Word of Mouth or Free Strategies
Low-Cost, No-Cost Strategies
Don't overlook free opportunities to publicize your event or organization. Posting information through community calendars, community bulletin boards, and websites; using social media to drive web traffic; sending letters to the editor; participating in town forums; creating a word-of-mouth buzz; and using public service announcements could be instrumental in the success of a Weatherization PIC. Look for daily opportunities to raise public awareness. Wear a "Weatherization Works" button/hat around town and be prepared to answer questions and describe the program. Use a magnetic sign or paint the Weatherization Works logo
on your agency vehicles.
Creating a Buzz with Word of Mouth
Often overlooked by community organizations, word of mouth is essential for the success of any PIC. Word of mouth supersedes any fancy slogans and media blitzes. Word of mouth builds credibility and is typically more compelling and convincing. Direct mailings or media interviews can complement word of mouth, but cannot not replace this cost-effective tool. Personal testimonies, referrals, and close relationships with the clients can boost the success of a project. In addition, this close contact with clients can improve the weatherization services you deliver.
Here are a few suggestions for creating a buzz with word of mouth:
Give a presentation at a senior center, farmer's market, school, or community center.
Offer free workshops on home weatherization and energy efficiency tips.
Participate in a radio talk show on energy efficiency and home weatherization.
Give flyers to clients to share with friends.
Develop a relationship with other organizations where you believe you could obtain referrals, future partnerships, and possibly, additional funding.
Sponsor an Open House Day. Invite community residents to learn about your program. Provide demonstrations, music, or some kind of activity. Invite a local celebrity or sports figure to attract a greater audience.
Ask your local television weatherperson to wear a "Weatherization Works" cap or button during a broadcast and to mention the important benefits produced by the program.
Become an advocate for your cause. Look for opportunities to advance your cause and advocate for your clients in other arenas. Many agencies are involved in utility restructuring discussions. Bring your experience to the table at economic development hearings, brownfields discussions, welfare reform activities, etc. Use this opportunity to share the good work weatherization does and to highlight your cause.