The Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce (MLCC) decided to produce an in-house marketing piece when we learned that a local printing business was no longer going to do a similar piece. A lot of our members advertised with them and were disappointed to learn it was no longer going to be published. A committee consisting of Joe Sarnelli, Gib Kunkle, Johnny Shaffer, Tom Guiher, Terry Geary, Patty Show and Kris Enberg was formed to study all aspects and costs of a flyer. After thorough research, a marketing plan was brought forth to the Board of Directors. The Board voted to pursue producing the piece that would promote local business in the area along with bringing recognition to the MLCC. The flyer offers a way and means for businesses, churches, clubs, and organizations to advertise in a vast area at minimal cost. The Gateway to the Laurel Highlands Flyer reaches roughly 8000 residents and businesses on a monthly basis, with an additional 1000 dropped shipped to various businesses for our visitors to pick up.
Producing the flyer was a huge endeavor for the office. It was at the decision of the Board to put a hold on all other projects and focus solely on the paper. We started out with a used duplicator to copy the flyer, but after copying 96 thousand copies a month we realized we need to lease a new duplicator to do the job. Staff & volunteers copied, folded and stapled as fast as they could while adjusting to the learning curve of a new machine. A bulk mail account was set-up at the Donegal Post Office. Staff prepared the bulk mail each month and hand delivered them to following post offices: Donegal, Jones Mills, Champion, Melcroft, Indian Head, Normalville, Mill Run, Ohiopyle, Acme, Stahlstown and Rector.
Daily duties with the flyer included ordering supplies, selling ads, layout & design, copying, collating, folding, stapling, preparing the bulk mail, delivering to post office and invoicing. But before we knew it, the next month was upon us and we were starting all over.
In March of 2011, we finally outsourced the production & mailing of the piece to the Daily American in Somerset.
We are now in our 14th year of producing this highly sought-after piece. We believe today, as we did in the beginning, that it’s equally important to advertise all the members in the community as it is to our members. The Gateway to the Laurel Highlands flyer continues to sustain itself in these current times of decreasing print and increasing social media. It continues to tie our communities together by building awareness, promoting business, and making friends. It is our signature piece and it fits perfectly into our mission: “To enhance the economic growth and development of the business community by offering a variety of services and programs to meet the needs of local business, residents and tourists.”