FEBRUARY 24, 2009

LIZ PERSAUD: So we have a little agenda here. We

did the introduction. Welcome, everyone. We're so glad to

see -- we've got 30 folks on here, so we're really glad

that everyone is able to join us.

This webinar is focused on marketing strategies and

solutions for your AT reuse program. And a few of the

things that we want to talk about are developing a

marketing plan for your reuse programs, so some ideas on

making a planning process and some questions to ask as

you're going through developing your marketing plan.

We also have some marketing strategies that we want

to share with you, particularly how to find your target

audience, because that's a very important way to market,

make sure that you know who you're targeting out there, who

you're sending your information out to.

We've also got a ton of creative solutions and

tips, things like how to use print for marketing. We're

going to talk a little bit about Internet marketing and

social media, which is something that I'm very excited


And then we've got Sharon Alderman from Vermont's

AT reuse project, AT Swap Shop and then Helen Baker with

the STAR Program in Alabama. They're going to be sharing

some examples of what's worked for them in their states and

then sharing some of their processes and how they've gotten

to that point with you. So y'all can take those resources

and run with it.

And then we've got some resources at the end to

help you out as well. And then we definitely want to leave

some time for Q and A.

So again, feel free to ask questions or jot down

comments in the public-chat area as we're moving through

this presentation as well.

So hopefully that sounds good to everyone. And

without further ado, we'll begin.

So this slide says, "Begin with the end in mind."

This is something that is very important to us here at the

Pass It On Center.

And we really want y'all to be thinking about where

it is that you want to go with your reuse program. What is

your ultimate goal for your reuse program? What do you

want your state, your community, your potential partners,

and ultimately those that you're serving out there to know

about your program?

And if you think about where it is that you want to

be at the end, that will help you with developing your plan

and developing your process as you're marketing your


So right here I actually developed this

planning-process chart. And it was just a way to make

these questions pop out and be a little bit more visual to

all of y'all as you're working through developing your plan

as you're moving through this process.

So set your goal. It's important to do that. What

is your program's mission? What are your objectives?

Analyze your current situation. Where are you right now?

It's important to know where you are now so that

way you can predict the future. Who are you working with

now? Where do you think your marketing materials are

headed right now? Who are you focused on now? And who are

receiving your marketing materials now?

And that will help you as you need to find out

where you need to go in the future. Are there other folks

out there that you need to reach? This will really help

you as you're brainstorming on working on mailing lists.

And we'll be talking about developing that and targeting

your audience a little bit later on as well too.

Your marketing strategy. Do you currently have a

marketing objective or a marketing strategy? And then,

forecasting your expected results.

So where do you think you're headed with

everything? It's always good to know: Where in your mind

do you think you're headed with everything? Again, that's

important for the planning process.

Allocating resources. That's a very important

aspect to it. Where is your budget? It's very important

to have a marketing budget, especially when it comes to

building your print materials or, you know, any --

accessible format, anything like that.

You want to make sure that it falls all in line

with the budgets of your program. So -- and Helen from

Alabama will be speaking about that in a few moments as

well too.

And then what is your action plan; what is your

timeline; and what is your due date? All of that is very,

very important. And it's also extremely important to stick

to it because you want to make sure you get those things

out there in a timely manner to your consumers so it runs

along the timeline of your events and everything.

So up here we just have some questions to ask. So

these are the main key issues that you should be thinking

about as you are developing your marketing planning.

So things like, where are we now? How did we get

there? Where are we heading? Where would we like to be?

How do we get there to that point where we want to be? And

are we on course?

And I certainly feel that the last three are the

most important because that's really projecting the future

and really helping you plan where it is that you need to be

as you're laying out all these thoughts and you're

brainstorming with your team, you're collecting information

out there, building mailing lists, working on potential

partners, and all of those things.

So at this point I'm going to pass it on to Sharon

in Vermont.

Sharon, take it away.

SHARON ALDERMAN: Hello, everyone. Yes, this is

relatively new to me. I started a little over a year ago.

And we've had tremendous success with marketing in Vermont.

So Liz has given us a definition of marketing from the

Wikipedia here.

Marketing strategy is a process -- you'll see on

the slide -- that can allow an organization to concentrate

its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to

increase sales and achieve a sustainable, competitive


Well, with agencies of human services, we might

want to change that competitive advantage to a

collaborative advantage.

It's been my experience that working together has

really enabled us to not increase sales but increase the

exchange of equipment from those people who have it to pass

on to others and get it to those people who need it and

also to demonstrate the use of the services that we have to


A marketing strategy also should always be centered

around the key concept that customer satisfaction is the

main goal. And we were lucky to have been part of the

Vermont Voc Rehab where customer satisfaction is always


Next slide, please. Thanks, Liz.

How to find your target audience. In lieu of

hiring a really high-priced, hotshot consultant --

marketing consultant -- with our limited resources, of

course, we gathered a good team of people and -- and have

heard -- and that's been the case in many states, that

gathering the AT Act program administration who are

supportive of getting the word out, getting the marketing

out, and staff and consumers, supporting organizations,

nonprofit organizations -- the Vermont Family Network has

been extremely helpful. Our Vermont Voc Rehab and others

stakeholders, including our New England coalition states --

we've kind of bonded together to market.

Get feedback from that team, and many heads are

always better than one. Brainstorm the target audience

that you want and the initial methods you're going to use

to disseminate the information that you're creating.

So we brainstorm a list and then from that,

determined that -- got information regarding the state

licensing board from the Internet you can get on your state

licensing board.

We looked at all OTs', PTs' and SLPs' addresses,

created a mass-marketing of oversized postcards to those

folks to get the word out that this new program was in

existence. And in this case it was related to our website

exchange program, our community program.

Let's see. Of course using TV, newspapers, and

radios. And Helen and Liz will go into more details about

thoughts and idea about those venues.

Public-service announcements, of course. We also

in Vermont, use the public-access TV, which will give you

free space and disseminate information all over the state.

We've also used -- asked organizations to include

the -- our website on their existing websites and in their

existing newsletters to include information about our new


All right. Next slide, please.

