Small Brooklyn Business Invests in Bloomberg Radio Ad Campaign

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While many businesses are hesitant to spend in the current economy, one local business expands it advertising budget with a major market radio ad buy.

Hearing his company's spot on his favorite radio station, George Fiala smiles. When he started Select Mail twenty years ago, he was lugging mail sacks from his Hoyt Street office to the post office near the Brooklyn Bridge. Now the company is one of Brooklyn's leading mailing houses. This growth has been due in part to the company's advertising and marketing, which up until now has been direct mail and online marketing, but in late January the company began airing ads on New York's Bloomberg radio, WBBR, 1130 am.

Business radio such as Bloomberg seems a natural choice for Select Mail, which provides mailing services to businesses and nonprofits, but in fact the company had originally planned on underwriting public radio. "I'm a supporter of public radio," says Fiala, "but when my marketing manager showed me his spreadsheet of different radio options, Bloomberg worked a lot better for our budget. Plus it has the right listeners, including myself, so we decided to start there." The plan is to start with a three month campaign and take it from there.

And the experts seem to support Fiala's approach. "In a recession, it's harder to gain new customers, to convince existing customers to buy more, and to win back customers who have left," asserts Sharan Jagpal, business consultant and author of "Fusion for Profit" published by Oxford University Press. "So companies often need to be spending more money, not less. They just need to be smart about it. Small businesses often need a different mix of media -- like newspapers and radio combined with the Internet -- than do large corporations."

Fiala learned some of his mixed media theory from a strategic marketing course he attended at New York University many years ago. "The more places someone hears or sees your name, the more likely they are to remember you when the time comes that they need your services," says Fiala. "Two sources of exposure are three times as good as one." Fiala has also done well not to leverage the company's assets with loans over the years; unlike many businesses over the past couple of decades, Select Mail has stayed the course with slow and steady growth, and now in these tough economic times the mailing house is able to pay for the radio campaign without loans.

It doesn't hurt that the radio ad is clever and catchy, either. With voices from Broadway actors and recorded by Bloomberg professionals, the ad features a business owner and his assistant Gladys looking for a "mail guy" to relieve them of their brochure complications. Select Mail becomes their saving grace, and of course the narrator plugs the website, mailmore.com, with a catchy slogan penned by Fiala: "Mail more for less at mailmore dot com." Finally Gladys laments her lovelife with a mail/male pun. The ad can be heard by clicking on the Bloomberg logo on Select Mail's website.

"Steve Cangone, the producer at Bloomberg, said it sounded retro," explains Fiala, "and a friend of mine insisted that no one under age of 90 has the name Gladys. I was just trying to make what I thought was a normal, funny radio ad, but I guess I'm an old guy now." At 55, he was barely born when the Honeymooners and similar sitcoms aired, but he says he watched the reruns in college. Creating familiar characters is a staple in advertising, and Fiala hopes to create more Select Mail ads featuring Gladys. The next round of ads will advertise specific services offered by Select Mail, such as the design and distribution of fundraising mailings for nonprofits, complete with personalized letters and business reply envelopes.

Select Mail has been an owner-run mailing house in Brooklyn since 1988. They are located in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood with a storefront office at 485 Court Street, and are known for their personalized, relationship-based service.

Contact:
Zachary Meyer
Sales and Marketing Manager
(718) 624-5568
http://www.mailmore.com

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Zachary Meyer
Select Mail
(718) 624-5568
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George Fiala
Select Mail
(718) 624-5568
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