The Value of Community Events


Ever since I was a little girl, community has been important to me.  Growing up on a street that at one time had over 50 kids to play with, I learned at an early age that getting to know your neighbors was an important part of how to build a safe and inviting community.  I have carried this bit of knowledge with me throughout my life and career as a publicist.  With each and every client, I am always trying to figure out how to help them build community and expand awareness of their business.  Helping clients determine how to best connect with their clients, resources, neighbors, and community members has yielded powerful dividends both in terms of generating media exposure and driving sales.  

Events provide a perfect opportunity to connect to your local community. Since I’ve coordinated many events for both clients and on a volunteer basis, I thought it would be helpful to outline some of the key points that can mean the difference between success and failure. 

Know your audience. The first step in planning any event is to decide who your core audience is and how to best reach that group. A good way to identify your audience is to ask who might benefit most from the event. For example, consider a walk/run fundraiser for a local animal shelter. The ideal audience would not only include animal lovers, but fitness enthusiasts as well. So, to draw that crowd, you might consider partnering with a neighborhood gym or local running clubs. 

Several years ago, I helped launch the Lower Highland Annual 4th of July Parade and Family Picnic. We knew drawing families was going to be crucial, so we targeted an influential mommies group who we knew would spread the word about the event. The strategy worked and the parade is now a neighborhood tradition that draws hundreds. 



Market widely. Depending on just one communication channel to promote your event can lead to low attendance. I utilize a variety of methods to get the word out – from social media postings to calendar listings in local event sites to pitching stories to media in advance of the event. This past summer, I helped organize the 50th anniversary of the West Powers Avenue Block Party – a reunion of a gathering that has been happening since my childhood. I knew tracking down all my old neighborhood pals would be a challenge, so I started with Facebook by creating a private page for former neighbors.  For the folks who weren’t on social media, I created a flyer that I mailed out, using addresses collected from the older generation of attendees.  It was amazing how many we found using both of these methods.


    
Increase your odds of success. Another way to guarantee good attendance is to recruit a club or organization with many members and a natural interest in the event. Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops are a natural fit for kids-focused events. Youth sports teams and neighborhood associations are also good options. For the 4th of July parade, I recruited the local junior roller derby team to participate. Their costumes and skills provided a great visual for the parade and the team got great exposure from the event, using it to pass out information about upcoming bouts. 

Enlisting local businesses can also be a good way to attract crowds because those merchants will help promote the event to their customers. They can also serve as a good source of financial support. This year, I helped raise over $6,000 in just two days for the parade, thanks to the generosity of the Lower Highland Merchant Group, which I helped co-found in 2011.

Make it fun. Of course, your event won’t be judged by attendance alone, but by the experience you deliver. One way to do that is create an activity or task that will immediately get your guests engaged in the event. For the 50th reunion, we played the “Who Am I” game, which involves putting the name of a “famous” person on each person’s back and having each individual guess the name on their tag.  Since it had been a long time since we had seen each other, this ice breaker was a huge help. I think it is important to do this at most events. It’s fun, and gets people talking.

Publicize your event. Even though I was one of those neighborhood kids attending the 50th Anniversary of the block party, I put my “publicist” hat on to make sure the media knew that this was a special event and one not to miss!  You can read about it here in the Littleton Independent



I also used my skills to gather coverage of the 4th of July Parade, which was highlighted in The North Denver Tribune.


If you don’t have the money to hire a publicist or you don’t have one volunteering for your event, there are other ways to gain exposure. The Denver Post’s YourHub section provides a lot of community coverage. I also suggest researching who to contact at your local paper since those publications play a key role in informing the community about what’s happening. Submitting your event to one of the local lifestyle magazines, such as 5280 or 303 Magazine is also a good strategy to attract attention. 