This is just an example, and hopefully this will be

helpful to some. (Inaudible) of a brainstorming list.

If you'll look on the left-hand side, down about

five, there's the OTs and PTs that we disseminated the

postcards to. Later I'll talk a little bit about all the

indicia that we can -- the reduced marketing prices, if you

work with a nonprofit, to get those kinds of things out to


University of Vermont's been absolutely wonderful

and the ALS Clinic and Fannie Allen Health Care Center.

The rehab center. Our first transfer of equipment

was from that location, and they have our poster and little

tear-offs in their little rehab facility. It's been a

wonderful help to us to get the word out to folks.

Down toward the bottom, the second to the last,

Recycle North. We had developed a relationship with these

nonprofit organizations that had like-mindedness and were

interested in distributing equipment and helping people

exchange equipment.

When we received a $285,000 group of equipment from

a DME vendor who was going out of the rehab business, still

staying in other -- still staying in business but out of

the rehab business, we talked with Recycle North about --

then they were all set to receive this equipment and help

us disseminate it to folks.

And we started an

assistive-technology-durable-medical-equipment site and

center there because that was already prepped and ready to


Let's see. On the right-hand side, all state

buildings. Getting posters and stickers and postcards to

all the state agencies has been very helpful to us. And

working with our state surplus and VA hospitals.

Also the 2-1-1 -- down on your right-hand side, the

2-1-1 state information -- information and referral

resource with United Ways in our state. United Ways has

been very helpful. All people receiving calls with

questions are able to refer to us.

And down at the very bottom. Someone in a previous

webinar -- and I have not been able to follow up on this as

yet -- has suggested contacting and getting marketing ideas

out to the funeral homes. And we're hoping to follow up on


Okay. I think we're all set to go on to the next

slide. And I believe this is the -- from this initial

list, we started to e-mail a number of agencies and

organizations and introduce -- and I'll -- we'll see a

letter later that we provided with that e-mail -- introduce

our new program and offer materials to them.

We use a separate toll-free number for our reuse

project, which allowed folks to call us directly, and

that's been extremely helpful and marketed that on all of

our materials.

And any personal contacts we had from that or from

any conferences we've attended or mailings we had done were

focused -- we were focusing on the consumer. And should

we -- whenever we got a call from a consumer, materials

went out to that person first, an individual -- out to that

person first and then to organizations as well.

Quick responses to everyone concerned has been

really important to us. Recommendation to respond to any

request for presentations, any request for assistance, any

request for interviews. Even if you're not able to meet

those requests right away, just communicating and

responding quickly and then keeping in touch has been key

for developing a trust and that we're there for them.

Okeydoke. I think we're on to Helen now, are we

not? Helen's going to follow up.

Helen, take it away.

HELEN BAKER: . . . (Audio skipped) footsteps that

Sharon's group and probably most states when implementing a

reuse program when you have to have your stakeholders'

meeting and people that are sharing the same vision.

But I just threw out a few things here, so when

you're developing your marketing strategy, always be

mindful of people who will share a common interest and


And this could be twofold and some other reasons

you can think of later. Funding. They could be a resource

for you as far as funding to carry on your activities, to

supplement if you're getting funds from your Tech Act

programs or when you're looking at sustainability down the

road. So these people with a common interest and vision

can be very, very profitable.

Another tip here is people and places who may serve

as donors as well as recipients. You have to always be

mindful because you have consumers that fit that same

category. And a lot of people don't think of hospice, but

that would be a good resource as well, including nursing

homes, assistive-living facilities, and other rehab


Here in Alabama we also have very good success with

vendors. A lot of people think that, when you're starting

a reuse program, that you're setting yourself up in

competition, you know, with the vendors. And I heard

people say that sometimes they're not -- they don't welcome

you as much.

But we have overcome that obstacle here in Alabama.

In fact, we rely on our vendors greatly for donations,

repairs, and maintenance, and also for referrals. So it's

like a win-win situation here now because we don't have

technicians, experts to provide all of the repairs and

maintenance that we need for our equipment.

And on occasion, too, we have had vendors, too, go

out of business in the State of Alabama, and we have had

hundreds and hundreds of dollars -- thousands of dollars of

equipment donated to our program, just a warehouse full.

So that's been very profitable for us.

A lot of times people also forget about VA

hospitals because most of you probably have heard that VA

hospitals will pay, you know, a hundred percent equipment

for their consumers. But if something happens with the

consumers or if they should die or no longer need the

equipment for some reason, people try to return the

equipment back to the VA hospital, and they -- they don't

have a need for it because they can't reissue it or give it

to other consumers.

So they have closets full of this equipment. So

they are another resource to consider when you're

developing your marketing plan.

Next slide, please.

LIZ PERSAUD: Hey, everyone. This is Liz. It

looks like Helen got booted from her system. So hopefully

she'll be back on in just a few moments.

We're seeing some great comments up in the

public-chat area.

Vivian, it looks like that y'all have worked with

the Salvation Army.

And also in -- Ron, you mentioned working with

estate plans.

Lorie in New Mexico, you mentioned that y'all have

been working with hospice. And that's really helped to

fill in the gaps as well too.

And then Kathy up in Maine, y'all are working with

AAA as the Area Agency on Aging, that they're a key target

for y'all as well too.

It looks like Helen is back. So I'm going to

release the mic and let her jump on. Great comments,

y'all. Keep the ideas on resources coming. We certainly

appreciate it.

HELEN BAKER: Liz, can you all hear me? Somehow my

computer just shut down. I know they're doing a lot of

networking problems here, maintenance.

But I'm looking at another screen here, Pass It On

Center. So I may have to log in again and come back -- log

off and come back in because I'm not on the same


But can you all hear me right now?

SHARON ALDERMAN: Helen, we can hear you just fine.

Go right ahead.

HELEN BAKER: Okay, everybody. I'm back.

The next slide you're looking at is Marketing


I apologize for that. But they are having some

technical difficulties here and working on our computers.

So I might go in and out. Hopefully I'll finish the

webinar before that happens again.

