Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Signage: the right way and wrong way

Today I called “Tutor/Doctor’s” local franchisee, Mark Seker, to chat about the firm’s illegal signs in the right of way. I informed him that I’ve taken down more than a few of their signs.

I know Mark and, despite and even because of my criticism, it was a friendly chat.

Unlike JobDango’s obstreperous, defensive CEO Ralph King and owner Tim Baron, Mark welcomed my concern and shares it. The signs cause ill will  — although he adds that they are remarkably  inexpensive and exceedingly effective in attracting business.

He promised that his franchise would cease putting up the signs (he can’t speak for other Tutor/Doctor franchises in Portland) and said that he would raise my concern (and his) with Tutor/Doctor’s marketing people.

Apparently he and others already had been thinking about yanking the signs in the public right of way but encouraging the firm’s backers, employees and clients to put up discreet signs in their yards...on private property.

That makes some sense. Who better to tout the success of a company than its clients? And if the message were something along the lines of “My child is on the road to academic success thanks to Tutor/Doctor,” it would be an endorsement based on experience. That's hard to beat.

I even suggested that Mark and his company come up with bumper stickers for their backers to display. Bumpers are private property that happen to cruise the public right-of-way.

The same approach would work well for JobDango, if only King and Baron would listen.

“I got my job through JobDango!” is a great bottom-line message for a yard sign or a bumper sticker.

How about it Ralph and Tim?

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