It’s cherry blossom time in….Newark!

By Dawn Lospaluto
In April 23, 2015

Yes, the cherry blossoms are beautiful in Washington, D.C., but if you want to see the largest and most varied collection of cherry trees in the United States―more than 4,000!―your destination should be Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J. (By the way, the park has announced that it will soon be planting another 1,000 flowering cherry trees to bring the total to 5,000.)

Each year, about a week later than the trees blooming in D.C., the Newark cherry trees flower in a spectacular profusion of pink and white blossoms that completely transform the park’s 360 acres of open meadowland and the gently rolling terrain that flanks the brook that gives it its name. One of the earliest trees to flower each spring, they are a welcome visitor after a long, snowy winter to announce the arrival of a gentler, more accommodating season.

cherry blossom flestivalNewark has its own weeklong Cherry Blossom Festival each year, drawing thousands of visitors each day to see and photograph the trees first presented to the city in 1927 by Mrs. Felix Fuld, a member of one of the city’s most notable philanthropic families (she was also a founder of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., where Albert Einstein worked).

Although people around the world know about the cherry trees in Washington, D.C., few outside northern New Jersey are aware of those in Newark. Despite its best efforts at promoting the trees, the Newark park suffers from a common marketing problem: although they have a faithful corps of local devotees, those outside their immediate area don’t know them very well and consequently miss out on what they offer.

It’s problem that many industry companies face, as well. In today’s all-media marketing world, it would seem a simple matter to promote what you do on a wide scale and reach out to prospects far beyond your physical location. That’s what websites are for, after all. And yet so many business websites simply do not make it easy for visitors to know all that their companies can do.

Preparing for an article on printers who also offer e-marketing services, we recently did a broad Internet search to locate such businesses. There are many companies in our industry who can provide website creation, social media marketing, interactive print/electronic media campaigns, and other e-marketing services, but all too often it took a considerable amount of drilling down into their websites to discover their capabilities.

Some hid their services beyond screen after screen of artistic images; others presented information about their services in 9 pt. type lists (san serif, light gray, of course) that were barely legible. Still others required the visitor to take a roundabout tour of the site, from “About Us” to “Our Services” to “E-Services” to….well, you get the idea.

gaxxblossom-4aca5159ab2f7464The problem is that most people surfing for information are doing just that―surfing, skimming the surface, looking for quick answers and solutions, and all too ready to jump to the next entry on the search engine list if that answer or solution is not immediately forthcoming.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket―proudly proclaim your ability to provide today’s most in-demand services as far forward on your website or on your printed or electronic promotional materials and other communications as possible. Take a hint from those stunning cherry trees; they flaunt what makes them special, and so should your business.

Dawn Lospaluto

Epicomm Senior Director of Communications, Dawn has been the editor of Epicomm 's "Bottom Line" magazine and its predecessor publications, "NAPL Business Review," Printing Manager," and "The Journal of Graphic Communications Management," for 20 years. She also writes and edits several Epicomm member print and electronic newsletters, including [Re]View, Management Bulletin, Highlights, and Discover; press releases; and various marketing materials; and oversees Epicomm 's book publishing program. Dawn previously served as corporate managing editor for Allied (now Honeywell) Corporation and as a reporter and editor for New Jersey's largest evening newspaper. She is a graduate of Douglass College (Rutgers University) and holds an M.A. degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she has served on the adjunct faculty.

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