Canada’s largest volunteer service group uses their fellowship to take care of their communities. The Kinsmen of Red Deer counts on their local Minuteman Press franchise.
Since 2005, Dan Murias and his team have made it abundantly clear that trusting Minuteman Press in Red Deer to promote your business will earn you precisely the attention you need and from the right people. It is not only the fact that they have been trained and equipped with digital print, design and marketing services superior enough to lead the modern printing industry, it is that they do so leading with a personal investment in the success of each and every client and they love to see the results come in, every time.
That human connection, more commonly referred to as customer service, is inherent to the most successful Minuteman Press franchise owners and Dan is a shining example. Dan says, “Customer service and making sure the quality of product we produce is excellent are things we focus on daily. Our customer service has to be number one. It’s the only way to make sure that anticipated and unforeseen challenges will be met to the advantage of every person who counts on us to reach a targeted audience. For instance, outsourced products are a necessary part of our industry and there are very few issues, but when they do arise, I am the point man for resolution. I also have a great staff of twelve, three of whom take care of our customers daily and know them well, as I do.”
Kin Clubs are the country’s largest all-Canadian service groups made up of active community volunteers. They serve the communities’ greatest needs by promoting service, fellowship, family values, and national pride. This from their website, which explains the good work the Kinsmen and the Kinettes do for their communities, directing funds into the beautification of parks and updated equipment for long term care and hospital facilities.
“It’s a fellowship group like Lions or Rotary in the U.S. and they raise money for good causes within the community. Mainly, the money that they raise stays right here and that is important to me because I was a Kinsmen Club member before I was a business owner. We have raised money for recreational parks, sports facilities and a youth hall in my time and that type of work is the most important kind, ensuring the longevity and health of our community,” says Dan.
The Dream Home Lottery is the Kinsmen’s Biggest Fundraiser and Canada Post only has a select few Smartmail Marketing Partners
When Dan bought his Minuteman Press franchise in Red Deer, he was a Kinsmen from Rocky Mountain House, so he approached the local chapter of the Kinsmen in his new city to see if they could use a marketing services provider. At the time, another member was handling their printing needs, but when he sold his business, the Kinsmen needed help, quickly, as their main fundraiser of the year was upon them, the Dream Home Lottery and it required some complex planning and execution. There were only two Canada Post certified Smartmail Marketing Partners in Red Deer…and then, only one.
“Canada Post has very few printers designated as Smartmail Marketing Partners in every city. Our city had two, then Canada Post eliminated one and gave us the sole distinction for Red Deer. We are one of six Minuteman Press franchises with that distinction and Michael Jutt, (Executive Vice President and Director of Training for Minuteman Press International) was an integral part of implementing that plan for our Canadian franchisees. It meant that we were in the position to take over the marketing and promotional needs of the Kinsmen entirely, particularly with the huge mailing for their Dream Home fundraiser.”
Fifty-thousand envelopes and direct mail pieces were the critical link between the Kinsmen and the specific areas within the area that are inclined to buy the tickets for the Dream Home Lottery
The service group chooses a winner on December 31st and with the hard work of local carpenters and other professionals, they build a million dollar house. This huge fundraiser is one that the Kinsmen makes sure directly benefits their local area. “It all stays right here, the funds and the work, through the use of local craftsmen. They selected us to handle the entire process as we gave them a fair price and are able to do a great job. They were also relieved to give us the mailing list and have one reliable source for this task, which is delicate because they need to target very specific areas of the city and have the mail delivered at very specific times for maximum response. Making sure the mail hit these areas on certain days of the week was tough because there are always variables outside of our control. Yet, we needed to get those mailers into those communities on time, so we had mailings going out every two days for two weeks.”
As the only Canadian Post Partner in Red Deer, Minuteman Press was able to take the Kinsmen’s most important fundraiser from concept to completion and to unprecedented success in the following 6 ways:
- Initial flyer creation and mass blanket mailout
- Design, print and target market mailing to focus on communities that had the highest purchases in the last 3 years
- Design, print and target addressed mailings to capture repeat purchasers.
- Design print and target mailing of early bird purchasers
- Another mass blanket mailing
- The most difficult one was the final hour mailing which had to be printed, sorted and mailed hitting the potential customers 1 – 2 days prior to the draw (December 31st).
Volunteer organizations do not have time to deal with all the details, particularly when areas such as design and printing get technical or require an expert eye.
It was a relief for Red Deer Kinsmen, 2016 Dream Home Chair, Craig Smallwood, to pass the paperwork over to his marketing services expert, Dan Murias. He took the job from concept to fruition and made sure it was done to the highest standard and on time: “We took the job from Craig, who works in the oil patch in Ft. McMurray and has little time to deal with the details, though he is a dedicated volunteer. They used to source this from another printer but I know we took this to a new level for them. The volunteers tried to design it on their own and they were not pleased with how long it took them so they wished us to take over the design aspect. They learned you go to the experts for design so it is out of their hands and off their minds because we can assure them it will be done correctly. We did the entire in-house. I’m told this was the club’s best year on record and in the middle of a downturn in economy and low oil prices and that is a huge feather in our cap.”
Craig Smallwood, President of the Red Deer Kinsmen Club is glad that circumstances led them to change from their former printer to the marketing services provider that is his fellow Kinsman, Dan Murias because the upgrade in quality was instant. He says, “We switched vendors and noticed a huge, positive change in the end product we received. I mean this not solely on just the end physical product, but also how we managed to get the product out on the exact times we needed, receiving the print or paper quickly even when we unfairly gave short notice. On top of all that, Minuteman Press finds ways to be economical with regards to how our organization approaches print.”
Craig continues, “Every year we have had a different team to run our Dream Home fundraiser and a new relationship gets formed. Dan has himself been a Kinsmen member so he is able to quickly adapt to our needs. We feel we are in good hands with Dan and all of Minuteman Press.”
As he continues to become a larger presence within his community as the digital print, design and marketing source for all in need, Dan Murias and his team actually thrive on the various challenges that their clients present and take pride in the victories each one represents when completed, as is the case with the Dream Home Lottery mailing. He says, “The Dream Home Lottery is a two month project and it’s a big deal to make it all happen. The Kinsmen loved everything and we all look forward to doing it in 2017. We are in the business of solving problems. Lots of times, people are so busy, but they need these crucial jobs done right and do not have time and resources with which to experiment.”
Dan thoughtfully concludes, “This is what we do for volunteers and also for companies of all sizes. We get the job done well and on time.”
For more information on Minuteman Press graphic design, marketing, printing, and promotional products and services, visit www.minutemanpress.ca