Posts Tagged ‘community’

Local Library Sales Benefit All

steveparkhurst | November 3, 2013 in Books,Promotional | Comments (0)

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Bellaire Public Library Book Sale

Yes, this is not a marketing post. This is a post demonstrating one way of giving back to the community and helping locally.

One of the local public libraries holds a book sale twice a year where they sell books both discarded by the library and donated by the community. I attended a sale this weekend, and I spent more than I should have, but that’s a good thing (for the library). These are such great events to support. You never know what you will find at a free-for-all event like this, where the books are all just lumped together.

I really like the fact that the books being sold at a sale like this are being given an extra life. These items are not ending up in landfills somewhere. At the same time, the money is benefiting the local library, which is always a great asset for the families, kids and communities that utilize the library.

I encourage you to look for other sales like these and take part in any way you can. These sales can always use volunteers, and of course they can always benefit from donations of books, music and movies.

The Story Within The Silverlake Church Ad

steveparkhurst | December 10, 2012 in Advertising,Promotional | Comments (0)

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I saw an interesting ad recently, for a church. The volume was low so I did not hear everything being said. But, the closing graphic included the Silverlake logo with the words: The Church Beyond Sunday.

Silverlake Church -

As a matter of positioning, the words “The Church Beyond Sunday” are a great way to demonstrate that this church is more than a church, it’s a place to commit to for more than just one hour a week. It appears to be a place that is a home for you the other six days of the week. Megachurches of today serve this sort of purpose, they offer many things, in many ways, that the older, more traditional churches do not. These megachurches have taken to building communities within the community, while some of them have started trying to appeal to the “unchurched”. Pastors Rick Warren and Joel Osteen of Saddleback and Lakewood churches respectively, are two really good examples of the megachurch community. Maybe there is another church (or churches) somewhere using words similar to “The Church Beyond Sunday”, but I have not seen them.

Lastly, this ad was very effective for another reason. As I stated before, I could not hear the commercial. But, the message in the commercial did not need volume. The visuals created and the story that was told were enough for me to remember what I saw, and I was later able to search for an find Silverlake on the web. In your visual media, are you able to tell a story or get your audience to react to you, without volume? Think about it. Leave a comment here or tweet us @ParkhurstGroup.

Gallery Furniture: A Great Story with a New Chapter

steveparkhurst | July 5, 2009 in Advertising,Branding,Earned Media,Marketing,Promotional,Television,Visual | Comments (0)

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The recent saga of Gallery Furniture is proving to be very interesting. And from that saga, the marketing, branding and rebuilding opportunities to be learned from are equally interesting.

For those who may not know, Houston based furniture giant, Gallery Furniture had a fire recently that left the retailer unable to sell furniture. As it turns out, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the founder and owner of Gallery Furniture, has a lot of social capital in the bank. Mattress Mack has been a visible figure in the Houston area for many years, whether it’s been his radio ads, tv ads, newspaper ads, visibility at Houston sports venues or greeting people at the main entrance to his furniture stores. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize Mattress Mack, and even harder pressed to find someone that can’t name for you one of Mack’s philanthropic endeavors.

Mattress Mack’s massive furniture cathedral on Interstate 45 is part showroom, part museum. There is a ton of furniture there to be sure, but there is also a lot of memorabilia from sports heroes to presidents, some things signed, some things don’t need a signature. Some photos include Mattress Mack with the sports figures or presidents. Mattress Mack has been known to come to the aid of citizens in need, anywhere in the world. You may recall Mack was right in the thick of the Clinton Bush initiative to send money and supplies to tsunami victims.

Mattress Mack maintains a blog where he writes about things going on in and around Houston, and it’s not just about selling sofas or waterbeds. He also posted about the recovery and rebuilding efforts since the fire shut down the main location. The really amazing thing about Mack is that the community at large has rallied around Mack to help him re-open bigger and better. How many cities have a business owner that the community would go to bat for to help rebuild? Most cynical people would shrug off the ordeal and say that insurance should cover the damage.

Not so with Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture. Fundraisers are being held and money is being raised to get the doors re-opened and the merchandise moving again. Citizens have written to support Mattress Mack and others have volunteered numerous hours with cleanup and other duties. Now, Gallery Furniture’s re-opening has been seen as monumental, and as an event to be celebrated.

Witness the billboard below to understand. The whole community knows the story. This advertising is simple at its simplest. The date, 7-4-09 and the place, Gallery Furniture. That’s powerful when you can narrow your ad campaign like that.

Gallery Furniture Billboard - The Parkhurst Group

One of the many billboards around Houston indicating Gallery Furniture’s grand re-opening

You cannot replicate the Mattress Mack model overnight. It takes time and commitment. It also takes something else, something that maybe I can’t even define. For the lack of a better word or phrase, it takes heart. It takes the heart for doing good, the heart for doing right and the heart for people.

For years Mattress Mack has been giving back to Houston. In the recent weeks, Houstonians have been giving back to Mattress Mack.

If you have your own local Mattress Mack, please share their story with us, email Steve @ this domain and let us know how we can talk to this person about profiling them and sharing their story.

Applebee’s America Book Review

steveparkhurst | April 17, 2009 in Books,Promotional | Comments (0)

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I wrote the following review for Applebee’s America in May 2008. I think this is worth posting here on this blog because Applebee’s, and the other business models profiled in the book are in many ways worth studying as we move into a new era of communications and desire for community. These businesses are serving the needs of their customers beyond a monetary transaction. Read the review below and let me know what you think. If you’ve read the book (or if you do read it), I’m interested in hearing from you.

I bought Applebee’s America when it came out in 2006 but I just now got around to reading it. I’m sorry I waited so long, but the book took me less than a week to read and I do feel that it was worth it.

The authors took liberty in creating terms like Gut Values and Navigators. However, I don’t know that they created these terms as much as they used new, quirky words to say the same thing. The authors referred to a book called The Influentials many times throughout. I wonder if I should have read that book first. The Influentials is also a good example of what I mean when I say that the authors didn’t really create terms, as they basically called previously known Influentials, Navigators.

There was some overkill with some of the concepts, especially the concept of community and the phrase “people want to belong to a community”.

Some of the chapters were fascinating and that made them very quick to read. As others have said here on amazon, the “history” of the megachurches was incredibly interesting. The authors did do some serious work to write AA. While they did use a lot of previously published sources and they document them well, they also did a good number of interviews. If you’re looking for a lot of answers or a place to go for them, this book will guide you to a plethora of sources.

Here is a link to the original review.