing list of over 500 members. See Mailing Lists to learn more.
Primary Business members can place inserts in the Chamber's monthly newsletter which is mailed and e-mailed to over 500 members. See Newsletter Inserts to learn more.
MEMBER NETWORKING IN THE CHAMBER NEWSLETTER
Members can network at no charge in the Chamber's monthly newsletter: Familiarization trips, Buy/Sell/Trade, Announcements, New Services, and other general networking. Just email a short description (6 lines or less) to the Membership Manager at least ten business days before the end of the month.
FAMILIARIZATION TRIPS & SERVICES: MEDIA, OTHER MEMBERS, & VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER VOLUNTEERS & STAFF
A great way to promote your business is through providing Familiarization Trips & Services for Visitor Information Center volunteers and staff, visiting travel writers, TV Show crews from around the world, other media hosts and other Chamber Members. The Chamber is honored to have an exceptional crew of Volunteers and Staff who provide information about your business at the Visitor Information Center and at Halibut Derby Headquarters. Providing a FAM Trip/Service to volunteers is a great way to show them firsthand what your business offers. FAM trips for other Chamber members can also create great networking and referrals. Trips & Services can be provided for groups or individuals based on your availability. Contact the Visitor Center Manager at email@example.com coordinate a FAM trip or to be included on our FAM listing.
LOW COST MARKETING
Here are just a few ways to promote your upcoming event or increase public awareness for little or no cost.
Public Service Announcements (PSA): are short radio spots or newspaper articles about your event or business news. Includes basics: who, what, when, where, how, why: who and how to call for more information. Length should be short enough to read in 30-60 seconds. Remember, PSAs are free so there is no guarantee the media will air or print yours. PSAs for general business news (i.e., new owners, new location, business open house, new product or service offered, etc.) are often placed in the business section of newspapers. Non profit events, community events, and fund raising activities are often placed in community calendar areas. Check each media's guidelines for how to submit your PSAs. For a larger listing of Alaska radio stations, publications, newspapers and TV stations to send PSAs to, stop by the Chamber to look at our Alaska Media Directory.
- KBBI/KDLL: For event, complete the Community Calendar form www.kbbi.org/events.html and return to KBBI (contact information on the form). They will announce during the community calendar. For other news related PSAs, send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Job Notices should be sent to email@example.com. Contact Dorle at 235-7721
- KWAVE: Send PSAs to Tim White at firstname.lastname@example.org
- KBBI-Slack Tide: Friday mornings at approximately 9:30 am. Non profits can talk about upcoming events for about 5 to 10 minutes on the radio show. To schedule, contact Dorle at 235-7721 or email@example.com
- KBBI-Coffee Table: Wednesday mornings 9 am to 10 am. Radio show discusses community and statewide issues. Audience calls in to ask questions. To schedule, contact Dorle at 235-7721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- KWAVE-Straight Talk: Tuesday mornings 9 am to 10 am. Community members may discuss upcoming events for approximately 15 minutes. To schedule, contact Tim White at email@example.com
Newspapers: Depending on topic of your PSA, newspaper may decide to do a larger announcement or story about your event or issue. Newspapers may publish informaiton in one of several areas. Check with the publication to learn more about your options.
- Homer Tribune: Weekly newspaper published every Wednesdays. Paid or free listing in community events section. Business news, meetings, schedules and other announcements will be placed in most appropriate section depending on space available. Send PSA to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Homer News: Weekly newspaper published on Thursdays. Free event listing in events calendar. Business news and other PSAs will be placed in Business in Brief or most appropriate section depending on space available. Often will do in-depth articles on business news (new business, new employees, new services, etc.) in Business section. Meetings schedules and other announcements listed in Town Crier section. Send PSA to email@example.com
- Peninsula Clarion: Monday-Friday newspaper mainly for the Soldotna/Kenai area but also distributed throughout the Kenai Peninsula. Send PSA to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 907-283-7551.Also check their web site www.peninsulaclarion.com.
- Anchorage Daily News: Daily newspaper for entire state, based in Anchorage. Send PSA to email@example.com or to specific area of newspaper (i.e., sports, outdoors, etc.) check website for contacts: www.adn.com or call 800-478-4200. NOTE: the Anchorage Daily News does many special publications at various times throughout the year that may be relevant to your business, such as the Summer Camp listing, Gift Guides, etc. Sometimes inclusion in these publications is free. Check their website for specifics on these deadlines and whom to contact.
Magazines & Directories: Occasionally the Chamber is offered special rates for full page advertising in directories or magazines that are focusing onabout Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula, and/or Homer. When available, the Chamber offers business members the opportunities to purchase ad space. Cost and timing vary. Examples of past cooperative advertising include the Fishing issue of Alaska Magazine, Fish Alaska Magazine, RV & Camping Directory and AmericasCuisine Magazine. Information on upcoming opportunities will be shared with members via email updates and newsletters.
