One source of new business for F&M Contractors, Inc. over the last 40 years has been our flyer campaigns. The campaigns have changed, and the methods have changed over the years.
Old School Marketing
Currently we distribute flyers in plastic zip-lock bags. This is similar to the way community newspapers are distributed. The delivery method has created both controversy and an opportunity. The controversy being the recipients of the flyers feel the marketing material is trash because of its delivery method. The opportunity that we’ve created, though, is to provide a small group of workers that otherwise may be considered unemployable with an opportunity for employment. This group of workers has been a treasure for our business by helping in the distribution of our flyers and creating long-lasting relationships.
A Treasure Among Rocks
When the distribution idea was first conceived, we had a small group of workers from the Gallagher Services Day Program working on “The Rock Contract.” Gallagher Services is a program for individuals with intellectual disabilities that is rooted in the fundamental belief in each person’s worth and dignity. A parent of a participant in the program once told me how much the “Rock Contract” meant to her daughter:
“It’s her favorite job, she always comes home happy after working on the rocks.”
This group worked diligently preparing fliers for distribution. The “Rock Contract” utilized many people’s skills and gave them an opportunity to feel and be productive. We believe that this positive outcome makes the flyer campaign more than worth it.
Regulations Change The “Rock Contract”
Now, due to new regulations and the desire to get Gallagher Services clients out into the workplace, F&M Contractors have hired Sean and Carlo as part-time employees, to come to our offices and prepare the flyers for distribution. Sean and Carlo were interviewed and hired in August of 2016. Sean and Carlo work on preparing flyers 8-10 hours per week. Sean works additional hours keeping the office clean and organized. This is an example of “Employment First” thinking. Sean and Carlo had unrealized gifts and talents and wanted an opportunity to work. F&M Contractors had a business need. Putting the two together supports F&M’s “old school” marketing campaign to continue providing customers with quality products and services, while creating work opportunities for people with disabilities at a competitive wage with opportunities for advancement.
Long Before The “Rock Contract”
The relationship between Sean and Andy Marcantoni, President of F&M Contractors, goes back longer than the “Rock Contract”. F&M Contractors is a partner of Gallagher Services in other ways. Andy and Sean have known each other since 1982, when they were both part of the Special Friends program with Loyola High School. Andy regularly invites people supported by Gallagher Services to sports events. He also has been a lead partner in completing major Eagle Scout projects. These projects included a 3-month project to install pavers in the 5,000 sq. ft. greenhouse to improve accessibility and creating a wheelchair-friendly work place. Other Eagle Scout projects include a covered seating area in the outdoor vegetable garden and 1-hole mini-golf area.
So, now you know the story behind the plastic baggies and our marketing methods. Our simple method of direct marketing has provided jobs and opportunities for some that otherwise would be considered unemployable. If your company has a need for help in any aspect of your business, consider contacting Gallagher Services for help. You will be surprised at the impact it can have on your business. Maybe you too can find a hidden treasure like we did!