What would you do with £1,000?

What would you do with £1,000? That’s the question we’ve been asking community organisations to think about this week.

A couple of months ago we were challenged by our client Fraser Group, who are opening a new petrol station, Budgens forecourt store and Subway franchise at Marlborough Business Park this autumn, to devise a campaign to herald their arrival in the town.

As a family-owned firm, they want to win hearts as well as business. “We want to be an important part of the community,” they told us. It’s been our job to make it so.

What we came up with was the Community Giveaway. The company has put up £6,000, which it will be donating to local community groups.

But those groups will have to sing for their supper – literally, in some cases.

In an event that’s being billed as Dragon’s Den meets Britain’s Got Talent, nine finalists will take to the stage to pitch their ideas to a voting audience which could number close to 300 people.

That ‘pitch’ could include a straight presentation or some element of performance (and with schools and the arts community especially interested in the Community Giveaway we’re expecting some imaginative and entertaining pitches).

Before the big night – on Thursday, 20 September – there’s an application process, which we’ve made as entertaining and straightforward as possible by using social media to promote to, and engage with, community groups and their own supporters.

Then there’ll be a voting process, in which we’ll whittle all the applications down to nine finalists – all of whom will get a share of the prize pot, with three overall winners picking up cheques for £1,000 each.

Now, from a marketing perspective, here’s the interesting bit: our clients haven’t even stuck a spade in the ground yet, yet alone opened their business for trading.

But in less than five working days they’ve received volumes of positive press coverage, attracted fans to their Facebook Page (and, virally, got friends and fans of those visitors to talk about the business) and collected valuable data for their mailing list.

People ‘Like’ Budgens Marlborough… and it’s not even there yet!

We’d really like you to log on and visit the site. See how we’re using Facebook as our primary marketing driver to communicate and engage with our client’s potential customers.

Just pop along to www.facebook.com/BudgensMarlborough

And if you’d like to know how an integrated marketing campaign using social media and press strategies could benefit your business – even if you haven’t opened it yet – call the Secret Agents.

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