What you're seeing now, Marketing Strategies, kind

of a sample budget. As you get into developing your

marketing plan, this is more or less a sample budget that

you will follow. Receive funding from any organization or

your Tech Act monies. But you can track it on a quarterly

basis, and also you can see what you have available so as

you're watching your spending. And you can have different

line items there that you would like. I just included

marketing at the bottom that you, you know, put in whatever

amount that you have. So it's just a little tracking form.

There's also a different type of sample budget that

you include when you are also soliciting or you're

submitting a grant application for funding. But this is

one that was developed by one of our coordinators with the

reuse center that he used to track his spending.

So it was just a sample to show you if someone

would like to try it or tweak it for their benefit.

Next slide.

Okay. Some additional helpful tips, when you're

developing your marketing plan or strategy, you need to

know your targeted market.

What do you have to offer them? What are the

benefits for them? How they can help you? Be specific

with your requests and your needs. (Audio skipped). . .

that have a common vision or interest. And be visible and

ready to get involved. Be a partner.

We here in Alabama get on as many advisory boards

and councils, et cetera. And that gives us an opportunity

to go to different meetings and presentations and

conferences, events that we can. Also use them as a venue,

you know, to market our program.

Also know your assets and your limitations as well.

That helps you to know to be more specific in your requests

when you're getting your stakeholders together. So if you

know what your assets and limitations are, you can be more

specific in terms of what your needs will be to get your

program off and running and being viable.

You have to have manpower and staff available. You

need to know what kind of budget concerns or issues that

you might expect or that you have currently and know what

your available resources are.

And also when you're marketing -- it's like we're

going to conferences -- no matter what, you need to make

sure your materials will be in accessible formats because

you never know who's going to ask for materials to be

presented, especially with the low-vision or blind,

et cetera.

Any questions? Or we can move on to the next


Okay. I think we'll turn this back over to -- is

this yours, Lynn?

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Helen. I appreciate that.

Great, great strategy that y'all are doing there and Sharon

up in Vermont as well too.

How's everybody doing? Do we have any questions or


Okay. I'm going to go ahead and talk a little bit

about a multimedia strategy. The next couple of slides are

really resources that Helen, Sharon -- or I'm sorry -- that

Helen, Sharon, and myself were pooling together that y'all

can use as you're enhancing and marketing your reuse


So up here we are talking about radio and

television stations, free air time. The thing is that what

we all need to remember is that radio and television

stations are licensed by the federal government, and

they're considered public property.

So technically that have a responsibility to us,

the community, to serve the community. And so they have to

do that in order to renew their license periodically.

So with that in mind, it's a great idea to contact

your local radio and television stations and set up PSA

spots, public-service-announcement spots.

They can be 15 to 30 seconds long, which may not

sound like a lot of time at all, but it really is if you're

just quickly mentioning your program, contact information,

or just resources and just the mission of your program as

well to out in your community.

Free print space. That's also very important. In

newspapers, looking at the weekly calendars of events and

just getting your information out there as folks are

thumbing through the newspapers and trying to find out

what's happening in their state, what's happening in their

community that they can attend or be a part of or as

they're looking out and about in their community for

organizations to do volunteer work to do community service

in as well.

Flyers are also very important. They're very easy

to create and to print up. And here in Georgia we do a lot

of flyers as well, too, so we'll be happy to share some of

our templates with y'all out there.

But great places to post your flyers on are tons of

free bulletin boards. I know that in universities you can

post your bulletin boards there at the classroom buildings,

in housing areas as well, too, on university campuses.

In your local supermarkets or even restaurants,

sometimes as you're exiting some of those larger

supermarkets, they've got bulletin boards with community

activities that are happening in the local area.

If you've got volunteers that are willing to be

outside on a summery day during heavy traffic times at

supermarkets or at restaurants or any places like that,

they can certainly hand out the flyers as well too.

One thing that we found is that local businesses

are extremely supportive. And especially if they know

what's happening in the community, what's happening with

your program, and they're really familiar with your program

and what it is that you're trying to accomplish, they'll be

more than happy to leave flyers at the cash register or

within their establishment in general as well.

Using print ads and promotions. This is something

that I believe is extremely important to know. Very small

ads, even ones that are one-by-one, which are very, very

tiny, can actually be extremely effective because they're

more than likely placed at the top in the very first part

of the page that your eyes are naturally drawn to. So

that's where folks are looking at, and that's where they

have a lot of good visibility.

For example, "Disabled Dealer," in the back of

their print magazine -- and as we all know, "Disabled

Dealer" is all over the country -- you know, at different

categories all over the country.

"Disabled Dealer," in the very back of their print

magazine has a free ad space which literally will allow you

to put the name of your program, probably a phone number,

and an e-mail address, and that's about it. But even that

very, very tiny bit of information out there is better than

nothing at all. So we highly encourage you all to take a

look at "Disabled Dealer."

And even weekly newspapers as opposed to the larger

ones, the ones that are targeted more towards your

neighborhoods and your communities, will be more generous

with their ad space, provide lower rates or even free space

as well too.

The key is -- especially with the smaller ads is

repetition, repetition, repetition. It's a known fact and

studies have shown that, within marketing studies, the

third time is the charm. We all know that. Third time's

the charm.

So if you can get your information out there at

least three times in succession, that's kind of what it

takes for folks to get it in their minds and for it to sink


How to get your event listed for free? We all like

free; right? As I mentioned before, newspapers have a

calendar list of events. The important thing is to grab

your newspaper and take a look at that calendar and see

what's happening, but submit your information as far in

advance as possible because you're really going to have

competition as folks are looking -- you know, looking to

post their information on the calendar.

Be very brief, but keep it thorough with your

information. Free space is extremely precious. So include

the name of your event, the day, the time. Is it free?

Does it cost any money? Be sure to put contact information

up there as well too.

Big events, getting a grant, promotion, awards,

recognition, new staff, anything like that that's happening

within your program, be sure to put that information out


Now, somebody sent me a message -- Sharon sent me a

message that we've got some questions. So I'm going to

release the mic for a second.

Do we have any questions or comments out there?

All right. Well, I'm going to continue on. And

again, just feel free to interrupt if you have any

questions or to even type your comments or questions in the

public-chat area as well.

