Author Archives: Jessica Love

Now accepting 2020 Tigard Shining Stars Nominations

The 46th annual Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration recognizes and honors Tigard citizens who demonstrate excellence and community leadership in volunteerism, educational achievement and business. The fun, semi-formal dinner event and silent auction held at Embassy Suites Washington Square, celebrates our vibrant Tigard community and the individuals who make it so with awards, dinner and silent auction. 

Awards include the Jim Nicoli Youth Volunteer Award, John E. Cook Tigard’s First Citizen, a “From the Heart” Volunteerism Award (in honor of Jim Hartman), $3,000 in scholarships to deserving high school seniors, and Chamber awards for Chamber Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Ambassador of the year.  

This is the chance for Tigard residents to recognize, celebrate and say thank you to the people who work so hard all year long to enhance the community that we live and do business in and truly make Tigard “A Place to Call Home”. Nomination criteria and form download links are outlined below.

Tigard’s First Citizen –

Named in honor of John E. Cook, this award recognizes someone who has made in-depth, long-term volunteer contributions to the Tigard community over the years. The winner is active, involved, interested, and enthusiastic about making Tigard a nice place to live and work. This individual excels in any area of unpaid endeavor of education, social services, youth work, and community improvement of public services. This award is given in the spirit of all volunteers who remain unknown. The recipient joins the ranks of those previously honored in continually striving to improve the Tigard Area.

From the Heart –

This award honors a person who has dedicated their time and energy to a specific cause in the Tigard community.  Jim Hartman set the standard for this award by his example of giving from the heart to his community.  This person gives willingly, energetically and consistently.  This person might be well known or might be a “quiet” volunteer, unrecognized until now, but always gives “from the heart”!  This person may have worked on the same project for many years. 

Tigard Youth Volunteer Award – 

This award is given in honor of former Mayor, Jim Nicoli, who passed away in 2000.  His dedication to the youth of our community was a fitting way to honor his name and award a youth in our community who volunteers to make a difference.  Many young people in Tigard are active in volunteer efforts and it is our pleasure to acknowledge their contributions of dedication, energy and community spirit.  They are the future!  

Tigard’s Chamber Business of the Year –

This award recognizes a chamber business that has made in-depth contributions to the Tigard community through their business. The winner is active, involved, interested, and enthusiastic about continuing to make Tigard a destination of choice for local business. Nominee must be a chamber member in good standing.

Outstanding Chamber Volunteer 

This award honors a Chamber member who has volunteered many hours of time, talent and energy to the success and growth of the Tigard Chamber.  Bert Tousey and his example of Chamber volunteerism is commitment at its best.  This person is an example of an active member who has sustained their efforts on behalf of the Chamber over a long period of time.  By their efforts, they have made this organization more effective in serving the Tigard community. 

Ambassador of the Year

Being an Ambassador for the Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce is no small task!  The Ambassador of the Year Award should be presented to a volunteer who significantly affects a positive perception of the Chamber through active participation, an optimistic attitude and solid business practices.  The recipient is active, involved, interested, and enthusiastic about making the Tigard Chamber a great organization to be a part of!

Any individual or organization can make a nomination with the exception of Ambassador of the Year. All Nominations are due by March 6, 2020.   

Thank you for supporting the 2020 Shining Stars Community Awards Gala May 3, 2019, 5:30-9 p.m. being held at Embassy Suites – Washington Square with your nominations.  If you have questions or need assistance please contact us at Jessica@TigardChamber.org or call 503-639-1656. www.TigardChamber.org.

4 Ways to Pull Great Stories Out of Your Customers

Storytelling makes for amazing marketing because people don’t realize they’re being marketed to. They’re pulled into the story. They develop an emotional attachment to your business and they stick around for the resolution.

Good storytelling casts your customers as the heroes of their stories. You want their successes and triumphs to be told because you want potential customers to hear the stories and think that they can do those things too.

When you cast your business as the wise sage who helps the hero achieve their goals, you become important to the solution. That way people who are considering buying from you understand the valuable role that you play even while you are highlighting the accomplishments of others.

But finding the stories isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to have a loyal customer who bathes you in compliments. More often than not, these stories are silent successes that aren’t shared with you. You need to find a way to dig these up so that you can breathe life into them and share them with potential customers.

But how do you do that?

First, a call for stories is not enough. I’ve seen countless businesses inviting people to share their stories with them. And…

Crickets.

