If you’re looking to divert items away from the landfill while helping your residents get rid of unwanted items, a county-wide garage sale in your county could be the solution! Use this guide on how to plan for a city-wide garage sale as a template for your county-wide garage sale.
Once you’ve organized the basic elements of your county-wide garage sale, the next step is to get the word out to as many residents as possible about your event. This ensures you get a significant number of residents to sign up and participate, and pushes for shoppers to show up to the sale and buy.
Here are options you can use to market your county-wide garage sale:
- Create a page on your county’s website dedicated to the county-wide sale with relevant information
Leverage the collective power of all your municipalities and have them promote on their websites and other communication channels as well.
- Completely exploit social and digital media
Make sure to post information on other community websites and bulletin boards and on your county’s Facebook page. Ask your municipalities to do the same.
You might even want to create an entirely new, event specific, Facebook page all together. Make use of Twitter and Instagram - and if your municipalities have city-specific mobile apps, use it to get the word out to residents with busy schedules. They need to learn about the event details quickly, and today, more and more residents are using their phone as a primary tool for ingesting information.
- Piggy back on related community outreach
Send out relevant event information in already existing community newsletters (print) and utilize local e-mail lists to incorporate event info into e-newsletters.
- Print material
Print visually dynamic flyers and place them around all your municipalities. You can put them underneath car windshields, in lobbies of local businesses, in coffee shops or restaurants, and even tacked onto household garbage cans and recycling bins.
- Pitch the story to local media and send them a press release (or buy ads)
When marketing your event with local media you have two options: buy an ad that will be placed alongside or in between editorial content or pitch a story to local media that will make sure your event is the centerpiece of the editorial content all together.
The “story” option is the cheapest because it’s free! All you need is a polished press release and a story pitch. Then once you decide this part of the equation, you have 3 other options: newspaper, radio or TV. Articles in local papers are usually a great option. You can also ask a local radio DJ to host his or her show at the county-wide sale on the day of the event.
Another option is to pitch your story to the local TV news station, and ask them cover the event on the nightly news show. Tell them you are willing to do any on-camera interview!
- Word of mouth
Be a walking, breathing press machine. Talk about the event with every person you come in contact to. Chat with local businesses and speak with the people in your community on the front lines of resident interaction; baristas, waitresses, restaurant and coffee shop owners.
Verbally promote the county-wide garage sale event at other county recycling events (or recycling events hosted by your municipalities). Be polished, poised and proud when you speak about the event. This helps get residents excited.
- Personal promotion
Add a message to your voicemail mentioning the sale and add a line in your email signature. This takes minutes and can really maximize your reach.
- Create a contest within the county leading up to the county-wide garage sale
Contests often create great incentive to participate. Feel free to instigate a little competition. You could put forward that the resident with the highest daily sales wins a prize, or maybe that the first shopper to arrive at your event gets something for free.
- Place ads in classifieds about the event: Craigslist or Kijiji
Bargain hunters often use classifieds online to buy used goods. Target this thrifty demographic here. Remember, targeted outreach is better than aimless promotion.
- Partner with likeminded organizations
Connecting with other organizations, big or small, is a great way to strategically maximize your overall reach and potentially raise money. Garage Sale Trail in Australia is “enabled by 164 councils, in partnership with forward thinking media networks and businesses”. Not only is their website stunning and well thought out, but their partnerships, both in the public and private sector, show that they are making a conscious effort to build a greater community around their event, while simultaneously raising money.
These are just some ways that you can market your county-wide garage sale. Which tactic (or group of a few) would work best with your budget?
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