Newspapers. We actually found this bit of

information here that -- you know, we talked about that,

you know, hospice and nursing homes, while it can be a sad

realization, they are a good resource out there.

Someone found that there was an ad for reusable

equipment that provided a drop-off location and a contact

number in the obituary section. So that's actually a

really good resource as you're looking through the paper

and trying to pick up different ways of where to plug in

your information or where to get your information out

there. That's a great spot to put that in as well too.

Newsletters. Those are also a great resource as

well, too, especially within your partnering organization.

If you have resource centers, if you're partnering with

your Department of Labors, your vocational rehabilitations,

your AAAs, any number of partnering organizations that have

newsletters. They're a great way to get your information

in there.

Success stories are absolutely wonderful. If you

can submit a brief, thorough success story about reuse

equipment, AT, durable medical equipment and just show the

power of reused equipment and how it really changes folks'

lives and how -- you know, the process of what it is your

program does and really get that information out there,

that's always helpful to know.

People who are not familiar with, you know,

refurbishing assistive technology or durable medical

equipment, they really want to hear these stories of how

it's affecting their neighbors, their loved ones, their

friends as well too.

The next thing that I want to talk about very

briefly is Internet marketing because that's something

that's really hitting all of us fast and very quickly, and

I feel that we all need to be very aware of.

So Internet marketing, we all know, is also known

as web marketing, online marketing, or e-marketing. And

very simply it's a marketing of products or services over

the Internet.

Keep it simple. Do you have a website? That's

something that is extremely important. What does your

website look like? Does it match the logos -- your colors

on your logo? Is it clean-cut? Is the information that

you're looking for right there on the home page?

Some of y'all may have known that, even with the

Pass It On Center, we are -- we've just concluded our

usability studies. We've actually worked with some of

y'all at ATIA. And that's just a great way to get

information out there from the public, you know, to get

that feedback.

Is our website servicing you the way you need it

to? Is all the information right there at your fingertips,

or does it take you 25 minutes to get where you need to go?

Branding is very, very important. What does your

program name say about what you're trying to accomplish?

Your e-mail addresses -- are they consistent? Do they all


For example, here in the Pass It On Center, if you

want to reach Carolyn Phillips, it's

carolyn@passitoncenter. If you want to reach me, it's

liz@passitoncenter. So they're very easy to remember.

They also match as well too.

Vivian, I saw your comment about you creating an AT

reuse group in Facebook and that you've had a wonderful

response. That is an absolute wonderful idea.

I'm actually very active on Facebook and have

joined a number of different groups and am constantly

searching for anything related to assistive technology or

durable medical equipment within the AT disability


So I'm actually going to speak about that in a few

moments. So I'm glad to see that you're on there and

having great strides with that as well too.

E-mail. Do you have a listserv? And when you're

talking about having a listserv, you want to think about,

is it comprehensive to your community? to your state? to

your region? Does it just have four or five groups on


Make sure that it has at least one -- hopefully

more than one -- folks from the different entities that you

want to encounter.

So, for example, going back to Sharon's

brainstorming list in Vermont. She has a variety of

organizations on there, and her listserv, you know, will

have individuals, you know, from each one of those entities

as well too. So covering, you know, your entire region,

your community.

So some no-cost or low-cost tips. Social media.

That's really primarily Internet and mobile-based tools for

sharing and discussing information amongst individuals.

And basically it's just a way of marketing online that

leverages social media.

It's a very low-cost, free way to go about

marketing. A lot of your time in doing social-media

marketing will be spent connecting people and communicating

as well too. And that's exactly what Vivian is doing with

Facebook in her group on AT reuse on Facebook.

So some samples of social-media networking are the

Facebook groups, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter.

The thing with Facebook is that it's no longer for

college students anymore. More than half of the 140

million individuals on Facebook are out of college. I also

found another statistic that said, within the past year, it

grew so that over half of the individuals on Facebook are

over the age of 44. So you're really talking about mature

individuals out of college in the business community really

looking to network within their state, all over the country

as well too.

So find where your target consumers are, and really

get in there, and really participate as well.

Think about local blogs or industry blogs and

forums, again Facebook pages, creating groups. And you can

also network and partner with other businesses that are

online as well too. That's a great way to connect with

them as well.

So at this point I'm going to pass it on to Sharon

to talk a little bit about some examples in Vermont and

what they're doing up there.

SHARON ALDERMAN: Thank you, Liz.

And if anyone is trying to interject something,

we're going to try to keep an eye out for your hands. But

it's kind of difficult at times to do that. Please type in

a comment that you'd like to say something, and we'll get

to you.

In our reuse program, I think I'd mentioned earlier

that we used our list to introduce our project -- our new

reuse project and offer materials that we had available.

We have had phenomenal support from the

administration here -- from AT administration here in

Vermont and of course all of our New England partners:

Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut,

New Hampshire. And Kansas has been particularly helpful to

us in sharing ideas and information, templates and that

kind of thing. Of course the Pass It On Center is

absolutely invaluable.

We also have had our staff members and contractors

help to disseminate information. And you can't say enough

about administrative assistants. They're absolutely

wonderful, aren't they?

So the recommendation of course is just to continue

to network and collaborate. And as Carolyn Phillips said

in the ATIA conference session that I went to, C-A-S-E.

This is not mine. This is Carolyn's. That is Copy And

Steal Everything. And I'm thinking that she meant legally

and with the permission of, but it kind of stuck in my

brain. C-A-S-E.

And in New England we do that all the time. I've

been so fortunate to have Maine -- I'll show you later --

Maine and Connecticut, in particular, share items with us.

And then of course Kansas -- for our efforts in Medicaid

equipment reuse.

So in producing materials, there is another hint I

have for you. This letter actually doesn't show up very

well here, but if you print it out, it's pretty good to be

able to show you an example of getting information out.

And as Liz stated before, if you send out the

introductory letter with the offer of information, it's in

someone's brain once. If you send out a postcard again,

it's in there twice. And if they see a poster up in the

store, it's in there three times, and three times is a


So when you're mailing out the information, if

you're working with a nonprofit, and indicia is a nonprofit

status for mailing, that helps to reduce the price of each

postcard that you mail. And personal contacts, again, are


Okay. We can go on to the next slide.

