Chuck Peterson
Mark Agnew
Mark Agnew
Mark Agnew

Want to boost sales? Give a sign away.

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2018

When Chuck Peterson returned to the San Diego area after living in Arizona for several years, he knew he would be starting his sign business from scratch. Along with calling on businesses about their signage needs, he decided to donate a few signs to local non-profit organizations. For Chuck, it was a good way to support local organizations who were providing much-needed services to the community.

It also turned out to be great advertising. Local businesspeople are often involved with non-profits as volunteers and board members. The organizations often share news about their new sign (and who donated it) via social media and other media avenues. Local media frequently encourages support of these non-profits by sharing ways that others help—such as donating a sign.

Have a new router and want to show your market what it can do? Donate a sign to your favorite non-profit. Want to do more wraps? Wrap the local food bank’s van. No matter what you do, market it via social media, and let the local media know you did it.

Mark Agnew, Agnew Graphics, has been in the sign business for over three decades. He’s found one of the best ways to build recognition for your shop is by giving back to the community—donating sign work regularly and wisely. Mark’s approach involves three key steps: choosing your target market, providing the types of signs you can produce affordably and letting the community know about the donation.

“It’s goodwill marketing,” says Mark. “It benefits both the community and our shop. I choose jobs that don’t require a lot of material expense, so most of what we’re donating is our skill and time. The sign says ‘Donated by Agnew Graphics’ at the bottom, and that’s out there for the life of the sign.”

Mark also maximizes the exposure he gets from donated signs. “When we do one,” says Mark, “we get the word out. We put it on Facebook, and we call the local media to get coverage. We want people to know that Agnew Graphics donated that new sign when they see it.

“I like to do things that get people talking about Agnew Graphics,” says Mark. “Facebook is good for that. Local media likes to support businesses that give back to the community, too, so they’re always glad to cover something you donate.”

You’ll find more of Chuck’s work in the March/April 2018 issue of SignCraft. To see more of Mark’s work, search for “Mark Agnew” on the article index at