Please read completely and carefully the information below, sent from Deluxe Corp. This information outlines how voting will work, and how money will be used in our community WHEN we win. Please e-mail any questions to [email protected] To secure this vote will take the help of each and every one of you. Thank you for your unwavering community support!
Greetings from Deluxe Corporation. This email is a guide for the coming weeks for your community, should your town be selected as one of our finalists for the Small Business Revolution – Main Street contest. I am sending to all eight short list towns at once so you have the same information at the same time.
As of today, Monday, Jan. 16, our team has visited all eight towns and we are humbled by your response to this campaign, and excited to move to the next phase. We can’t tell you have impressed and amazed we are by your communities and how you have embraced what we are doing with the Small Business Revolution. Choosing finalists will be incredibly difficult since we loved every community. In choosing our finalists, we don’t have a true scientific process, but rather, we are determining the overall needs you may have, and the type of marketing work your business community would benefit from on our end and where we can do the most good.
This is a work in progress and we won’t make final decisions until a few days before the announcement on Feb. 9. To be fair to the entire process, we are outlining the following timeline:
- On Thursday, Feb. 2, we will organize a conference call with community leaders from all eight towns to discuss plans and logistics that will occur in the winning town. We want you all to be aware so that in case you win, you will be able to activate the necessary resources at the right time.
- On Thursday, Feb. 9, we will announce the finalists. We are still determining the announcement process, if we will do that on Facebook Live or national media. Those details will be communicated at a later date. At roughly 7 a.m. EST, the finalists will be live on the smallbusinessrevolution.org website and we will be sharing the names of the finalists throughout the day during a national media tour. Amanda Brinkman and Robert Herjavec will be in NYC talking to media about the contest and about your towns.
- The exact timing of this announcement of the finalists will depend on our ability to announce the finalists on national media. If we get the chance to announce at 7:30 a.m. on a particular show, we will delay the launch until that time. Everyone will be informed in advance of the timing.
- Beginning at approximately 7 a.m. EST on Feb. 9, voting will commence. More details about voting are included below.
- Voting will end on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 9 p.m. EST.
Videos of the finalists will be located on the Small Business Revolution website on a page easily accessible from our home page. Because we anticipate having a minimum of 4-5 finalists, the videos will be arranged alphabetically by name of the town on the website. As you are aware, the way websites are configured, towns with names lower in the alphabet will be lower on the page. We want to be transparent with all the towns in the contest that their location on the site will not change throughout the contest, and we believe an alphabetical arrangement is the fairest for this process. Also, since our website will be optimized for mobile platforms, alphabetically is the easiest process to list the towns to appear on mobile devices.
We have created the contest to allow people to vote once per day, per device. For example, if you have a computer, Ipad, and a smart phone, you can cast three votes per day. We are doing this to be fair to all communities involved so that computer bots are not arranged to vote thousands of times an hour for any particular town. The question has also been raised about voting per browser: If on your desktop, you have Firefox, Chrome and Windows internet browsers, you can vote once per day on each browser as well. We will have safeguards in place to monitor activities and to ensure computer bots are not utilized. If we see this happening, we will notify the town leader and this may jeopardize your standing in our contest if we determine this was done maliciously.
Throughout the voting period we will provide periodic updates to community leaders with the vote totals. We will post totals on social media a few times, but we will not post totals after Feb. 13. And we will provide one last update to community leaders on Feb. 14 so you know where you stand, but then you will not receive another update until the winning town is announced.
In last year’s contest, the two towns involved became very creative in their “get out the vote” process. Local pizza restaurants sent out flyers with every order. Another town held a community gathering to get people to vote. Wabash created a campaign where they solicited famous individuals from Indiana to “Tweet” or post about the contest, getting more votes that way. We encourage any and all activities to boost your vote, especially if that activity gains social media or media attention for the Small Business Revolution. You will each receive a social media toolkit before the contest launches to help with this process.
Lastly, we will announce the winner of the contest on Feb. 22. We are still working out timing, but our goal is to do a live announcement where all communities find out at the same time. We would like each community to gather at a selected location where we will have a video played announcing the results of the vote. We recognize that this requires the communities that don’t win to gather together to find out the news, but we hope that it is something you will want to do because of the great community spirit you are sharing from being part of this contest. While it would be great to have each town win, we know from last year that all communities will learn so much about themselves and will want to celebrate the accomplishment of making it to the end of this process.
Also, to note for the winning town: The $500,000 makeover is delivered in two phases: half of the dollars are in-kind services from Deluxe for the businesses selected for the web series. Those services come in the form of website and logo development, printed products, social media campaigns, etc., all activities Deluxe marketing professionals will engage in with your businesses. The second $250,000 will be delivered in physical and aesthetic improvements to the selected businesses and community, determined by mutual agreement. That activity will be managed by Deluxe in consultation with business owners and community leaders.
Thank you for taking part in this process. Please email or call me with any questions you may have. We are excited to move forward in this contest and we are thrilled to be visiting your towns.
Cameron Potts I Vice President of Public Relations and Community Management
3680 Victoria Street N I Shoreview, MN 55126
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