Located in South Central Illinois, the city of Effingham lies at the intersection of two major interstates and is considered the “Crossroads of Opportunity.”
Dan and Madonna Patton of Patton Printing & Graphics couldn’t agree more.
In 1982, the Pattons were looking for a building for Madonna’s tailoring business, The Little Thimble.
“We ended up buying a building with an extra room and started our print shop out of there. Our town didn’t have a print shop, and residents would have to drive almost 80 miles away for their printing needs,” Dan explains. “Although Effingham is a small town of 13,000, it’s been a very successful base of business for us, and our printshop quickly outgrew our tailoring business.”
Today, Patton Printing & Graphics offers digital and offset printing, including brochures, banners, promotional products, and more.
They’ve been a community business staple for 40 years, and it’s the 40-year celebration of Patton Printing that caught the eyes of Marketing Ideas For Printers.
Dan and Madonna are not only creative entrepreneurs, but they’re also generous. When you combine creativity, generosity, and a talented team, the results are unforgettable.
“Over the last several years, we’ve gotten involved with the radio, doing radio ads, call-ins, etc.,” Dan explains. “Last year, we sat the staff down and said we wanted to do something to celebrate 40 years being in the business. Sure, we’d do an open house after hours, but we wanted something special, something that would last all year long, keep our name out there, and best of all, give back to the community of Effingham.”
The solution? Patton Printing “booked 40 weeks (every Thursday morning at 8:30 AM) on WXEF radio interview programs and are providing 40 charities the opportunity to come in on the radio and explain all the great things their charity does for the community.”
These charities not only get to be interviewed on the radio and Facebook Live, but they’re also featured in Patton Printing’s newsletter, which goes out to 1,100 businesses. In addition, they receive a donation from Patton Printing.
“We’re calling it ‘Give Back Thursday,’” says Dan, “and it’s our way of giving back to the community for their unbelievable support of Patton Printing & Graphics for 40 years.”
The charities featured as part of the give-back initiative have been given center stage, and they see the results.
Barb Butterson, a Graphic Designer at Patton Printing, says, “One of the charities we had on was The Fallen Outdoors. They take struggling veterans on hunting trips. After their spot on the radio, another company in town that does a golf outing selected The Fallen Outdoors as their charity to receive the proceeds of their event. They were able to raise $15,000 for The Fallen Outdoors. It’s incredible to see these charities benefit simply by the exposure of these radio ads.”
The “Give-Back Thursday” initiative has also had a tremendous impact on the community of Effingham through stories shared on the radio by the charities.
Madonna Patton tells the story of one: “We have a giant 190-foot white cross in Effingham that sits where the two interstates (I-57 and I-70) intersect. We had the Cross Foundation on the radio, and Cristy, the foundation’s director, told the story of a gal that had made a plan to commit suicide, came through Effingham and saw the cross, and changed her mind. That’s just one of many stories told during these radio interviews.”
Lastly, the impact on the team of Patton Printing can’t be overlooked.
Alan Lovell, another Graphic Designer at Patton Printing, says, “Each month, for the newsletter, I’m researching and writing about four different charities. It’s been such a learning and growing experience,” Lovell explains. “I feel very proud of what we’ve done and accomplished. It’s been a lot of work but very rewarding for everybody involved, for all of us.”
Dan adds by saying, “Our intention was always to give back, not to sell printing. Having people stop us on the street and tell us how great it is that we’re doing this is such an amazing reward. But, there’s also been a piece of trust that goes along with all this. It’s helped build trust with the people in our community that we’ll get the job done at a reasonable price, and they don’t have to worry about surprises.”
In closing, Dan offers the following words of encouragement.
“Getting involved in your community is important. It’s tough, but it’s worth it. Get involved in your local Chamber and charities. The more you give, the more you get. That doesn’t always mean monetary. It could be in time or help. The more you help others, the more it’s going to come back to you.”
From all of us at Marketing Ideas For Printers,
“Well done, Patton Printing and team!”
This article originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of NPSOA magazine. For more information on how you can become an NPSOA member and enjoy the many benefits offered there, contact Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to their website at NPSOA.org.