The Support Local Win Local campaign that appeared in Estevan Mercury Publications over the last 13 weeks was well received by the participating businesses, local readers and the newspapers.
The campaign wrapped up on Monday with the draw for the $1,000 grand prize. Len Miillar of Estevan had his name drawn from the hundreds of people who entered.
The campaign featured advertising that appeared in the Estevan Mercury, Southeast Lifestyles and News Break each week since late March. Business profile stories and an entry form appeared weekly in Lifestyles.
To enter, customers had to fill out a form when visiting a participating business.
Cindy Beaulieu, the sales manager for Estevan Mercury Publications, said the campaign proved to be a great way for businesses to increase awareness of the importance of shopping locally, to share their business histories, and to promote their products and services.
The businesses also explained how they support others in the community.
“They were looking for a way to get that message out,” said Cindy. “It’s not a new message; they’ve had that message for years, but it’s more important now.”
Mercury sales representatives Candace Wheeler and Deanna Tarnes said the participating businesses received a lot of positive feedback on the stories.
“Lots of customers came in and told them how ‘I didn’t know you did this,’ or ‘I didn’t know you started this way,’” said Deanna. “People like knowing the histories of the businesses.”
While many of the businesses have been serving Estevan for many years, there are people who are new to Estevan who didn’t know the businesses’ histories.
“These businesses have been here for a long time, and if they’ve been here for a long time, they’re probably committed to staying here for longer,” said Cindy. “They’re not just a flash in the pan where you see some people come and go.”
The internet was also an important tool for the campaign. The business profiles that ran each week were posted to the Estevan Mercury Publications website, www.estevanmercury.ca, and a lot of people saw those profiles online.
The businesses also had photos, videos and promotional material posted on the Mercury’s Facebook page, which has nearly 3,400 likes, and the Twitter feed, which has nearly 1,150 followers.
“The power of our social media created a package that got the results that the participating businesses were looking for,” said Cindy.
Candace pointed out the number of people who like or follow the Mercury on social media grew during the campaign, and the number of visitors to Mercury’s social media sites increased over the last three months.
“Lots of people were sharing our posts,” said Candace.
And while the social media component had a good response, they believe the campaign is proof that social media is not the only option for advertising and promotion.
Estevan Mercury Publications will be busy in July prior to and during the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games, and then they will launch an exciting new advertising campaign in the fall.