THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL PROMOTIONS
5 Easy Steps
By Chuck Fresh
Most normal folks are inherently lazy and incredibly boring. The reason why they watch TV and movies is to achieve the kind of stimulation that the real world, including most bars, just can’t provide. This may explain why people have shifted their disposable income to different types of entertainment and away from our bars. We know how to solve these problems and bring these lazy folks back, and we’re going to share this information with you this month in a five-step plan that you can implement immediately.
Step One: Market Wisely, Market Well.
Even if you’ve got the best, biggest, wildest, most expensive promotion in the world, no one’s going to come if they haven’t heard about it. You can and should alert people in many ways. Marketing can be expensive, but so is any other worthwhile investment.
You must let potential customers know what’s happening or what’s coming up via radio and newspaper advertising. Unless you’ve got a great creative team working for you, never let the radio station or newspaper design your ad—they’re often too busy to devote the time and resources necessary to create great advertising for your bar. Plus, since they do it for free, they have no incentive to create great ads for you or their other hundreds of advertisers all competing for space. It’s definitely worthwhile to hire an outside firm who’s getting paid to do this create your ads. (Our firm does this—call us or visit our website for more information and samples at www.chuckfresh.com).
Invest in grass-roots marketing to get your message directly to the people to reinforce your paid advertising. You should always have your staff, DJs, and other paid promoters distribute flyers and general word of mouth well in advance of your promotions.
And always send press releases to let your local radio and TV stations and newspapers know what’s going on, because your wild promotions are newsworthy! Many folks don’t realize that newspapers are always looking for stories to fill their empty space, and a well crafted press release makes their job much easier. Note: NEVER give your press release to your salesperson. They may get paid by the same entity, but more often than not, they don’t personally know the right reporters and your press release will get trashed. Think about it—why would they support you getting free mentions when they’re making money on your commissions? Call the newspaper yourself and find out the name and contact information for the most appropriate reporter, then mail, email or fax your press release directly to that person.
Be sure that you keep in mind that by generating press, you’re creating an image for your club in the public’s mind. If you’re doing pretty wild stuff, you may get labeled as the local rebel, and some menopausal housewives with nothing better to do may get upset and try to cause some political trouble for you. In many cases, it’s good to be the bad boy of your market, as long as you control the spin. Carefully craft your press releases to show that you’re promoting innocent fun. The worst thing you can do is let that spin get out of control. Don’t get labeled as a drug infested mob hangout where people are routinely murdered!
Step Two: Choose Relevant Promotions.People have seen and heard about bikini contests for well over thirty years. It’s boring, it’s way overdone, and it’s simply not a reason for the masses to come out. Back in the day, a bikini contest was considered “risqué.” Women who dared to bare were considered rebels. Times have changed, people have changed. So why the hell would you run one these boring ass contests now?
Step Three: Create and Maintain Excitement.
When you’ve chosen a great promotion, choose a complimentary reward or giveaway, and promote the hell out of it! To keep your costs contained, in addition to tapping the Anheuser Busch fella’s deep promotional pockets, solicit and work with other local complimentary businesses, such as malls, auto dealerships, sporting goods stores, electronics stores, travel agencies, music stores, and anyone else who has half a brain and understands the power of cross promoting to your captive audience. Offer something big, flashy, and almost unbelievable to the winners of your contests. I’ve seen bars give away exotic trips, shopping sprees, and even cars, trucks, boats and motorcycles.
It’s also important to keep the excitement fresh. Don’t run any single promotion longer than three or four weeks at the most. The best promotions can be completed in one single night, often within the space of 30 minutes when planned, practiced, and executed properly. People will get tired of things quickly, so always keep things moving.
Step Four: Add the Entertainment Factor.
As with any promotion, the key element should always be entertainment. This requires preparation, practice, and sometimes requires an “artificial kick in the ass” via staged events. There is absolutely nothing wrong with soliciting or hiring a bunch of professional actors or models to participate in your promotions, especially the wilder ones! Normal people tend to do normal, boring things, if you can get them involved at all. Inherently, we’re voyeurs as a society. So give the people what they want—give them a show!
We’re actually in the process of assembling a crew of people who will do nothing else but participate in wild promotions at clubs and bars all over the country. Tons of people are looking to break in to show business, and you can help them add things to their resumes. You can do the same thing by taking classified ads in your local newspaper stating something like: WANTED: Actors and Actresses for Wild Nightclub Promotions. Earn money while competing for large cash prizes. Must be 21 or older. Call Mark at 555-5555.
And never skimp on an MC. He or she is the person who can make or break your promotion, no matter how well it was planned! Find someone who’s good looking, glowing, extremely quick witted and just oozing personality. I definitely recommend auditioning and hiring a professional for any promotion.
Step Five: Follow It Up
Make sure the radio stations and newspapers are talking about what happened. Show pictures on your website or flyers of real people doing crazy things. Shoot videotape and play it on your monitors. Reinforce the fun people had by proving how much fun they had. Use these steps in your next events, and watch how your sales and attendance increase!