Yes, yes. I'm seeing Tricia's comment, and I can't

even describe how important Kansas' marketing contributions

have been to us. It's been absolutely wonderful. And I

think the -- sharing is the key, sharing, which makes human

services agencies different from other marketing efforts, I


So here's an example of our poster. We've also

created an 11-by-17 poster that has a 2-by-3-inch sticky

pad. There are 25 sheets on a sticky pad.

And the other piece of this is toll-free numbers

are not that expensive -- nationwide toll-free numbers. If

your state's a large state, it may make a difference,

though. You may need to consider that piece.

But in Vermont it works for us well because, if you

have an elder who needs a piece of equipment or a student

who needs a piece of equipment, and the parent is in

another state or the daughter is in another state, they can

call into this toll-free number and get assistance with the

website exchange. It's been absolutely invaluable.

We also created extra pads -- extra 2-by-3 sticky

pads to renew those 11-by-17 posters and also for human

services folks, registered nurses that are in the community

with individuals, PTs, OTs to carry in their briefcase.

All righty. Next slide.

And this is just another example of marketing,

something that we're going to -- actually in this case,

we're going to put this in a New England Resource Service

Coordinators booklet that goes out at a national -- not a

national -- it's a regional conference. So that will be

there for them to look at in the future and refer to.

All righty. Next slide.

This is the postcard that we have sent out to all

PTs and OTs and of course numerous other locations. It

originally was from Maine and a different color. We added

some mountains to the top.

But Kathy Adams in Maine, thank you so much.

It's been a beautiful way to get information to

folks. And on the backside we've added our Vermont Parent

Information Center nonprofit that we work with as well. So

you can add your partners to that information.

Then below you'll see the AT school slot, which is

a -- similar to the community site,, but was

developed based on that community site by Connecticut. So

this logo AT School Swap is courtesy of Connecticut and the

platform that they are using, Vermont is using, Maine is

using, and Massachusetts is going to be using.

All righty. We're all set. That just validates

our sharing.

And thank you, Kathy. Thank you for my being very


Thank you, Joy. They are nice materials.

I'm going to pass you on to Helen. She's going to

show you some things from Alabama.

HELEN BAKER: Okay. Welcome back, everybody.

At this point I just want to give a little brief

history about the Alabama program because we have been

around for a while, but in today's economy, there's been

some very interesting and exciting ways that you can market

your program.

Sometimes we have not been able to jump on the

bandwagon so fast to do some of these things because, as

they say, if it's not broke, you know, don't try to fix it.

You know, it's already working.

So we're kind of not complacent with everything,

but we're trying to move a little bit with the times as we

go. So just bear with us a little bit. We do have very --

we have four very successful reutilization programs going

right now.

But just to give you a little brief history about

Alabama's reuse programs, we've been around since -- about

12 years. 1997 is when we actually started kind of

haphazardly. The last few years we really jumped on board

with the reauthorization of the Tech Act program, you know,

to be compliant with reporting data -- reuse data.

But we had centers to start as far back as 1997.

And we're under the -- our lead agency is the Alabama

Department of Rehabilitation Services. And I know a lot of

the Tech Act programs are intertwined with either the

Department of Education or Department of Rehabilitation

Services, et cetera.

So we had a jump-start from the beginning by having

a base -- a consumer base in place through our lead agency

where we've had 21 branch locations throughout the state.

And when we were considering our four centers, we

were thinking about our resources. So these are things you

can keep in mind, resources. Like where would be the

greatest location, the largest consumer base? You have to

think about issues and concerns such as space, donations,

transportation, your budget, et cetera.

We have -- the four centers that we have, we

strategically placed these centers throughout Alabama. Of

course they are the four major cities in Alabama as well,

including the capital city here, Montgomery.

But Huntsville, which is the north end of the

state. Central Alabama; we have some rural issues going on

there but also a mixture of rural and metro. Montgomery is

the capital city, of course. And Mobile, Alabama, which is

a very tourist-attracting type of city.

But we had all of those thoughts in mind, but these

people came to us. They wanted to start a program after

our initial program started in 1997.

And how that started, just briefly to tell you, our

mobile center was the first one in '97. They had a

medical-equipment program in place where they had funds.

They would purchase new equipment for people in the

southern tip of the state, including the Florida panhandle.

But when that equipment was no longer needed and

the people started bringing it back, they didn't know what

to do with it.

So all of a sudden they decided that we can

implement this program where we can give this equipment

back, and at the same time all of this reauthorization of

the Tech Act program was coming about. And this is how we

got started in Mobile. Our first site is reutilizing that

equipment from their medical-equipment program, and it got

a jump-start from there.

So also we -- all of our programs are connected

either with a Goodwill or an Easter Seals or United

Cerebral Palsy Center.

And we're also currently working on our first

faith-based organization. This will be our fifth center to

open in 2009, and that is going very well. This will be in

the big iron city of Birmingham, Alabama. And they are

very excited about that.

Next slide.

And before we get on to this slide, I would like to

tell you that, as I said before, we had the previous

stakeholders meetings, and we didn't slight anybody. We

had to include the Department of Education, the DD Council,

the rehab services, PTs, OTs, SLPs, and disability-specific


All these people were brought to the table even as

we started the other programs that were, you know, like

unsolicited. We did have a couple that we actually had to

go into their area and start.

But another jump-start to our programs was we had a

grass-root advocacy program called Tech Net. And this was

a group of individuals that had -- either with disabilities

or with family members only.

And they were our eyes and ears in the community.

They identified the support groups or other individuals or

programs for us to target. They conducted trainings and

presentations, and they advertised our materials all over

the state.

We -- they advocated for inclusion and access and

acquisition of AT. So this was a very, very good

jump-start for us.

Additionally, we had training modules in place

for -- through the Alabama Department of Senior Services,

which targeted our aging population. We visited senior

centers, assistive-living facilities, nursing homes, all of

which, like I said, they were -- either donated equipment

to us, or this was a way we could market our services to

let them know that we were available and how to contact us.