The problem with this approach is that people are busy, especially successful ones. If you want their story, you need to find a more creative approach than merely asking. Even people with good intentions and great stories who read your call for stories will often put your request on the back burner behind the more important ones affecting their daily business. You need to go out and get those stories. Here’s how:

Ask Your Customer Support Team/Person

Asking your customer support team for stories of successful customers or fantastic comeback stories is a great first step for two reasons. First, this team (or person) is on the front lines talking to customers every day. If anybody knows what your customers are thinking it’s this group.

The second reason going to them is a good idea is because you’re giving the support person the opportunity to feel important and valued. Very effective stories star disgruntled customers because the story is always in the friction. If you can show a person who is struggling and then overcame that struggle, it’s a lot more effective than someone who just bought your product or service and used it. Ask your team for times when they were really able to help someone. This will assist them in getting to the best stories and allow them to feel special for their efforts at the same time.

Follow Your Customers on Social Media

Follow as many of your customers on social media as possible. This will help you keep close tabs on their wins and successes. When they brag about something out of the ordinary, reach out to them and congratulate them. If appropriate ask them the story behind their success. If it’s a good story ask them if you might use it for your newsletter, web copy,  blog or social media post.

Explain What’s In It for Them

Many marketers approach requests for case studies and customer stories as a favor from the customer. The customer is busy when you come to them begging for their customer story, it quickly becomes an inconvenience for them; especially when you point it out as one like when you ask them to do you a “big favor.”

However, if you explain what’s in it for them they’ll be more likely to participate. For example, instead of asking for a favor tell them they’ve been selected to be highlighted in a newsletter. It goes out to a thousand people and the details of their business and their offerings will be shared widely and in a positive light.  They will quickly see the value of participation for their own business.

Host an Appreciation Event

If you are looking for great customer stories, a solid way to uncover them is by hosting an appreciation event. When making small talk with your customers and expressing your appreciation for them, make it a point to ask them what accomplishments they are most proud of this year. That gives them a chance to boast and they likely will enjoy the opportunity to do so. As you’re listening to their success stories, try to figure out if your business had any part of that. Even if you didn’t play a role in it, it still provides a wonderful opportunity to congratulate them on something they’re proud of.

If you want to incorporate storytelling in marketing for your business, you need to feature your clients or customers. The best stories focus on their successes. But asking them to share their success in your posts on social media is usually not enough to get a response. Instead, use some of these tactics to get them to open up about what they’ve achieved and how you helped.

 

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses and chambers how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com.  

 

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to eradicate boring copy and bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

How to Figure Out What’s Keeping Your Audience up at Night When They Don’t Have a Clue

Most marketers these days will tell you that the most convincing way to write your web copy is to solve a problem for your audience. You cannot expect your audience to read your site or watch your videos and guess whether you’re good for them or not. Instead, you need to  connect the dots for them. You have to be exceptionally clear of the solution you provide and it has to be the answer to the problem they’re struggling with.

But sometimes your audience isn’t aware of the problem. It may be that the problem is not acute enough yet for them to be entertaining a solution. Sometimes they know there’s a problem but they’re unable to define it. Maybe they’re not sure of the cause or maybe they can’t quite separate it from other difficulties they’re having. Whatever the case may be, if they are unclear about the problem, you’ll have difficulties providing solution-based marketing.

In these cases, you need to find a way to help them better understand their problem before you can provide a solution.

But how do you do that if they don’t know what their problem is? And how do you figure it out? As in other types of marketing, the best way to do this is to be as transparent as possible in the following ways.

What is solution-based marketing?

Solution-based marketing is the approach that focuses on the customer need behind particular businesses. In solution-based marketing you use a problem to shape your web copy. Don’t focus on the negative. Instead, present an opportunity for growth or potential for your customers. For instance, remember the McDonald’s catch phrase “ you deserve a break today”?  That is an example of (assumed) solution-based marketing.The problem that is not directly names is that people are stressed and overworked. McDonald’s is jumping in and suggesting (without directly saying it) they can provide the solution to that stressful existence. They can provide a much-needed break.

Solution-based marketing is its most efficient when the problem it’s solving for is known by the  potential customer. However, in the case of the McDonald’s example, the customer may not even realize how stressed they were until McDonald’s presented the solution in suggesting that they deserve the break.

How Do You Know There’s a Problem?

