Where Are Those 300 Flyers Now?

(* This is a blog post I wrote for GrandPowers. The original post is here. Please read this post for the introduction.)

Here is a story to demonstrate a traditional Chinese saying, “If you only have courage, but no strategy, you cannot succeed.” (有勇無謀)

Shortly after we made our pilot site live on Mother’s Day this May 10th, we decided to promote our pilot contest and survey around Father’s Day in June. Because we are still at the pilot stage, we do not want to massively promote our site to people who don’t know us and decided to only promote by word-of-mouth. We wanted to print some flyers and try to give them to the grandchildren we could find.

So here is what happened -

5/17 – Anna designed the first draft of the flyer

5/26 – Flyer design was finalized

5/31 – Placed the order online make the flyers

6/7 – Flyers arrived! (see photo above)

6/8 – Gave away 120 flyers to all the elementary afterschool program students at OASES in Oakland

6/11 – Gave away 30 flyers at our CMO Emily’s brother’s graduation. Her brother verbally promised to get 10 stories submitted from his friends. Yay!

6/15 – Gave away 30 flyers to Youth Speaks ‘s writing workshop teacher to distribute to his students.

6/16 — Gave away 30 flyers to the families at the Age Song senior communities for its upcoming Father’s Day BBQ in Hayes Valley.

With 4 days left until Father’s Day and 90 more cards to distribute, my desperation stimulated my creativity — I found this great website with a list of all the events kids can go to in the Bay Area. The obvious places are SF Zoo, the California Academy of Sciences, and all the children friendly museums, and street festivals, etc. Isn’t it a great idea to promote GP at these places?

Unfortunately, during the Father’s Day weekend, I suddenly suffered from a health issue that significantly lowered my energy level, so I carried the flyers with me and ran some errands in the city with my eyes peeled for places to distribute the flyers. First I went to Japan Town to buy groceries and found a community bulletin board and slots to leave ads. I happily posted my flyers and left some for the Japanese families who might walk by. Then, I went to the Richmond neighborhood to have lunch.

The miracle happened when I was looking for parking! I drove by a small playground with families and it turned out to be the wonderful Richmond branch of SF Public Library! It was recently re-opened with a huge children’s reading room, and a special teenage room, with tons of kids and computers. It was the ideal GrandPowers incubating place. The best part was meeting Ann, the librarian. I nervously approached Ann with my pitch about GP, and she loved it right away. Ann helped me post it on their bulletin board and put the rest of the flyers at a few popular spots in the library. I was so happy and further believed that “when there is a will, there is a way”!

What was the result? Not very good at all. Traditionally, only 2~3% of the people getting any type of flyer will respond to it. So, maybe 100 people really saw those 300 flyers, and 2 to 3 people really visited our website. I wonder where those 300 flyers are right now. I only hope those who got it would take a second to think about their grandparents and make a mental note to show how much they care.

This is a story to demonstrate a traditional Chinese saying, “If you only have courage but no strategy, you cannot succeed.” We had plenty of courage, but my lack of strategic preparation really made promoting Grandpowers difficult. However, we are not discouraged and are even more passionate! We found the experience interesting, learned a good lesson and met some very nice friends. Big thank you to Andy at Breakthrough SF Day School, Dennis at Youth Speaks, Maria, Nelson, and Stanley at OASES, and Ann at the Richmond branch San Francisco Public Library!

PS: If you got the flyer and are reading this, please leave a comment to say hi!