School systems, including special education and

regular ed. And we also have programs for infants and

toddlers through early intervention and children's

rehabilitation services via our connections with the

Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

So all of these programs were in place for us and

were good venues, viable venues for us to just follow the

path that was already laid out before us.

Next slide.

I think from this point on I'm just going to talk

about some ways that we also market our reuse programs.

And I think some of you may have seen this already, but we

developed this AT inventory list, I guess, two or three

years ago possibly.

What you're looking at here -- you may have to --

at some point when you get this in your hands, you can

increase it, enlarge it. But it's a listserv that collects

all of our four centers into one. And we advertise all of

the equipment that is available throughout the state. And

we alphabetize the list -- as you see under Item: It goes

from adult canes down to adult walkers. There's going to

be four pages that you will see.

We let people know that this is what we have

available. This is what it would cost you if you had to

buy this equipment new. Of course, we let nothing go out

the door if it's not in good or new condition, in working


We let them know how many there are in stock and

the center location where to get them, who to contact, and

their telephone number.

This is one of the most viable tools that we have.

It goes out to thousands and thousands of people across the

state. This includes individuals with disabilities,

independent living centers. Of course all of the Alabama

Department of Rehabilitation Services staff, including our

independent-living program, home-bound program, children's

rehabilitation services, early intervention, Department of

Special Education, DD Council. Just about every major

organization in the state, this list is distributed.

And we also take it with us to conferences when

we're doing presentations. And we have people calling up

or e-mailing us every day that they want to get on the

mailing list.

Next slide.

If you have any questions about this, just let me


Next slide.

This is another form of marketing that we use for

our -- not just our reuse program but all of our programs.

We do from -- time to time, if we have to separate them

out, we do. But this is just a standard ad that we use for

several newsletters. And when people want us to advertise

our program, this is what we send them to include in their


Next slide.

All of you probably have seen or used some form of

marketing, some e-promos, a type of promotional materials.

That's what I'm trying to say here.

But this -- we found that hand cleaners and hand

sanitizers is the way to go now. You can either get them

in bottles of all types. But this is just a sample that

we've used that you can advertise your program. And we

just found this through a local company that produced some

for us. So these are just samples.

Next slide. Next slide, please.

This has been really one of my, I guess, best

marketing tools when I go to conferences. What you're

seeing here in the middle is the STAR logo. Instead of

where -- it's pointing to the area where it will be placed.

So try to be practical in being cognizant of being

an AT program. We attend -- in the State of Alabama, we

have partnerships with a lot of agencies and organizations.

And the reason that I was going with a magnifier

here is because we do partner with the Alabama Institute

for the Deaf and Blind and other low-vision-type groups.

So we use this as a little practical tool, trying to keep

it practical, and it's very inexpensive.

So we get a lot of requests for this. And usually

when I take it to conferences, I never come back with any.

The folding toothbrush has been a tremendous hit. A lot of

people come up to us and say, "What a neat idea." And

plus, you know, it keeps your program, you know, in their

face, you know, being visible. It's being visible at all


So this is just a couple of examples that we use.

There are others out there. But you have to consider your

budget when you're doing things like this.

This is not free. It was very -- fairly

inexpensive, though, for us. We didn't pay a whole lot for

it. The initial cost was just getting our template

designed and our logo. But if you buy it in bulk, you're

talking about maybe $500 if you get 250 to 500 of these


Next slide. Next slide, please.

One of our reuse programs in North Alabama,

Huntsville, came up with the idea because STAR -- you know,

our logo, and they also wanted to use the star as their

magnet. This is a magnet. And they put the contact

information on there.

And this program is called the Waste Not Program

with the United Cerebral Palsy program in Huntsville,

Alabama. So they distribute these at conferences and so

forth, just everywhere they go. And we all promote the

program when we're going to functions that are related to

either United Cerebral Palsy or other disability-type

organizations' functions.

And this was very inexpensive too. They bought

like thousands of these and probably paid no more than a

couple of hundred dollars, and I think they said three to

five thousand. This is a very inexpensive way to market.

Next slide.

Of course this is for our finance program, but the

same principle behind it. You all have seen pens and

pencils. So I won't spend any time on this. But this is a

very inexpensive -- you can use cups, caps, you name it.

But this is just a sample.

Next slide. Next slide, please.

Okay. This is our latest creative invention. It's

going with the billboards, the STAR Program. We have two

signs. One you see on the far-left corner. It says,

"Donate your used medical equipment." And the one in the

lower-left corner says, "Call for free medical equipment."

And what I forgot to mention earlier is our

programs are centered around the medical-equipment model,

durable medical equipment mostly.

But when you take a chance later on to look at the

AT inventory list, you see that we have ventured out a

little bit into some other products. But it is primarily

durable medical equipment.

We have two signs. And one of the things you can

do that I would advise you to do is contact your local sign

company. This was with Lamar Signs. And I think some

companies -- some other project staff has told me that they

are familiar with Lamar.

You may just want to contact them and see what you

can negotiate for advertisements. What I found out is that

you have to pay for the materials, like the paper and the

ink, et cetera. And I understood our program paid about 4

to $5,000 for that, but they got $56,000 worth of free

advertisement from that investment.

Your signs can be paper or vinyl. If you go with

the paper signs, they'll probably last about three months.

And if you stick with the vinyl signs, you're probably

looking at about one year. But that's something that you

would have to contract with the company.

I understand that we have a three-year contract,

and we're going to get, as I said, over $56,000 in free


They also switch the signs around whenever there is

a vacancy. So we are getting a lot of visibility from

this. They can be on the north side of town or the west

side and the east. And so they're switching them around

whenever they have a vacant sign in the area.

Also we now have gone upscale. We have been placed

on the electronic billboards now. And they're doing that

at no extra cost for us. And whenever there is a vacancy,

they're going to put our signs up for more visibility.

You might want to discuss with them sometimes they

want to work with you in terms of giving back to the

community. So some companies out there -- so it's how you

approach them. And they look at this as a viable service,

and you're doing a good service, which they all think here

in Alabama that our reuse programs are the best thing since

sliced bread. So some people will definitely work with you

with that.