If your customer doesn’t know there’s a problem, how do you?

Every business has a problem the question is whether the business owner has taken the time to define and understand it.

In many cases what they recognize as the difficulty is not the actual problem but how it is presenting itself. This situation can be compared to a very painful headache. When most people have one, they refer to that as the problem or the reason they can’t do something or why they’re in a bad mood. However that’s just how the problem is presenting itself. There’s an underlying cause of the headache like maybe dehydration. While the headache feels like the problem, it’s really the dehydration that is at the center of the issue. If you really want to solve the problem, you have to fix the dehydration.

Most people look to stop the headache because that’s the pain. This is only a temporary solution. If you’re using solution-based marketing you want to alleviate the pain by getting to the heart of the problem, not just solving how it’s presenting. You can do this several ways.

Look at reviews

Examine your reviews and that of your top competitor. What are the phrases that keep coming up over and over again? Use those words and comments to shape your content and web copy headlines.

Talk to Your Customers

Create a panel of your most loyal customers or if you don’t have loyal customers, talk to some of your most recent ones. Ask them why they bought from you. And if they bought from anybody else. If so, ask them why they bought from that person.

They may bring up price, proximity, or referrals as the reasons why they chose one business over another. These are symptoms just like that headache. You want to dive deeper. Use the words they mention to get to what they’re really concerned about. For instance, if they refer to budget as the reason they selected someone, they’re likely watching the bottom line.

You want to make sure you talk about the danger of the competition that doesn’t stay within your budget or expensive upsells and charges that aren’t negotiated in the original conversation when creating content.

Look at Requests on Facebook

Have you ever noticed people on Facebook asking their following for recommendations on local businesses? When they do, very few people get right to their immediate need such as asking for a veterinarian in New York City. In most cases, they have a story to tell before they launch into their need.

Maybe they’ve gotten burned before or want to make sure they give all the background. Maybe they don’t want to waste anyone’s time or they want to get the ideal fit. But whatever the reason, they tell a story instead of asking for the referral directly.

Because of this, business recommendations can be a wealth of information. Peruse these in your local city group on Facebook or read your friends’ by clicking on the recommendations tab on the left hand side of your Facebook profile.

If you still can’t figure out what the problem is plaguing your potential customers and what’s keeping them up at night, do some research on your ideal demographic. By using your target demographic, you can search for their most common struggles. Through identifying their most common struggles, you can then create content around those difficulties and test how your audience responds to that content.

  • Is that content shared?
  • Do they click on it and interact with it?
  • Did they leave you comments or ask additional questions?
  • Is it a heavily visited post?

Any of these things can indicate that you have struck content gold and are providing something that is a great value to your audience. 

While you could create content that reflects all of the problems that your ideal demographic might face based on research, the easiest and most efficient way to figure out what’s bothering them is to do some A/B testing with questions on social media.

No one has time to write to every possible concern in the world. You have to narrow those things down. Focus on the top three reasons your customers may be struggling. Ask a couple of pointed, open-ended questions on social media that would help you better understand your active audience. Using this kind of crowdsourced R&D can assist you in creating valuable content without a lot of trial and error.

This tactic won’t completely remove the need to do some testing to see what people respond to but it will get you halfway there and provide you with good insights as to what people need from you most.

 

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com.  

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to eradicate boring copy and bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

David Aldridge Named 2019 Tigard’s First Citizen

David Aldridge has been named as the 2019 recipient of the Tigard’s First Citizen award.   This award recognizes someone who has made in-depth, long-term volunteer contributions to the Tigard community over the years. The winner is active, involved, interested and enthusiastic about making Tigard a nice place to live and work. This individual excels in any area of unpaid endeavor of education, social services, youth work, and community improvement of public services. This award is given in the spirit of all volunteers who remain unknown. The recipient joins the ranks of those previously honored in continually striving to improve the Tigard Area. 

David Aldridge’s contributions to the Tigard community have covered a wide range of activities and organizations including the Good Neighbor Center, Tigard CERT, St. Anthony Severe Weather Shelter, the American Red Cross, Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility, the Pumper Car, church, and general community service. All of these areas of volunteerism have a common theme of helping those in greatest need.  He has selflessly given thousands of hours of service across our community.

