Sestercentennial excitement stimulated a group of volunteer community-minded citizens to build on the momentum. They started a non-profit 501 c-3 organization called The Myerstown Vitality Partnership in 2019. The MVP Board focuses on revitalizing their hometown, attracting and helping local businesses with tax breaks and other initiatives.

MVP’s first task – communicate their existence and educate the marketplace as to who they are, what they are trying to do, and to rally support for the mission, and gain financial and volunteer support in the process. Nice idea with one budget.


So, a concept was born, and presented to Doug Fabian, general manager of the Merchandiser, a local free newspaper distributed to every home in the greater Myerstown area. It came to life as the monthly “MVP News” column, exclusive to the Merchandiser. For no cost to MVP, the half-page column keeps local readers up to date on the progress of the Myerstown Vitality Partnership. It is also a sales tool for the Merchandiser. The rest of the page features supportive local advertising. The column content has helped stimulate positive feedback and has generated community volunteers and business donations to the cause.

We are pleased that the column has been recognized as part of the 2022 Central Penn Business Journal Nonprofit Innovation Awards. MVP is an honoree under the category “Brand Identity/Unique Marketing Campaign.” I work closely with MVP Chair Steve Goodhue to determine content for the monthly column.

The marketing lesson – there is always a way to bring an idea to life when you team up with a non-competing partner who targets the same audience. RIP Doug Fabian, an innovative thinker, and a good friend, who shares in this recognition. 

View previous monthly morsels on our Free Marketing Advice page.