If you have some more questions about that, I can

give you some more information a little bit later on, but

this has worked really well for us. And we just started

doing this in the last, I would say, six to eight months.

Next slide. Next slide, please.

Okay. Back to the star that our Waste Not

Program -- I'm sorry -- the star magnet that our Waste Not

Program used as a marketing tool earlier. This was an

example of what they did with that magnet.

They had -- it's called making connections. It's a

Christmas tree display. It was at one of the public

libraries in the area. And the goal behind this was to get

a lot of the patrons -- library patrons that went by to

view the tree displays.

And they were from nonprofit and civic

organizations. And they wanted to gather information about

these organizations. So we came up with the tree and to

use the magnets as ornaments. And actually I was told that

this tree was one of the -- that won one of the tree

judging contests. So just some ingenuous ways that you can

think about marketing your program.

Next slide. Next slide, please.

Okay. I guess it's time for me to turn it over to


LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Helen. You guys have some

wonderful resources in Alabama. We especially love the

billboard concept. So thank you for sharing that and

sharing what that's really done in Alabama.

Vivian, we saw that you had some marketing-tool

ideas and that you put up a website. Martha Rust and I

just looked at the website really quickly, and there are

some great ideas, resources, and tools on there as well

too. So thank you for sharing that wonderful resource.

I just wanted to take a few moments at this point

and share a little bit about what we're doing in Georgia.

This slide shows a picture of myself and Carolyn

Phillips at ATIA just a few weeks ago in Orlando. And

these are just some of the marketing tools that we have for

the Pass It On Center.

So as you can see, we have our wonderful table

cover that we actually debuted at ATIA. And we have our

retractable banner. And these looks just really kind of

bring together the total branding of the Pass It On Center.

It really makes it memorable. The colors are

matching. Our logos are everywhere. And it just kind of

gives us a clean, simple look that we really want folks to


We really love our banners here in Georgia and

within the Pass It On Center and Tools For Life program as

well too. One of the things that we were just trying to

accomplish was really getting our information out there in

a very simple; easy; and most importantly, accessible way.

So as you can see, we have very basic information.

Our name. Our website. We've got our little slogan, if

you will, for the Pass It On Center. We've got some

pictures of individuals in our community working on reusing

AT and folks that are actually users of reused AT as well


And again, just speaking to the accessibility of it

as well. These banners in the case only weigh 10 pounds

and are very, very lightweight and are very, very

accessible. So the cool thing is that it makes it really

easy for me to throw it on the back of my chair and be able

to go where I need to go with very little assistance as


The next slide just shows kind of what we have

going on here in Georgia with the STAR Network, with the

Southeastern Technology Access and Reuse Network.

Up here we have a picture of our trifold brochure.

And this brochure again just has the very, very basic

information on STAR Network. So it has what is the STAR

Network? What are we about? It has our Georgia outreach

centers and our other partnering organizations. Very, very

simple information that folks can just really understand

the basics of Pass It On Center.

So how do you donate equipment? How do you receive

equipment? How do you get in touch with your local

equipment depots and some basic contact information as well


If you notice on the left-hand side under "STAR

Network Partners," there's a big, blank, white space. We

actually did that on purpose. That is the back panel of

the trifold when you have it folded all the way, and you

flip it over to the back.

This trifold is targeted to our outreach centers.

So as they're out in the community, so as Disability Link

Northwest in Rome, Georgia -- which is in North Georgia --

is out in Rome, they can take this brochure out, and they

can stamp or put a label or quickly jot down their name and

contact information on the back.

So these trifolds are designed to be more

personalized to each of the outreach centers trying to get

their information out there in their own community.

And then this is an oversized postcard. Again, it

has obviously the STAR Network and logo and just the same

look and feel of what we have throughout the STAR Network

series of marketing tools.

And again, this is just something that's very basic

in the information. What's free? How do you donate? How

do you receive equipment? And contact information as well

too. We wanted to keep the information simple.

These are great postcards that we all carry around

with us on a day-to-day basis to presentations out in the


If we're at Earth Day events or just any events out

there that we can, you know, grab out of our bags and

quickly hand to folks and say, "Here. This is more about

STAR Network," or, "This is the best way for you to get in

touch with us as well too." It's a good business card

substitute, if you will, just to kind of get your program's

information out there.

And then this is another postcard. Again, same

look as everything else, but it really focuses on getting

folks to join the STAR Network. So if other programs want

to become part of the STAR Network, they can -- we give

this information to them, and it talks about joining the

network. Are you a match? Is your facility capable of

being an outreach center? Contact information.

So again, these are very small. They're half of a

sheet of paper and very easy and accessible to take around

in your community and just to share with folks as well.

So we have a couple of resources here that we just

want to share with everyone. The first one is VistaPrint.

VistaPrint is actually a very popular website to

create marketing materials. You can actually create logos

on there and actually buy marketing materials. So all

those little things that Helen was talking about:

magnifiers, pens, notepads, brochures, matching folders.

All of those basic marketing materials are on VistaPrint.

I actually worked with our graphic designer and

created all of the STAR Network marketing materials on the

VistaPrint website. Just went on there, used their

template, used their colors, plugged in our logo, all of

our information. It's very simple as copying and pasting.

And before you know it, within an hour or so I had

created a very, very rough draft of what I envisioned our

oversized postcards to look like and our trifolds as well

too. So that's a great website for y'all to check out.

HubSpot is another great website that I've come

across recently. And it really focuses on Internet

marketing. So they have a ton of free resources on there

and articles and webinars that talk about the power of

Internet marketing and how to use that media and that

avenue to advertise your program and to outreach in the

community in that manner.

So I'm going to let Sharon from Vermont talk a

little bit about what they're doing up there as far as some

of the resources that they've utilized as well too.

So Sharon, take it away.


Just wanted to mention to you that the U.S. Postal

Service, if you are using the postal service to disseminate

information, they have a notice 123 rate fold on their

website, or you can contact the postal service to have

someone assist you in determining what the least expensive

way of mailing might be.