This includes 20 years as a weekly overnight host at the Good Neighbor Center Family Homeless Shelter in Tigard, sleeping on a couch 1 night each week to ensure the safety and security of Good Neighbor Center families, and enabling the agency to run cost effectively.  In addition to his service in this aspect, David is currently serving and has been on the Board of Directors for the Good Neighbor Center for the last 6 years. 

Keeping his focus on the community of Tigard, David has been a member of the Tigard Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for over 10 years, helping his community and neighbors be better prepared in the event of a serious natural or other local disaster. CERT is entirely volunteer run and is a program of the City of Tigard. 

David also serves as a volunteer staffer for Saint Anthony’s “severe weather shelter” for the homeless, often helping to stay overnight (and more) as a volunteer host. Though not a member of the Catholic Church himself, he believes in what St. Anthony’s is doing and has given countless hours over last 5 years in support of their work on many occasions.

Continuing in his spirit of giving and service, David is also personally a member of the “Ten+ Gallons Given Club” with the Red Cross where he’s donated over 12 gallons of blood/platelets.  This equates to over 96 pints of blood!

Although this next service takes place in our neighboring community of Tualatin, Oregon, David for many years has served at the Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility on a weekly basis, overseeing an addiction recovery in-service program for the female inmates. Coffee Creek is the only Women’s Correctional facility in the state so it services all communities.  This is an unpaid community service position requiring him to be at the prison three times each week. He has been providing this service for several years now and is the only volunteer that shows up rain or shine, even in the snow, week-in-and-week-out and on holidays.

David also gives a great deal of church and general community service through JustServe.org and more, visiting the elderly in the area, assisting with addiction recovery programs and meetings, emergency preparedness, community education, and more. He has a greeter and supporter at the City of Tigard Community Preparedness Fair since the beginning.

David helped raise a significant amount of  funding to support a local Tigard company, Columbia Inland, manufacturer of The Pumper Car, an FDA approved medical physical therapy device enabling patients of all ages, but especially special needs children, who suffer from autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and many other maladies, to be able to exercise and improve their coordination and conditioning in some extraordinary ways.

Last but not least, David was awarded the Tigard Shining Stars “From the Heart” Volunteer of the Year award in 2013.

As you can see David  has engaged at a broad level across the Tigard community on behalf of the community.  It is obvious he cares deeply about the place that he lives and its vulnerable community members.  In all his roles he is always selflessly looking out for the betterment of the community at large.

Please join us in congratulating David on his award and thanking him for his service to our Tigard community.  His award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Gala being held on Friday, May 3rd, from 5:30-9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, our event location host.  With a theme of travel, this elegant themed event includes a silent auction, dinner, dessert dash, awards and more. Tickets are $60 per person. Get ready to travel the world and join us to celebrate Tigard!

For further details about the Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at Jessica@tigardchamber.org, or go to our website at www.Tigardchamber.org.

Edge One Media Named 2019 Tigard Chamber Business of the Year

Edge One Media, Owned by Nicholas De Salvo and Megan De Salvo, partners in business and in life, has been selected as the 2019 Tigard Chamber Business of the YearThis award recognizes a chamber business that has made in-depth contributions to the Tigard community through their business. The winner is active, involved, interested, and enthusiastic about continuing to make Tigard a destination of choice for local business. Nominee must be a chamber member in good standing.

In a quote from Nicholas, “My Grandfather used to tell me, “Community service is the rent you pay for living in the world.”  If you asked Megan (my loving wife and incredible business partner), she would tell you that her passion for giving is deeply rooted in her childhood memories as well.  So, when Megan and I started looking to grow our business together, one of our core values was giving back to our community. Megan volunteered on every committee she was invited to and I set about supporting her efforts with the digital and creative work our company could offer.”

You can see this rings true about this company and this couple based on their level of community impact.

An 8-year Chamber Member and in business since 2003, Edge One Media has made its impact felt within the Tigard Community and beyond.  In addition to running their business both with heart, humor and high ethics, over the years, Edge One Media has supported the Tigard community and Pacific Northwest area (particularly non-profits) through a broad range of activities, events, programs and volunteerism.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Key Volunteers with Tigard Tualatin Relay for Life over the last 8 years.  Megan has participated in Tigard/Tualatin Relay for Life for the last 8 years and Nicholas for the last 6 years.  Seven of those years, Megan was the Co-Chair for the event. Under her tenure, the event grew from a handful of Committee Members, 14 Teams and $28,000 Raised to 17 Committee Members, 33 Teams and just under $100,000 raised.  Nationwide, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has seen a decrease in participation in these events, while the Tigard/Tualatin Relay for Life continues to see growth adding Sherwood to their event this year. Due to the teaming of Megan and Nicholas and Committee Member Angie Linderman (also a Chamber Member), the Tigard Tualatin Relay for Life was recognized last year with a National Award for Best Marketing out of all RFL Events. Because of these accomplishments Megan has been asked to be a member of the ACS Area Team Leadership.

