If your business is approaching a major milestone then it’s time to think about maximising its marketing and PR potential.
Anyone who’s set up a new business knows that surviving Years One, Two and Three are very special challenges! So, if you’ve managed and are thriving, congratulations, it’s a big deal! Here are 11 ways to celebrate a business anniversary.
- Compare and contrast. Look at the marketing material you were using when you started out. Those old photos, brochures and leaflets in the store cupboard might seem a bit amusing or embarrassing, but compared to how you market now, they will likely illustrate just how far you’ve come. Do a ‘Then and Now’ comparison. What’s the difference? What has remained the same? This is a great way to emphasise how you’re moving with the times while demonstrating consistent core values.
- Timeline. Make a timeline of all the key events over your business’ history. Your first office, your first employee... when you landing a significant customer or released a new product or service... Make it visual and use short descriptions or explanations. Gathered together will form a narrative and show the journey you’ve been on.
- A dozen. A year is 12 opportunities to make a noise about the anniversary and potentially 12 micro-celebrations. Why not run a sweepstake each month so customers can win great prizes (it’s 12 stories for your social media and great chance to collect email addresses from entrants!).
- Local or national news. Once you’ve created compelling anniversary story send a short news release with all the best highlights to local, national or trade journalists, whichever is most relevant to your business.
- Newsletter. You’ve done the hard yards creating the Press Release (above), now repurpose it into a readymade newsletter story. Summarise how you got to where you are and the challenges along the way. From this short introductory copy link on to a ‘timeline’ webpage you build just for this anniversary. While your at it put a link on your site and change your email footer for the duration of the anniversary year.
Want more about newsletters?There's a number of useful articles here
- Special promotion. Invite your clients and prospects to celebrate with you by hosting a sale or contest connected to your anniversary. Be clear about the Ts and Cs.
- Make a video. Got someone who’s good on camera? Make a short video that tells the story of your business over the years. It is an excellent chance to communicate why you do what you do. This actually helps customers understand whether you are the right supplier or partner for them. And it’s another change to rhapsodise on the core values of the business. Tip: A personal anecdote works well on such a video. Was there a special moment along the way that sums up your approach to business? What does it mean to you, personally, your family and how you fit into the local community?
- Party! Hold a big party for your best customers, invite the media and come up with a photogenic stunt that they can use on the business pages.
- One-year sponsorship. If you’ve considered sponsoring a good cause or sports team, but never got round to it, perhaps now's the time. Celebrate your anniversary and do something good at the same time. Agree the nuts and bolts of your sponsorship in detail. Have a contract.
- Change your logo (and tagline). Create a special anniversary edition. Replace your current logo is. Make a diary note to swap it back at the end of the year.
- Be thankful. Thank your employees for their contribution to your success in a meaningful way. Give them some time off, a bonus or a free trip somewhere. Without them your business doesn’t exist.
Running a business is tough!
As an owner or manager you know that there are some very difficult moments. But you made it through another year! Customers, staff, partners, funders, everyone needs to know about it... so plan ahead and be ready when the clock ticks around to your special day.