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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Vote for Pizza is a Vote for...

It's debate season here in Oxford, Mississippi. I attended an event last night introducing the Mayoral candidates and those running for Alderman. I've run for Alderman myself here in Oxford, but that's a story for another day.

Following the debate, I started thinking about all of the political yard signs, campaign social media sites, door-to-door visits from candidates, and direct mail pieces that are sent out before election day.

It made me wonder how many pizzerias, if any, have run a pizza campaign similar to a political campaign.

Depending on your budget, a campaign like this could follow all of the standard political campaign steps and garner a lot of attention for your pizzeria.

1. Organize Your Team. Choose a "campaign manager". You'll need help with social media, signage, a door-to-door game plan, etc.

2. Create a Press Release for Local and Surrounding Media. The great thing about this kind of promotional campaign is that you'll be the only one running in the race, and the media will probably find a pizza campaign pretty unique.

3. Create an Online Page. Whether it's on social media or a part of your pizzeria's website, you'll want an online home for the pizzeria campaign where people can come and see what it's all about and follow what's happening. Remember, this is a campaign where pizza wins, and that pizza just happens to be at your pizzeria. Gather "votes" for pizza (this is a great way to collect information for marketing purposes later on).

3. Distribute Yard Signs. Guess what, this isn't a real political campaign, so it's OK to ask your most loyal customers to put a sign in their yard or offer them free pizza for a favor. What should the sign say? How about something along the lines of, "VOTE for PIZZA!" and include your website address and/or a QR code that links to your pizza campaign page.

4. Plan, Create and Send Direct Mail Pieces. Think of the fun you could have with this. Your pizzeria could have a platform on various pizza issues: "We support placing cheese above the sauce, strive to never burn a pie, and promise not to raise our dough too high."

5. Go door-to-door. Depending on how far you want to take this, imagine the press--and customers--you would get if you and your staff went door-to-door meeting customers and thanking them for their business! It only takes an afternoon or two to cover an entire neighborhood.

6. Hold a Winner Pizza Party! When the "election" is over, and pizza wins, which it always does, invite everyone into the pizzeria for a pizza party to celebrate!

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