Make your presence felt with branded swag like t-shirts or water bottles with your Neighborhood Council name or logo. There’s still time to make these before NC Congress September 9th! See tips on swag your board and stakeholders will love and use.
What To Get
When attending the Congress of Neighborhoods or other events, having board and committee members wear a branded t-shirt shows you’re all on the same team, and introduces people to your council. It also makes for great photo opportunities.
It’s a good idea to get shirts in a range of sizes, that are high quality, and well-cut. Shirts that are nicely finished and which fit well looks more professional when your board is wearing them, and people will wear their shirts more often, if they feel like they look good in them.
While it can be expensive to get a large run of t-shirts in a size range, getting a shirt for each board and committee member in each person’s size is quite affordable. There are a wide variety of printed wearables to suit different needs. For example, you can get polo shirts embroidered with your logo to look a bit dressier, or hoodies to stay warm at a nighttime event.
There are many good local t-shirt printers in Los Angeles. Most places do not publish their pricing; instead, you must email or call for a quote. Pricing depends on shirt quantity, style and color; requested turnaround time; number of places the shirt is being printed (front, back, or sleeve); and number of ink colors.
Shopping or tote bags are another good branded item for Neighborhood Councils. You can order a small batch of canvas silk-screened totes for boardmembers to carry at events, or get a bulk order of reusable shopping bags that are inexpensive, useful stakeholder giveaways.
Lanyards with your name or logo are another great giveaway item that your members can wear at events. For extra polish, try doing what South Robertson Neighborhood Council does, and print branded ID cards to clip to your lanyards with board member names and roles on them.
It’s possible to get custom lanyards for about $2/apiece in small runs of 25-30. For larger runs of a few hundred pieces, prices drop below $1/apiece.
Reusable water bottles are another convenient promotional item. Prices for custom-printed bottles range from under $1 for plastic flip top bottles, to about $7-8 each for insulated steel bottles.
Be aware, when looking for bottles online, that the phrase “sports bottle” will bring up refillable bottles printed with your name or logo, while “custom water bottles” brings up disposable bottles that have a custom paper label. To avoid plastics that can leach chemicals into the water they contain, look for sports and water bottles made of plastics that are BPA free.
Shopping & Design Tips
- Make sure the font and size of your designs allow them to be read clearly from a little distance away.
- When searching for quotes for your promotional items, use keywords and phrases like “custom” (as in “custom lanyard”), “sustainable,” “Los Angeles,” or “made in USA” to find vendors.
- If you’re getting silk-screened items like t-shirts or tote bags, try using your neighborhood name as a search term, to see if there’s a well-priced printer in your community that you can support.
The Outreach Tip of the Week is an ongoing series about how to use branding, marketing, and public relations techniques to build better relationships with your stakeholders.