Stimulus – Will it create opportunities for the promotional products industry?

If we want to look on the bright side the possibility may be evidenced in the government’s demonstrated inclination for promotional communications. The development of an official logo for stimulus-based projects seems to underscore the push to promote these efforts with high visibility.


Agencies like the Social Security Administration, Border Patrol, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state-based 2010 Census are poised to receive stimulus funding. We believe there will be potential opportunities for our industry as part of integrated marketing plans. Complex issues are best communicated to a mass audience when condensed into easy to understand slogans or icons. Most often they look to the promotional products industry as part of an integrated communications strategy. A few areas of potential opportunity are listed below.



Communication of stimulus-funded “green” efforts will be in strong demand. When looking at options for our internal efforts, I have found advertising for anything “green” is trending up. Large scale environmental issues are firmly on the front-burner. Hot button issues include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our carbon footprint and clean water initiatives.


Energy & Conservation

Alternative energy development has also come center-stage. Funding for home weatherization projects and green building efforts are beginning to make an appearance. Development of new energy resources like solar, wind, and bio-fuels will most certainly be on the promotional forefront.


2010 Census

The 2010 Census is just around the corner and slated to receive stimulus funding. Educating the general public about the role of the census, usage of information and outcomes is essential to encourage full public participation. Getting the public to trust in the mission of the census has been highly promoted in the past. Another potential opportunity would be identifying census workers as they participate in community outreach.


Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure building, maintenance, public transportation projects and shovel-ready community projects will also present opportunities. Promotion on federal, state and local levels demonstrating tax dollars at work is highly likely. The stimulus bill has been likened to New Deal strategies for mass improvements to the country’s infrastructure and job creation. Historically New Deal projects, implemented by the Civilian Conservation Corps, were promoted and highly visible. It would follow that the government agencies would emulate this strategy as these programs get underway.



The way Americans think about and receive healthcare is another front-burner issue. The healthcare industry is looking for ways to respond to changes on a variety of levels. Increasing needs of aging boomers and their parents spur research into new technologies and clinical innovations. Boomers represent one of the largest population groups in the country. The need to develop infrastructure such as hospitals, outpatient care, long-term care and hospice facilities to handle demand will be paramount going forward. Continuing efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle for this population segment also offers opportunities for our industry.



On the opposite side of the coin, decreased funding due to federal, state and local budget cuts creates more demand on private sector efforts to fill the gap. Non-profits are always looking for ways to communicate their mission. Increase in competition over available charitable dollars requires non-profits to stand out even more in this challenging economy.