The North End Welcome Station, NEWS, recently shared some information about their pending operations at 75 Commercial Street. According to Joe Ingram, VP Marketing, NEWS is a separate entity from Boston Gliders that has moved its Segway tours to the corner of Hanover & Commercial Streets. Regarding the “Coming Soon” signs in the window, he says that NEWS is waiting for an amendment to the long form for the property to sell coffee and pre-packaged items.
“Our goal is to promote local North End business in an effective way,” says Ingram. “We want to educate North End visitors on the wide variety of restaurants, boutique shopping, unique markets and tour types that are available to them. I don’t want to only focus on the great products and services that are offered, I also want to promote the business through the interesting stories and characters associated with the business.”
Part of the plan is to sell prepackaged samples from local business so that people can get a taste of what the neighborhood has to offer. Ingram says he is not looking to charge businesses for the promotions.
More information is in a letter, shown below, that is being distributed to area businesses. Pending its zoning application at 75 Commercial St., Ingram expects to move forward shortly.
My name is Joseph Ingram and I am writing this letter to introduce you to NEWS. We started this little venture because we had extra office space after moving our tour facility down the street, and thought a simple, aesthetically pleasing, relaxed environment would be perfect for directing North End visitors towards the many boutique shops, restaurants and tour attractions that fulfill their interests. My aim is to promote North End businesses in the best way possible and do my best to play upon the hundreds of unique people and businesses that make this community so special. Ideally I would like to do this with as little cost to you as possible (if any).
In order to make NEWS a real asset to the community I need your help. With your permission, I would like to collect and organize as much information on your business as possible so that I can accurately and enthusiastically pass this onto our visitors and drive a wave of informed customers towards your business. I don’t just want to make them aware you exist though. I want to give them a taste of what you offer, what you are passionate about and maybe even a rundown of the history of your business if it would help convey a feeling on intimacy.
We are working on a number of different options that can do a lot to help your business. Below is a list of some of the projects we are developing so that we can promote neighborhood businesses in the best possible light.
30 second commercials – I would like to take video of your business, record all that you offer and get a short interview with an owner or manager so viewers can get a true feel for what you do and why you exist. We would run these commercials in our facility. I will be starting with 10 businesses initially so that we can develop a consistent format. I will not be charging for this service so please let me know if you want to take part.
App development and promotion – My friend has developed a great little app that would enable us to create a tailored, incentivized tour for each NEWS visitor.
Sampling – I want to offer visitors a taste of what they can expect from the North End. I would like to sell small samples of what you are most passionate about. We don’t have a lot of room but if it is done well, we can create something with high value for very little cost.
Photography – With what little wall space we have (we have two red brick walls and two full window walls), I would like to have a number of large format pictures of people and places in the North End. This display will constantly change so that we can incorporate as many businesses as possible. I would also like to keep a growing photo album on hand for patrons to peruse.
Walking tours – We will be leading tours out of this facility. Right now we have put together a tavern tour, a pizza tour and a North End/Old West End tour. We will develop more as the ideas roll in so please let us know if you would like to be included on a tour or if you have an idea for one
The options are endless, the intentions are genuine and the value is there. I am new to this neighborhood but after a few short months I have fallen in love with the close-knit community, the businesses and the fascinating stories that are told by the many remarkable people that live here. I know that with good communication, input and ideas from you, we can build something that can only help you build your brand and positively affect your bottom line.
Feel free to stop by NEWS anytime during the week. I can show you our facility and we can chat about plans moving forward. We will also be hosting our first NEWS networking event (in conjunction with N.E.A.W.B.A) on January 5th (6-9pm) so please come by. An invitation accompanies this letter.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Cell – 781-696-5944