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Stop and smell the roses.

Institution: Camden National Bank, Camden, Maine

Assets: $800 million; 12 locations

This heartfelt public relations program was developed by the bank itself, without an agency, to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. "We wanted to give each person a means to demonstrate appreciation for what is truly important in life: valued relationships with family, friends and neighbors," says Carol Achterhof, the bank's vice president of marketing.

The commemoration worked like this: Each bank employee presented each person encountered that day (whether in the bank, with friends or family, or out on the street) with two white roses and a note that read: "Let's take the time to stop and smell the roses. We encourage you to offer the second rose, in the same spirit, to a friend, family member ... or even a stranger."

The program was kicked off in-house through internal communications, the distribution of an implementation guide and delivery of fresh roses to each branch on the evening before (or the day of) the activity.

For other banks considering a similar commemorations, Achterhof says, "I guess our most important piece of advice is not to be tempted to write press releases or place ads 'to get credit' for an activity like this."
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Title Annotation:Public Relations
Publication:ABA Bank Marketing
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Previous Article:100th anniversary.
Next Article:Just another day at the office.

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