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Saturday, Jan 28, 2023
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Getting the Word Out On Many Levels

Santa Clarita Valley residents learn about ACTION Parent and Teen Support Group when they flip through their local newspaper, listen to the radio and even pass by bus stops. The organization provides a comprehensive marketing campaign that prints columns and full-page editorial advertisements in The Signal newspaper, hosts educational radio programs on KHTS AM-1220, and runs public service announcements on the local public television station. The organization has also teamed with Clear Channel and the City of Santa Clarita to provide free bus shelter advertisement space. “You cannot put your eggs in one media basket,” said Stephanie Weiss, the organization’s marketing director and president of public relations and marketing company Strategies For Success. “In this day and age, you have to look at all options, whether it be print, radio, (or) television, and we all need to be continually schooled in the marketing tool of social marketing.” One thing that sets the organization apart is its marketing tactics, Weiss said, is its attempt to educate community members instead of just selling a name to them. The organization’s newspaper advertisements and radio shows teach about topics such as drug abuse, teen anger and self-esteem. “Many nonprofit organizations market to bring in donations,” she said. “We’re not designed that way. Our marketing is designed to drive at-risk families into our doors to help them with at-risk issues that they’re working through.” Weiss said that while ACTION operates on a minimal budget, the organization is able to achieve the broad span of marketing through local partnerships. Tess Simgen, community services analyst for the City of Santa Clarita, agreed. “One of the ways that helps them with their marketing is their association with the city and other organizations in the community,” Simgen said. Another step the organization takes to market itself is through community speaking engagements. ACTION counseling staff and parent volunteers spoke at 73 community events in 2008 and 2009. The organization’s president and founder, Cary Quashen, also speaks as a certified addiction specialist for print media stories, television shows and documentaries. “Marketing is like farming,” Weiss said. “You have to constantly plant seeds.” NON-PROFIT BUSINESS NOTES Encino Chamber of Commerce: The Encino chamber’s Disaster Preparedness Committee helped teach earthquake preparedness to local businesses by passing out informational packets, even to non-members. The chamber committee then teamed with Los Angeles police officers and firefighters to host an earthquake drill at a local McDonald’s restaurant, which featured speaker Dr. Lucy Jones from the U.S. Geographical Survey. ONEgeneration: Senior citizens from ONEgeneration in Van Nuys volunteer to help host the Encino Farmers’ market and recruit participants. The ONEgeneration clients also sell used books and handmade crafts each week to support the organization, which provides services for seniors. San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc.: The mental health services provider has a Consumer Advisory Council made up of consumers from each of the center’s adult programs. The council meets monthly to discuss the needs of the organization’s clients and improve overall management of the organization. American Cancer Society: In 2008 and 2009, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys’ units of the American Cancer Society raised more than $1 million in contributions to help the organization fight cancer. In 2009, there were 34 society-funded research grants underway in Los Angeles-area institutes.

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