One of these moments occurred at a park in Akron last month at a benefits clinic event hosted by Choices Community Social Center.
We met with each interested resident, explaining how the OBB can work to alleviate some of the stress and pressure that often is associated with poverty.
One resident, who we’ll call “Dave,” listened so intently I thought for sure he would be interested in completing an application. After finishing my little spiel, he explained to me that although he was unemployed he was likely not eligible to receive any benefits because he had so recently lost his job. He would however pass all of the information on to anyone he encountered who needed assistance.
I believe in Dave, his willingness to succeed, and his likelihood of obtaining full-time employment very soon. I also believe in the potential marketing and advertising power he and others like him possess. Peer-to-peer advertising (AKA word-of-mouth advertising) is one of the oldest and most natural tricks in the book, but far too often underemployed. Think of those ‘refer a friend and receive a discount’ campaigns or a ‘share on Facebook’ button at the end of an online news article. By educating clients and enabling them to share information with the people around them we can reach and serve a lot more people.
For more on this topic check out this Business Week article, Word of Mouth Is the Best Ad.