Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE98-195
As president of the Farmers’ Market Association of Central Westmoreland, Paul used his grant to promote the four farmers’ markets that operate in Westmoreland County during the summer. He purchased newspaper and radio advertising, posted signs, and had banners made and hung over the street in Greensburg. He also had a logo designed. He investigated the possibility of having placards placed on municipal buses, but decided against this option because of the expense.
Paul received considerable support from the community for what he was doing. One newspaper provided free ad space, and a radio station gave him a 50% discount.
Paul says the advertising campaign succeeded in giving a distinct boost to attendance at the farmers’ markets. He believes that of the several media he tried the street banners had the greatest effect because they were seen by many people twice each day, on their way to and from work. He rates the radio and newspaper ads as the least effective (and most expensive) media. The biggest boost to attendance and sales was seen at the two weekday evening markets. Advertising was less successful with regard to the other two, says Paul, because they meet on Saturday mornings, and are consequently competing for customers with events and shopping in nearby Pittsburgh.
Also among his objectives was to increase the number of vendors at the markets. Some new vendors did show up in consequence of the advertising, but they did not stay for long. The markets continue, however, with the original members.