The Hardy Advertising and Promotions Commission met Monday, May 11 and discussed designs for signage, monthly finances and presenting a digital marketing workshop for local businesses. The commission also received requests from crowd members regarding signage and more advertising.
The Walking Tour Maps and Rack Cards that A and P have designed in the past will receive a face lift and some additions. The maps have been helpful to visitors of Hardy, by showing tourists where the unique shops, restaurants, lodging and recreational activities can be located. “I’ve talked with Vision Amp and they are working on design work for the parking direction signage and also on the Walking Tour Maps and Rack cards. They should have something for us to approve soon,” said Commissioner Dale Maddox.
Next up for discussion was a digital marketing workshop that Arkansas State University of Jonesboro would like to present to local businesses. “ASU is doing a promotion with getting businesses on Google Maps, search engines, etc. They want to come and do a workshop. They will bring the computers and spend time with us to help businesses get hooked up with digital marketing,” explained Maddox. ASU announced the workshops the week of May 4-8, because the week was set aside as “Small Business Week.” Marc Herring, Hardy business owner, seemed excited about the opportunity. While the commission was throwing around ideas for dates, Herring suggested, “The sooner the better.” This theory is so that businesses might learn new ways to promote their business as tourist season has come to town.
The “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” workshop has been scheduled for Thursday, June 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Hardy City Hall. It is a free presentation for all local businesses. “The sweet part is that this is free. This isn’t just open to Hardy, we want any business in Sharp County to participate,” Maddox said. Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map is part of Google’s Get Your Business Online program and aims to bring community members, business owners and civic leaders together to help small businesses succeed on the web.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at Arkansas State University is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business and Arkansas State University College of Business. The ASBTDC assists start-ups, existing businesses and technology businesses. Core services include free consulting and market research plus low to no-cost training. To register for the workshop, visit this link: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/r….
Local businessman, Pat Black, presented a formal proposal to the commission for new signage. His proposal included replacing the Hardy RV and Camper Park sign at the corner of Main and Spring Streets, with more visible signage. The current sign is small and can only be seen from one direction. Black additionally requested that the RV Park location be added to three road signs at the north, south and east of Hardy. The commission told Black that they are currently in the process of looking at additional signage for the city. “You have something specific about the RV Park, but we are looking at ways to advertise the City of Hardy on the signs as well,” Maddox said.
Marc Herring, owner of Ozark Classic Craft Mall, presented another form of advertising to the commissioners. In his store, he creates tuits and would be able to engrave the logo designed by A and P on these. Herring said he has been in contact with Arkansas Parks and Tourism about funding, but if Hardy A and P wanted to be on one side, they would need to provide half of the funding. Herring said that managers with APT thought placing tuits at visitor centers for guests, free of charge, was a great idea to increase curiosity about the town featured on the tuit. The commission asked Herring to come back with a written proposal of costs for the project.
Hardy A and P meets the first and third Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. Locations of meetings are announced, but usually held at FNBC in Hardy.