VP Joe Biden takes a lick of Little Man Ice Cream

Image provided by NBC Philadelphia.
Vice President Joe Biden paid visit to Denver recently to discuss college and the economy with Mayor Michael Hancock. The VP and the Mayor took a break from all their hard work and headed over to Little Man Ice Cream for a creamy and delicious break.  
 
The Stasko Agency has been the agency of record for Little Man Ice Cream since its very start. We are pleased to see such a well-known and highly respected public figure paying a visit to the iconic ice cream shop.
 

Image provided by CBS Denver.
Vice President Joe Biden paid visit to Denver recently to discuss college and the economy with Mayor Michael Hancock. The VP and the Mayor took a break from all their hard work and headed over to Little Man Ice Cream for a creamy and delicious break.  
 
The Stasko Agency has been the agency of record for Little Man Ice Cream since its very start. We are pleased to see such a well-known and highly respected public figure paying a visit to the iconic ice cream shop.
 
 
We are so happy for this small mom and pop shop to have so many big successes. For more of what’s going on at Little Man Ice Cream, check out there calendar and press pages here.

DIBS: Raising the Real Estate Bar

 
The Stasko Agency is a proud representative of the Denver Independent Brokers or DIBS, as it is known. For years they have been an outstanding resource for our other real estate clients. DIBS consists of 50 participating companies with a grand total of 80 members that range from brokers to a wide variety of real estate affiliates. 
Being an eclectic group of small independent firms benefits both the client and the group’s members. For clients, having so much insight from so many different angles, experiences and skillsets provide more perspective and better decision making. For the members, they have an opportunity to absorb new knowledge and explore new opportunities in the field. 
 
Although they maintain a professional business practice, DIBS meetings are not short of any entertainment. They keep work fun with a little bit of playful banter and a lot of laughs! 
 
For more information of DIBS please visit their website at http://dibsonline.com/.
 
 

LoHi 4th of July Parade and Family Picnic Thrives Thanks to Community Support



This past weekend marked the LoHi Neighborhood’s 8th Annual 4th of July Parade and Family Picnic. The Stasko Agency has been involved with the fundraising for this event, helping to make it happen each and every year since its inaugural event in 2008. The event has become a great tradition for people of all ages in the LoHi Neighborhood and has continued to flourish over the years. Of course, that success would not be possible without numerous generous donations made by many of our LoHi Merchants. The LoHi Merchants who stepped up to show their support were, as follows:

  
We would like to thank all of the LoHi Merchants for their generous contributions. With your help we raised $5,350 in just two days. WOW!
 
 
The parade  and picnic featured a marching band, bouncing castle, and a 100 foot long sundae provided by Little Man Ice Cream.   
We hope you made it out to enjoy the fun this year, but if not, we'll see you next year.
 

 
 

'Tis the season for ribbon cutting ceremonies


 

Summer is certainly the time for barbecues, relaxation and fun in the sun. And if you’re anything like the City of Wheat Ridge, it’s time for ribbon cuttings. In the past few months Wheat Ridge has hosted ribbon cutting ceremonies for Clancy’s Irish Pub, Hopper Hollow Park, Grammy’s Goodies, and – the two most recent – Sprouts and Starbucks.  
The new Sprouts and Starbucks took over the lot on 38th and Kipling, giving the area a refreshing new look and vibe – something the neighborhood has been looking forward to for some time now.  
 
 
 
In addition to the new shopping center and popular coffee shop, the 6.3 acre project is also now home to MorningStar Senior Living Center. The center includes 64 units and includes a memory care center for their residents. The new development gives a fresh and inviting look to the corner and adds to the essence of Wheat Ridge. Read more about what the Denver Post says about MorningStar, Sprouts, and Starbucks Grand Openings here. 
 
See you at the next ribbon cutting July 29th at 3:00 p.m. to welcome Wheat Ridge Learning Academy into the neighborhood. You can read more about the Wheat Ridge Learning Academy here.


The Stasko Agency welcomes new summer intern Tayler Latham!


