Thursday, April 15, 2010

We Lost...But Really We Won













At the Mesa Chamber of Commerce's Annual Luncheon, AlphaGraphics Mesa was one of the finalist for Mid-Sized Business of the Year. We did not win. Yes, I was nervous, yes I was disappointed, yes I was a little angry for a little bit.  However, as I thought about the whole experience, I believe that when we consider the entire event, we were a winner.  Let me explain.

I have spent a considerable amount of time and effort over the last few months promoting my business with SEO efforts.  I have worked on optimizing my website with the right keyword presentation, I have started a blog, I am doing press releases online so that they are picked up by Google, I am writing online articles with Ezinearticles.com, we are distributing a monthly email newsletters, we have done a couple of 3-dimensional mailing pieces to select customers and prospects and I continue to look at other opportunities to promote my business outside of the internet, such as sponsorships and networking.

So how does the Mesa Chamber experience fit into all of this? 

Well, a few months ago, I was asked by a staff person at the Chamber to "self-nominate" myself because they had not received enough nominations from the business community.  After a little thought, I did. I then learned that I was one of two finalists in the Mid-Sized category.  This was my start of a big SEO effort. I updated my status on Facebook and Twitter several times that we had been nominated. I wrote about it on my blog. (I guess this post qualifies also). I issued a couple of press releases, one with PRWeb.com, and one with Grassroots PR.  I was interviewed by a reporter with the Arizona Republic, which was published online and in print.

I received a few benefits also. 

My new picture that I am now using in my social media efforts was donated by a Chamber member (Steve Nissle).  The Chamber did a great video on my business. I will be receiving a copy of this video which I am going to upload to YouTube and embed it into my next blog, our AlphaGraphics websites, our Google Maps site and where ever else I can put it. I have been trying to figure out how to put a video on my websites for quite some time.  Google loves videos when evaluating the rankings of a website.

In addition to the SEO activities associated with this nomination, I received some RLO (Real Life Optimization) benefits. Even though the nomination had been made public by various means, most people did not know of the nomination until the event.  I had many businesses in the area congratulate me on the nomination and comment about how well I must be doing to be nominated (I do not bring up the fact that it was a self-nomination). I had a lot of people say they wish I had won for one reason or another and our new video was played to a room full of Mesa businesses.  What can be better than that?

So here come the sour grapes. 

The difference between winning and losing was that I did not receive a framed picture of my building (which I already have). I guess I will not be able to wear the tiara, to go to grocery store grand openings or to work for world peace, but I will survive. Instead of having more material for another press release on this nomination, I will work on a press release about our new FSC Certification.

I want to thank the staff of the Mesa Chamber for allowing me to be a part of the process and I sincerely want to congratulate Invision Auto Body for winning the category. Maybe we will try again in a few years.


You can always contact us at the following websites:

AlphaGraphics Mesa on Baseline - Printing and Marketing
AlphaGraphics Tempe on Elliot - Printing and Marketing
AlphaGraphics Phoenix - Northwest Valley - Printing and Marketing

Follow me on twitter: @steveadams291

8 comments:

  1. Steve - congratulations to you and the AlphaGraphics team for your nomination. You should be recognized for all of your accomplishments within the community, not just the Chamber. Thank you for a great posting. - Sally

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  2. Mary Lou WahlbergApril 15, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Way to go, Stephen! Your positive attitude has definitely won my business - however small or large it may be! In my current position I don't have a great deal of sway, but I am able to influence other businesses with positive recommendations. And that I will do! No one was a loser yesterday at the Awards Luncheon. Each business nominated is a winner!

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  3. Sally, Mary Lou, Thanks for the kind words. In these times it is more important than ever that businesses stay active with the Chamber and elsewhere in the community. The Chamber and its volunteers do a great job!

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  4. Steve, please accept my congratulations for your well deserved nomination and for all the things you are involved helping folks learn about your business. You provide a great example for those of us in business community and I wish you much success.

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  5. Alphagraphics is a class act and truly you guys are winners. I have worked with the staff at Alphagraphics and they always go above and beyond. Thanks for being a part of the Mesa Chamber.

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  6. Steve-your organization always has gone above and beyond. You have really great people working for you and your always involved in the community. I've got a strong feeling you'll be back next year and take the prize.

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  7. Steve, thanks for a great post and a great lesson to chamber members everywhere. You have said it better than anyone. The chamber can give you the opportunity but it is up to the company to use that opportunity to their best advantage.
    Lemons to lemonaid?
    Charlie

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  8. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. There is a critical need in this environment for entities like the Chamber to help businesses promote themselves to each other. The Mesa Chamber does a great job.

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