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Community Service: Get Involved
By: Erin Zaleski
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the October 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Once you have decided on the “hows” and “wheres” of getting involved, the next step involves marketing and publicity. “I like to see spas use 3–5% of their gross marketing budget of 20% of the spa’s total budget on community service-related material,” says Cortright, who also has attended numerous spa conferences on marketing.
Spreading the word about your spa’s involvement can be accomplished by including listings in local publications, placing announcements in your spa’s newsletter, putting notices on your Web site or posting fliers around the facility. In addition, marketing your charitable participation doesn’t have to be expensive, Cortright notes. “Everyone thinks you have to spend a fortune on marketing and publicity, but the great thing about community work is that it doesn’t have to be the case,” she says. “Look at the areas where your target audience frequents. Adding your name to coffee cup sleeves will cost 7 cents apiece, and who purchases $3 lattes every day? People who visit spas.”
Clients themselves often are eager to lend a hand with fundraising events, and they can become one of your best sources of publicity. Hagen points out that word of mouth made her work well known throughout the neighborhood. “It was a matter of one client telling another until people became aware of what we were doing,” she says.
Along with spreading the word, clients also can keep you clued in about key issues and organizations that are the most in need of help. “When becoming involved, you really get to know the people in your area,” Patton says. “All of our clients are aware of what we do, and it has become very personal because you may know someone who has a child who is dying of cancer.”
Making a difference
Last June, Hagen and Eskow’s innovative work officially was recognized when The Day Spa Association presented the two sisters with the Distinguished Day Spa Award 2005. Hagen says that, since the acknowledgment, interest in her work has increased even more. Also, Cortright’s spa was named Best Day Spa by The Orange County Register’s 2005 Reader’s Poll. Such public response can serve as a reminder as to just how essential community service has become in setting a business apart from its competition.