Hello Everyone!  
 
My name is Tayler Latham and I’m happy to introduce myself as Lu’s summer intern over at The Stasko Agency. I am about to enter my senior year at Colorado State University as a Journalism Major with a concentration on Public Relations and a Business Minor. Through my studies at CSU, I have obtained skills pertaining to news writing, social media management, and PR. I spent this last semester interning for the Walt Disney World Company in Orlando, Florida. There I was able to connect with marketing professionals, enhance my social media skills, and get hands on experience in the corporate world. I met many amazing people and had many unforgettable experiences and I’m excited to bring what I learned into my future endeavors.  
  
 I’m thrilled to start this new adventure with Lu and The Stasko Agency. I look forward to applying knowledge from my college courses to the real world and absorbing all the tips and tricks Lu has up her sleeve.   
 
Currently, I am working on the social media for the City of Wheat Ridge and press for the Highland’s 8th Annual 4th of July Parade and Family Picnic at Hirshorn Park. I can’t wait to see what all this internship has in store and look forward to meeting and working with you all. 

A Look Back

We're happy to report that 2015 is off to a great start for The Stasko Agency. We're hard at work promoting a number of initiatives, including helping to spread the word about two new awards from the Governor's Council on Active and Healthy Lifestyles. You can read more about the awards here.

However, before we get to far ahead of ourselves, we thought we'd take a moment and reflect back on 2014 and all the wonderful clients we were lucky to work with. Last year, we were proud to conduct PR campaigns for a wide variety of organizations, from specialty retailers to high-profile developers, including:

  • Mudlick Mail
  • The Walnut Room
  • The City of Wheat Ridge
  • Camp Inc.
  • Wine Storage of Denver
  • Zocalo Community Development 
  • Decor and You
  • Colorado Culture of Health Conference
  • Little Man Ice Cream
  • Swinerton Builders Colorado
  • Denver Independent Brokers
  • The LoHi Merchant Group
  • Bright Beginnings
  • Joie de Vivre Pilates
  • Truest Beauty
  • Kukui Corp.
Every year offers new learning opportunities and 2014 was no exception. We discovered just how far some wine collectors will go to protect their collections and got the chance to help Wine Storage of Denver educate their clients about the benefits of their move to a larger facility. You can read about the company's expanded space in 5280 here. Another highlight was assisting a new Boulder-based entrepreneurial camp, appropriate dubbed Camp Inc. - recruit campers. Our efforts yielded stories in the Denver Business Journal, the Boulder Daily Camera and 9News. We also continued to expand our knowledge of just how important marketing is to the automotive repair industry, thanks to direct mail provider Mudlick Mail and Kukui Corp., a supplier of software for auto service centers. You can read more about Kukui in Motor Age Magazine and Ratchet and Wrench.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some photos to help illustrated the breadth of work we performed last year.

In February, Zocalo Community Development sold its Cadence Union Station apartment complex to Invesco Real Estate. We worked with the company to tell the story behind the sale. The deal attracted attention from several media outlets, including the Denver Post, the Denver Business Journal, the Colorado Real Estate Journal and Multi-Housing News.

Wheat Ridge City officials break ground on a Sprouts Farmers Market. Last year was a busy one for development in Wheat Ridge, where three new housing developments broke ground and a number of news businesses opened their doors. The city was also named one of the best places in the nation to retire by the website Livability. 


Little Man Ice Cream celebrated selling its millionth scoop last summer. Westword was kind enough to cover the story, which you can read here.

In May, Wheat Ridge officials hosted a signing ceremony where Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill that provides a tax credit to encourage development of contaminated brownfield sites.

Denver Public Schools Board Member Jeannie Kaplan speaks to the crowd at the groundbreaking of the Denver School of Science and Technology at Byers Middle School. Stasko Agency client Swinerton Builders Colorado performed the renovations on the school.





We look forward to another busy year helping our clients achieve their goals!