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ROBERTSON: Businesses can show appreciation, build goodwill throughout November

  • Robertson
November is one of the busiest times of the year. 
 
It is a month full of important milestones and celebrations, including Thanksgiving and other important days that can present challenges to what remains of any organization’s annual budget.
 
Choose to turn these challenges into opportunities. You can make it happen simply by showing appreciation and support for a special event. Just be sure to properly plan and communicate with your current and potential customers.
 
Veterans Day is one of the most important and patriotic days of the year. This is also an opportunity to show respect and gratitude for our veterans and active duty military, from social media posts to advance promotion of a seasonal holiday. Whatever you do, make sure it is tasteful, relevant, clear, and concise.
 
Olive Garden’s Facebook post “Spread the word—All veterans can enjoy a free entrée this Friday in thanks for their service! Nov. 11, 2016: Veterans and Active Duty Eat Free!” is a good example of how to promote an event honoring the military. Other restaurants and retailers have utilized social media, news outlets and websites such as www.thebalance.com to help spread the word about Veterans Day promotions.
 
Local businesses are also extending their appreciation to the military during and after Veterans Day as well as Thanksgiving. At Byrd Cookie Company, starting Nov. 11 through Nov. 13, veterans and active duty military with a valid ID get a 20 percent discount on cookies and 15 percent off other merchandise. The company also has a special “Tins for the Troops” offer this weekend; for every cookie tin purchased online, Byrd will send a cookie tin to a soldier deployed overseas.
 
With most Savannah/Chatham County Public Schools out for the holiday, the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is hosting a Veterans Day Camp. The following weekend, with sponsorship support, the museum will honor the mission and memory of World War II veterans with its “Flying Fortress 5K and Mighty 8K” as well as offer event registration discounts to military and first responders.
 
Collaborative efforts such as the “Q-Master, Chefs + Vets” event and the “Home for the Holidays” initiative help the military and increase awareness through a coordinated, multi-media campaign that includes print, electronic and social media. The Savannah Food & Wine Festival honors Veterans Day with its “Q-Master, Chefs + Vets” with Service Brewing Company, the Big Green Egg and The Local Palate Magazine. The November 11 event will help the Tiny House Project for Homeless Veterans.
 
Now through Thanksgiving weekend, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, iHeart Media Savannah and the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce are working together with their “Home for the Holidays” contest. By joining forces, their multi-faceted effort will reward each of the five, active duty military winners of the contest with a free round-trip airline ticket so that they can spend time with their families.
 
From showing support with a patriotic social media post to offering discounts to sponsoring an event, there are many ways to honor our military on Veterans Day and to show gratitude to our community members this Thanksgiving. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Just do your best.
 
This column was compiled by Karen Robertson, Director of Public Relations and Client Development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations, Inc., a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm, with Robmark Web providing website design, development and SEO. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or (912) 921-1040.

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