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Pay it Forward Day – a Smart Idea for Your Business

Pay it forward, the concept is a great one, and it's certainly an idea worth spreading in our personal lives. Pay it Forward is a altruistic way of saying.

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Did you know today is the 2nd Annual Pay it Forward Day? This is an idea that is spreading like wildfire on Facebook lately, with more than 175,000 people around the globe planning to “attend.” What is Pay it Forward Day, you ask? According to it’s founder:

‘Tis the Season! A random act of kindness goes a long way so…

PAY IT FORWARD!!!

What can you do? ON DEC. 1st…
• Pay for someone’s cup of coffee…
• Buy someone some groceries…
• Get the next person’s gas…
• Help someone out…
• Donate something…
• Be creative!!!

When you do something for someone there’s a good chance they’ll do something for someone else. If not, at least you’ve done a good deed for someone.

So on December 1st share some kindness and spread some joy! It can be as little as a few dollars or as much as you want. No one needs to know!

Join me, won’t you?

(I’m trying to make this a national event so spread the word. Maybe one day it’ll be a nationally recognized day!)

I won’t be offended if you don’t decide to participate, but please… spread the word!

The concept is a great one, and it’s certainly an idea worth spreading in our personal lives, but why blog about it here? For those of you who have been following along for a while, you know I’ve talked about how businesses can use guerrilla tactics to surprise and delight people outside of the context of their cynical-advertising-proof mask. Pay it Forward is a more altruistic way of saying the same thing–the principles are the same. Simply by buying a cup of coffee for the person standing behind you line and saying, “Your coffee’s on XYZ company today, next time you’re in the market for our widgets, please think of us” you have paid it forward and created a window for your company to be acknowledged by the individual and everyone they tell about it. This tactic works extremely well on a neighborhood and community basis creating excitement, buzz, and top of mind awareness.

Since December 1, 2010 is “Pay it Forward Day” and since it’s December, it gets dark early, people are rushed, and well — why not?? — give it a try today. Start with $5 and make it a point to give it away in a pay it forward model sometime today on behalf of your business. Consider this an experiment. See if you can find the most surprising and delightful way to make someone’s day with that $5, put some creativity into it! Don’t just hand the cash to a person on the street – truly look for an opportunity to make it memorable. And then, see how you feel, and more importantly how the person you just paid it forward to feels about you and your company.

I’d be willing to bet that you have such a great experience that you can’t wait to do it again – and that’s OK. Do it as often as you like, the world, your community, the individuals, and your company will be so much better off because you decided to make a difference today.

When you do your good deed, come back here and share your experience, we’d all love to hear how it went for you – oh and spread the word about 2nd Annual Pay it Forward Day – it’s an idea worth sharing!


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Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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