Advertising A Town Or City
( Originally Published 1902 )
The work of the Merchants' Association in advertising New York as a mercantile centre is so well known to business men all over the world that it is not necessary here to dwell upon it beyond using this fact as an excellent illustration of what can be accomplished by a preconcerted effort on the part of leading citizens of any town or city.
The Merchants' Association has spread the fame of New York's wholesale markets in every corner of America. It has secured rate concessions from leading railroads and its practical results in the shape of delegations of hundreds of retail buyers and merchants from states far and near can be seen by anyone interested enough to visit the Broadway Central, Imperial, Waldorf-Astoria and other New York hostelries during buying seasons.
Leading citizens of Cripple Creek, Colorado, had an advertising plan submitted to them by a New York advertising specialist. The object of this idea was to let eastern investors know the great mineral resources of Cripple Creek and was the subject of much favorable comment.
The Clinton (Ia.) Herald recently urged Iowans to make known to the world at large the resources of Iowa to farmers, miners, manufactureres and business men. The article said in part
"Iowa has advantages in the way of manufacturing that are possessed by few States, but they have been so carefully concealed that the men who manage the great manufacturing plants of the country have never been particularly well informed of the fact. An Eastern man, passing through this State on a Northwestern train, observing a branch line running south from Belle Plains, asked a fellow passenger where it led to, and being informed that it was a coal line, seemed surprised and inquired, "Are there coal mines in Iowa?" He expressed wonder when told that almost half of the State is underlaid with fine veins of coal.
"It is not the especial duty of the State to advertise the resources of the country, yet it might well do something in that line. States have boards of immigration when they have vacant Lands but that time has passed in Iowa."
Such organizations as the National League of Improvement Associations of Springfield, Ohio, not only exist for the purpose of making America beautiful but also advertise which-ever section of America it may work in in a most business like way. Read the following-clipped from its literature:
"Organized purely as an educational movement, the League has proved a decidedly successful business ` boomer,' both for the trade' directly concerned in the sale of plants, seeds, paints, paper and decorating supplies, and also on a broader scale touching larger interests. Landscape gardeners, manufacturers, architects, contractors, real estate dealers and many others are financially interested.
" Already special campaigning in a given city has resulted in the sale of the entire stock of every local florist. In another city an average of fifty per cent advance in real estate has followed the agitation of an improvement association in a section containing ten or twelve thousand inhabitants. One of the fore-most paint manufacturing concerns is now using a splendidly illustrated booklet exploiting its products in relation to this new-born movement. The League plans, agitates and organizes. It unites school people, influential citizens, commercial bodies and other groups in a way that awakens interest in every home.
" The League is an investment, not a charity, and a proposition to support it is purely a business matter. An organization formed for similar purposes among manufacturers is largely sup-ported by prominent firms whose efforts are thus brought to the attention of an interested public.
"The League prepares booklet, magazine and leaflet issues; arranges copy and illustrations for hundreds of periodicals, provides lectures and lantern slides for towns and assemblies; secures the organization of local leagues and the enlistment of commercial bodies and public spirited citizens."
There is not a state in the Union and scarcely a town or city in it but cannot be benefitted by a regular advertising bureau organized and operated for that purpose.
Of course the principal help is the local press and such aid can be enlisted in nine cases out of ten, provided the situation is put in the proper light before editors. A certain amount of advertising in publications could be contracted for with every feeling that such an outlay is wise because business bringing and legitimate.
Booklets, maps and letters should be sent to inquirers and carefully culled lists of names.
Efforts should be made to interest railroads in securing special rates.
Efforts should be made to interest hotels in quoting special prices.
Efforts should be made to interest leading citizens in the propaganda movement.
For the success of the town, city or state is their success. Efforts should be made to secure the presence of conventions. Efforts should be made to secure the presence of men of national reputation upon convention and other leading occasions.