Saturday, September 15, 2007

Marketing Close To Home

I'm not sure the group of college students residing on our lawn today should've been considered "tailgaters"; they were sitting under a canopy tent in horrible weather, drinking warm beer. They are certainly dedicated young men, whose spot shall be reserved for the game tomorrow.

I asked if they knew someone who worked in this building, or had family associated with Extension. They seemed a touch worried (each had an open beer, and not the first) that I was asking and picked a scapegoat in the group who had written a paper on Extension some time ago. "He knows about Extension" they said. Turns out he remembered that the "System" in AL consists of AU and AL A&M (I actually helped with the A&M part).

Their impressions of ACES? 1) Our 1st floor bathroom urinal is huge. 2) Lots of pizza deliveries today. 3) The mirrored windows are eery. It leaves one wondering what's happening in there.

They all remembered 4-H, so calling the building 4-H Headquarters struck a note. They didn't know of Francesca Adler-Baeder and her Alabama Marriage and Family Handbook, but one of them was struggling in a colleague's class on a similar topic. I suggested he'd probably get introduced to Dr Adler-Baeder in due time, and pointed out that we distribute her excellent publication.

They were excited by news that our Auburn Cookbook was only $10 and were ready to go make the first Christmas purchase of the year. I think they were just excited to have something to do, but I'll admit the response made me feel good. By next weekend maybe we can have a display set up to show off the Wild Game Cookbook too.

As I left campus an hour later I saw that one of the new recruits still had the pencil I'd given him behind his ear. I encourage you to try a little personal advertising. It is MUCH more satisfying than spending a day in meetings.

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