4 tips for grassroots marketing

By Posted in - Public Relations & Uncategorized on February 13th, 2012 2 Comments

Last year, Kim and I had the┬áprivilege of meeting quite a few awesome people through Rack Room Shoes’ (one of our beloved clients) Back to School online photo contest. We hosted events in each of the winner’s hometowns, and met a number of good-hearted Rack Room Shoes brand advocates. (This post came out of one of the events in Cornersville, Tenn.)

And this year, we’re helping out with Rack Room Shoes’ “Save the Athletes Challenge” in a similar way. While traditional PR tactics – print and online media outreach – are extremely important, we’ve also found grassroots methods to be highly effective. We’re talking to people who love the company, love their community and love their schools – and they’re talking, in turn, about Rack Room Shoes. It’s organic – and everyone shares a common goal.

Today, I’d like to share a few grassroots marketing tips I’ve learned along the way. Take a look:

  • Build an emotional connection. Build an emotional connection with your audience by talking about issues that matter to them. Talk about what’s happening in their lives, not just the life of your company or organization.
  • Be authentic. Always be upfront about your intentions. It doesn’t hurt ┬áto say, “I work for so-and-so”, but it can hurt if you don’t.
  • Empower participants. If people are willing to help share your message, reward them for their efforts. Whether it’s through shout-outs on social media sites or rewards programs, it’s important to show participants you appreciate their support.
  • Build awareness. Utilize social media tools to share your message and talk with participants and volunteers. This will give them a place to easily share your content with their friends, fans and followers.

Have you ever built a movement through grassroots marketing techniques? Let us know what you’ve learned.


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(2) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Bill Steigerwald -

    February 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I absolutely agree with your comments about the friendly, supportive tone one needs to use in grassroots marketing tactics. Very often, you’re utilizing volunteers and non-profit staff, free access from supporters, …

    I have produced public events for years, and they are a natural for GRM because of the volunteer groups, benefactors, community-supportive groups, and sponsors that are involved. Even when I marketed large beer festivals with a $40 ticket, using GRM tactics worked well because of the enthusiasm for beer (go figure).

    Finally, I’d second your call for rewards. Public recognition, logo collateral is usually enough, but that keeps your best supporters from feeling empty over the experience.

  • Shelley -

    February 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you for the comment, Bill. It’s great to hear that GRM has worked so well for you, too. I’ve enjoyed how these techniques unite volunteers, non-profit staff and communities around a common cause. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

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