I think it's good to be prepared in advance so that

you don't get something produced that you then find out is

extremely expensive to mail.

We also had used a photo binder created by Certainly in preparing your

marketing materials, if you have -- if you want to include

photos, local photos and people who are going to be

recognized would be the ideal if you have that clearance

from them.

If you don't, and you need something quick, it's

nice to have this already stock photo group of images

that's available for your production.

And thank you all for being here today. I'm going

to let Liz get back to you with any questions that you

might have. And we certainly appreciate your


LIZ PERSAUD: One thing -- a few things that I

wanted to add to the resources part of this presentation.

I really love this website that Sharon has utilized

up in Vermont, the Realistic Reflections. I actually went

on there and was taking a look at some of the photos that

they have. And so they really have some powerful images.

One thing that we've done here in Georgia is

actually worked with a local photographer to go out to our

assistive technology resource centers, to go out to our

equipment depots that sanitize the equipment, to take

photos of transportation, take photos of storage as we're

working with reusing equipment and different things like

that or different events that we've attended in the

community as well too.

So we've really built a huge library of photos that

are hundreds, even up in the thousands as well. So that's

just another great way to kind of get some of your own

publicity of your program and your community and really

share success stories as well too.

I also wanted to add -- I know in the public-chat

area you probably notice that Joy Kniskern with the Pass It

On Center and Trish with the Pass It On Center have

mentioned something about the Pass It On Center knowledge

base. So I just wanted to take a few moments and talk

about that briefly.

Some of y'all may be familiar with that. I know

that we've talked about that in the past, and we certainly

mentioned it at some of our presentations at ATIA in


The Pass It On Center knowledge base will be

available to the public very, very shortly. We're actually

just putting some final touches on it. It's available on

the Pass It On Center website.

And it basically is just housing a ton of different

types of information to really work with you in your AT

reuse program, to enhance your program, to be there to

assist you as you are growing your program, to provide

resources, anything that you need.

So we're really working on building the content in

there, really building the articles, making it accessible.

We want to, again, make it very easy for y'all to be able

to find your information in a very quick and reasonable


So a lot of this information here for the marketing

webinar we'll have on there. And again, as Trish said --

Trish said with the Pass It On Center at Kansas has done

wonderful things with their marketing, and a lot of their

information is on the Pass It On Center knowledge base as

well too.

Or if any of you have any wonderful resources as

well that you'd like to contribute to the knowledge base,

we'd love for y'all to be contributors as well too.

And I see the question that -- do we use release

forms? And Joy, thank you for answering that.

We do have Department of Labor photo release forms

that we keep on file for everyone that we take pictures of.

A good thing to know is that, if you're also in a public

environment, if you're able to shoot photos of just a crowd

behind their backs, kind of not really get anyone's faces,

you're able to use those as well without photo release

forms as well too.

But yes, we do have a ton of release forms for all

of our photos on file.

So does anybody have any questions for myself or

for Helen or for Sharon about anything that we've covered?

Please feel free to -- I'm going to release the mic and

just give a few seconds for folks to ask questions or to

maybe type it in the public-chat area above the participant

list as well too.

So we're really here for you, and we want to be

able to share our information for y'all as well. So I'm

going to release the mic now.

Laatasha in Kentucky asked, "How do you recommend

people dispose of equipment that is in poor condition such

as power wheelchairs?"

Joy, do you mind actually addressing that question

for us?

JOY KNISKERN: Yes, I'd be happy to address that.

Basically, if you are getting donations of

wheelchairs that are in poor condition, you really need to

check within your state about what disposal laws that you

do have.

And I also know that many of the people who accept

durable medical equipment will work with people who

purchase scrap metal. And I know that we have presented in

the past about that particular topic.

And if there is interest, we could dedicate another

whole webinar just basically on end-of-life kind of

disposal of equipment. That's a huge topic.

SHARON ALDERMAN: I'd just like to say that of

course we work with Recycle North, which is not only a

recycling of household furniture, appliances, lumber, and

building supplies, but they also do the breakdown of and

metal scrapping.

So indeed there are venues to -- and that metal is

worth something. So it's not solely going to a landfill.

It can be reused. The power chairs in particular you're

talking of.

JOY KNISKERN: Yes, and also I know that on our

knowledge base we have a whole section that is dedicated

where we're working on content related to end-of-life

scrapping, reutilizing parts, and that whole topic.

But again, if everybody is -- if people are

interested in having a webinar dedicated to that, that

would be something to put together. Good question.

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Joy, for addressing that.

And thank you, Laatasha, for your question.

Brian from RSA, it's great to see you on here. He

has a comment that says, "Some shops will take them for

spare parts."

So we've certainly encountered that as well. So

that's something to keep in mind.

Thank you all for the wonderful comments. We

really hope that this has been beneficial to you.

Are there any more questions or comments out there

for myself or for Helen or Sharon, any of the speakers for

the marketing webinar today?

Well, thank you all for being here. We really,

really appreciate your participation and your enthusiasm

and all the hard work that you are doing out there to

promote your program.

We have up here our contact information. So

Sharon's information is up there, Helen's, and mine as

well, too, with the Pass It On Center. So please feel free

to be in touch with us if we can do anything to assist you.

We know that we'd be happy to share a lot of our

resources and a lot of our marketing materials for y'all to

use as templates as you're really trying to get your

program out there and your mission out there as well too.

Please know that our webinar is being recorded

right now. So in about just a few weeks we'll have that up

on the webinar page on the Pass It On Center website.

You'll be able to access the PowerPoint, a transcription,

and the audio file of this webinar as well too.

So again, thank you to Sharon and Helen for your

time, energy, and expertise in helping me to put this

webinar together. Y'all are doing such wonderful things.

And we're really glad that y'all were able to join us today

and really share your information and strategies as we're

working to promote our reuse program.

So with that being said, we'll say good evening to

everyone. Thank you again for your time.

And at this point I'll release the mic. So if

y'all have any comments or questions, feel free to do that

or feel free to type them in. And just let us know if you

have any questions. We're here at the Pass It On Center

for you.

So thank you everyone. Take care. Bye-bye.