The Chamber staff is happy to help its members coordinate ribbon cutting ceremonies and grand openings. Regardless of the occasion – a new business opening, a move to a different location or a business name change – it’s an important milestone and the Chamber can help make it easier for you. Following is some important information to help you plan your event.
- Schedules ribbon cuttings on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. These days and times have been shown to be the most convenient for those you will be inviting.
- Sends your press release to its media contact list which includes the The Herald Star, Froggy, 106.3 The River, The Weirton Daily Times, WTOV9 & WTRF7.
- Puts a blurb about your event in the weekly newsletter, “In The Know” which gets emailed to over 600 Chamber members and employees.
- Invites representatives from the Chamber Ambassador Club, the Chamber Board of Directors and local elected officials in the city where your business is located.
- Brings the ceremonial scissors and ribbon the day of the event.
- Helps coordinate photos and, if a photographer from the media is not in attendance, takes pictures. Plan on about 5 Chamber representatives to be in the photograph.
- Sends the photo to the media following the event along with names of those in the picture and a short blurb about the event.
What we need from you:
- A date and time for your ribbon cutting well in advance. This helps the Chamber staff ensure that your ribbon cutting doesn’t conflict with a Chamber event allowing our staff and representatives to be in attendance.
- A completed “Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening” form. Attached.
- A press release at least two weeks in advance of your event.
Some helpful tips to make your event go smoothly and be successful:
- Invite current customers, family members and employees with a personal invitation or phone call.
- Provide light refreshments.
- Have copies of your press release available for members of the media and guests.
- Have marketing materials, business cards, coupons or small promotional gift items for attendees.
- Have a door prize drawing or contest for those who attend.
- Know who you’d like in the official press release photo to represent your business. Tell them ahead of time. Try to limit it to about 5 or less.
- You can take or have the Chamber staff take additional photographs that include more people after the media has left but be courteous and don’t cause their photographer to have to stay too long.
- Have soft background music or videos about your business playing.
- Send thank you cards after the event to those who attended. Include a coupon, business card or other small token of appreciation.
PRESS RELEASES 101
A press release is an official announcement (written or recorded) that an organization issues to the news media and beyond. Most press releases can be thorough and complete at just a page long – two pages tops. Ultimately, you want to provide enough information so that news outlets have sufficient material for publishing their own stories about whatever the company is announcing in the release. A good press release may also result in a feature story – reporters are more likely to consider a story if they receive a good press release first. Be clear, with no mistakes and follow the format below.