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Having Fun With Media

Jun 24, 2011

by Brom Hoban, TSSA Director of Communications

When you think of self storage, you don’t usually think of multi-media. After all, storage facilities are fairly basic, right? People rent a space, move their stuff in, and pay until they move out. Yet the technology of our times pervades every aspect of our existence, and self storage is no exception.

And we now have so many different media tools to reach people- it’s great! Take for example the new TSSA website. If you click on the Social Media Links page, you’ll see a live feed from the TSSA Facebook page, showing the latest posts, and members who “like” us.

Click on our “25th Anniversary” link, and you’ll see videos of board directors and members wishing the association a happy anniversary.

Or try the managers training video, which you can access right from our home page. (You need to log in to view it). Great stuff.

But we’re not the only ones using media to get messages across. Take TSSA member Sparefoot.com, a young Austin-based start-up company specializing in a national self-storage locating service that helps both consumers and self-storage owners.

Sparefoot.com recently launched a blog series called Adventures In Storage, designed to familiarize its employees with their product in an entertaining way. The result was a mixed-media “reality series” that documents the start-up’s 18 employees as they experience the process of renting and moving into and out of self-storage units.

Personally, I think this is a great idea, since I’ve always been a big believer that employees should be experts on their products and services.

CEO Chuck Gordon coordinated the nine-week project, in which duos of employees moved a growing pile of possessions from one storage facility to the next around Austin,

They booked units, signed leases, obtained locks and optionally rented trucks to cart the piles of items around town. The idea sprang from Gordon’s realization that most SpareFoot team members had never personally used self-storage, but he wanted them to understand the challenges storage customers face.

Kenny Pratt, who recently spoke at the TSSA Executive Retreat in San Antonio, is also maintains a great self-storage blog, and is a big promoter of social networking. Pratt shares his insights here, and he has a lot of them.

Pratt, who is president of Crescendo Properties, Inc. a real estate investment and development firm based in Sacramento, CA. which manages 14 self-storage properties, began like anyone else, learning as he went along.

“The intimate experience using web tools and promoting on the internet makes me more savvy about what I can do with my self storage website to drive more traffic and rent more units. Figuring out how to use and leverage a blog and other social media channels pays dividends in more rentals and better web presence…” says Pratt.

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