Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"C" vs."M"

We're off our regular blog schedule this week, as Sam is attending the PA Downtown Center annual conference (the PDC is a statewide nonprofit focused on keeping towns and neighborhoods alive and vibrant) .... which is the reason for this early morning rambling of a blog post. 

Last week we blogged about the big "C" that is Community... and how we like to take our store and our mission out of our four walls and help non-profits financially and educationally.  That is one of the things we're doing this week at the PDC conference.  The conference has an expo room of paid vendors hawking their wares and services to  town planners and managers.  We are an invited guest with a tables of books to sell set up in the same area as the conference registration and hospitality.  Our book sale proceeds are being donated back to the PDC.  We attend the conference each year also as a strong supporter of promoting downtown Lititz, and go to the educational sessions to bring back what we learn to the town. 

We always thought we were welcome and doing a good thing when we do these off site events... until there were two comments yesterday...

Two separate people from our town that see and know how involved we are with the community both said the exact same thing "You guys really market yourself"... now I'm sure that they thought this was a compliment... and it is.. we do "market" the heck out of our little store... BUT in this context it got me thinking... are we not promoting our Community side enough?  Is it just assumed that whenever we do ANYTHING it's to make a few extra bucks?  If you see a store at an event, is that what you automatically think (they are there for their bottom line)?   What can we do to make sure people know that when we leave the store it's for COMMUNITY not MARKETING?   Would you be offended if we promoted WHY were there with signs and special bookmarks?  How aggressive do we get to "promote" our involvement in Community and Community building?  Those 2 comments have us (well, Sam) thinking that no matter what we do, we'll be viewed as corporations just eying the bottom line... and that is NOT what we have EVER been about...

Comments are very welcome and encouraged on this post... we want to know what you think when you see us out and about....

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