    Nicholas has also given his time to the American Cancer Society’s Tigard / Tualatin Relay for Life as the Luminaria Ceremony Chair and has the large task of compiling images into a video for their Luminaria Ceremony held at dusk each year during the event. He has spent hundreds of hours designing these videos and each year it gets more difficult to see friends and family and others loved ones go from the Survivor section to In Memory. His Luminaria Ceremonies have gotten a lot of attention including TV press for the event, people share their experience from our ceremony with others, and for many it is how they first get introduced to the event. He has already had press for this year’s event in July. Due to his involvement and passion he was asked to be a key volunteer with ACS as part of the Area Team Leadership and helped lead the “How to tell your ACS Story” session at this year’s Relay for Life Summit in Salem, Oregon.

  • Sponsorship and support of a broad range of community events:
    • Tigard Farmers Market Music Sponsor 2016-2017 Seasons and Friend of the Market
    • Tigard Chamber Bowl-o-Rama Sponsor Yearly
    • Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala Sponsor/Auction Donor Yearly
    • Early supporter of Downtown Tigard events (Street Fair, Tree Lighting, Trick or Treat Main Street) through Graphic Design and Marketing Collateral.

  • Sponsor/Donor for key Non-Profits
    • Non-Profit Great Website Giveaway as part of Edge One Media’s 15 Year Anniversary Celebration.  This benefited Tigard Chamber member Project Homeless Connect who delivers needed support services to our homeless friends in both Tigard and throughout Washington County.  Their new website is highly navigable, feature rich and helps tell their story.
    • Reduced rates to other non-profit raffle participants in the Non-Profit Website Giveaway for website updates / creation- This has directly benefited the Tigard Downtown Alliance who is about ready to launch its new website.
    • Free Design Services / Social Media and Pay Per Click Ad Assistance over the past 8 years which has benefited Non-Profits such as but not limited to, Tigard Playschool, Family Promise of Tualatin Valley, Love INC, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation, Gung Ho Ministries, Washington County Project Homeless Connect, Struble Foundation, Music for the Heart, and the American Cancer Society.
    • They always offer special discounts for Non-Profits on all services they provide.

  • Volunteerism within the Tigard Community 
    • Megan – Board Member Tigard Chamber (5 yrs), Ambassador Committee (5 yrs), Marketing Committee Chair (3 yrs), Candidate Endorsement Committee, Relay for Life Co-Chair (6 yrs), Relay for Life Marketing Chair (1 yr), Class of 2018 Leadership Tigard graduate, Young Professionals of Tigard (3 yrs), Tigard Play School (2 yrs), Collaborative Business Builders (2 yrs), BNI Oregon (4 yrs), and countless business and Non-Profit startups.
    • Nicholas – Creative talent behind Tigard Chamber Rebrand and Support for Events, Donation of Design and Creative work for Downtown Tigard events (3yrs), time and talent to Love INC of Tigard, Tualatin, and Sherwood (4 yrs), Tigard / Tualatin Relay for Life Luminaria Chair (6 yrs), Tigard Play School (5 yrs), Collaborative Business Builders (1 year), and countless business and Non-Profit startups.

Other Awards

  • Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Awards recipient 2017 and 2018
  • Tigard Chamber Volunteer of the Year (Nicholas 2016, Megan 2015 and 2014)
  • Tigard Chamber Ambassador of the Year (Megan 2013)

As you can see, Nicholas and Megan have made their impact felt on our community.  Please join us in congratulating Edge One Media and Megan and Nicholas De Salvo on this well-deserved award.  This award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration, which will be held on Friday, May 3rd from 5:30pm-9 pm at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, event location host. With a theme of “Travel” this elegant-themed event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards, and more. Tickets are only $60/person.  So dress your best and come join us to celebrate Tigard!

For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at jessica@tigardchamber.org  or go to our webpage at www.tigardchamber.org