KPTMC and ATIA: Tourism businesses can research the cooperative advertising opportunities offered through the Kenai Peninsula Tourism and Marketing Council (KPTMC) and the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA) that are provided with membership in these organizations. Learn more at www.kenaipeninsula.org and www.alasktia.org
Create Your Own Cooperative Ad: Make advertising in a directory, website, newspaper or magazine more affordable by sharing the cost of an ad featuring more than one business. Check with various publications to see what their ad purchase policies allow. The Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Informaiton Center has special rates for rack cards featuring more than one business. Here are some suggestions:
- "Package" advertisement. Get together with several other businesses and offer activity "packages" in your advertisement. Example: 3 nights lodging, 1 day fishing, 1 day kayaking.
- "Industry" advertisement. Businesses that offer similar services could suggest a tour or just advertise collectively for your industry. Example: Art Gallery Tour, Tasting Tour, Spas in Homer, Fishing Charters in Homer, etc.
- "Area" advertisement. Businesses in a geographic area can advertise why people should visit your area of town. Example: Things to do in ... Old Town Homer, East End Road, Downtown Homer, Spit, etc.
Community Presentations - Present your event, community issue and fundraising idea to the local community and community organizations.
Open House or Presentation: Host your own presentation or open house at your business. If you need a larger location, depending on your topic, you can often reserve free or discounted meeting space at the public schools (through Community Schools), churches, the Homer Public Library, Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, City Council chambers, and the Homer Chamber of Commerce Conference Room. The Chamber keeps a list of meeting facilities. Publicize your presentation through posters, PSA's to local media and going on radio shows. Contact the Chamber for list of places to hang posters.
Rotary: Rotary members invite community members to present to their clubs on a regular basis. You must be invited by a member to make a presentation. Come prepared with specific duties and projects if seeking volunteers and/or donations for your project or event. Contact Kachemak Bay Rotary at 235-7330 and the Homer Downtown Rotary at 235-0550 or do a search on www.rotaryclubmembers.com.
Homer Chamber Board of Directors: Chamber members can seek support of the Chamber for various events and issues by making a presentation to the Chamber Board of Directors. Members must make an "agenda item request" for their presentation to be included on the Board agenda. Board meetings are the third Thursday of the month from 12pm in the Chamber Conference Room; meetings are open to the public. Contact Membership Manager at 235-7740 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Businesses: If your event or issue relates to a specific business or industry (i.e., health, retail, etc.) call other Chamber members and local businesses and ask if you could do a short presentation at their staff meeting or board meeting.
Get On Line: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and many other internet sites offer a free way to advertise your business to a new market. Create a free "blog" to advertise your event or business through such places as gmail.com.
Fundraising Suggestions for Non Profits:
Seek out all Businesses: Think about all the various businesses that will benefit from your event or organization and approach them about sponsorship or donations. Is you event bringing in visitors? Does it allow members to go back to work or school? Will you be purchasing supplies or other services locally? Suggestions include: lodging, dining, retail, education, supplies, utilities, etc. Check out the Chamber website or membership directory for contact information.
Level or Sponsorship & Benefits: There are many small businesses out there that would love to support your event! Offer various levels of sponsorship with corresponding benefits to accommodate businesses with smaller budgets. Be creative in your sponsorship benefits: logos/names on banners, brochures, websites, products distributed; sponsor contact information sent out to participants; provide sponsor hotlinks on your website; thank you letters to the editor and/or newspaper ads; etc. Sponsor a specific item at your event, i.e., this table is sponsored by XX business.
Cooperative Advertising: Offer sponsors/donors group advertising opportunities. For example, one big banner that has five business sponsors on it versus one business sponsor, split the sponsorship between five businesses to make it affordable.
Economic Importance of your Event: Collect your data! How much money does your event or organization bring into the community? Do a survey with participants and visitors finding out how much they spent on lodging, restaurants, shopping, etc. How much does your organization provide to the community in the form of local jobs? Do you and your employees spend money in the community for operating expenses and supplies? Do you provide opportunities for community members to go back to school, find jobs, or maintain employment? Track this information and use it when seeking grants, sponsorship and support from other organizations.
Direct Ask Mailings: Often a good way to fundraise is to just ask! Mail or contact all current, former and potential members of your organization and their friends and family. Order a Chamber member mailing list. Do a direct mailing to the local area, post office boxes or peninsula or employ a bulk mail service such as Print Works 235-8500.
Donation Cans: Many businesses are open to having a small donation can near their cash register to collect money for your organization or event. Be prepared to supply the can and collect donations in a timely manner.
$1/Ticket or Percent of Sales: Many businesses are willing to donate to your event or organization by giving you $1 from every ticket they sell at their business (such as fishing charter, concert or movie ticket, lodging reservation, etc.) or a percentage of proceeds from the day's sales. Connecting their business to your community-minded cause can increase their sales.