Pawnbroking is a commonly misunderstood industry, and like many others, it has plenty of negative stereotypes. While there’s always plenty of talk about marketing in the pawn industry, there’s relatively little mention of public relations or media tactics and the undeniable connection between media tactics and the legislative process.
Attorney Stephen Buschmann shared, during his keynote at the 2019 Midwest Convention, even one constituent’s viewpoint can lead to sweeping laws that affect your business and the industry as a whole.
As news of possible sweeping legislative changes loom, pawnbrokers may be wondering how they can take action while waiting for events to unfold. The first step, of course, is awareness. As an NPA Industry Partner, we recommend getting involved in and supporting the National Pawnbrokers Association’s Government Relations efforts.
While awaiting news of pending changes to the laws, you can start today by using your own voice in the marketplace to help tell the story of the industry. Start with your own audience–email subscribers, social media followers, website visitors. If the day comes in the future where you’re asking your customers and followers to rally behind your business and contact elected officials, that’s going to be a lot easier if they first understand more about the pawnbroking industry.
Marketing is not limited to promoting your products and services, it must also protect your reputation and the reputation of your industry.
You can take action by sharing content that helps promote understanding of the value that you and other pawnbrokers provide to your customers and the community.
Here are three simple ways that you can start accomplishing this today:
1: SHARE POSITIVE NEWS: There are so many positive things happening in the pawnbroking industry. When you see a fellow pawnbroker hosting a charitable event, serving as a leader in their community, or receiving an accolade, SHARE that news and offer your own congratulations so that your followers can see pawnbrokers in a positive light and will begin associating your store and its leadership as one that is engaged in its industry.
2: GET INVOLVED: Not every pawnbroker can attend the annual legislative conference in Washington DC every year. But there are plenty of opportunities in your own community to meet the people who decide on the laws that impact your business, whether at the local, state, or national level.
A big part of becoming politically aware is showing up. These elected officials regularly host events to meet with their constituents. You can start by simply making the effort to connect with elected officials to introduce yourself as a business owner, employer, taxpayer, and voter. Here are some resources to help you find your lawmakers:
- Click HERE to Find your State Legislators
- Click HERE to Find your US Senators
- Click HERE to Find your members of the US House of Representatives
3: FOCUS ON CUSTOMER EDUCATION: For most of the 55 million US Citizens who don’t have access to traditional banking, pawnbroking is the only non-recourse lending option. Yet, it is often lumped in with other alternative lending products such as payday or title loans. Therefore, pawnbrokers need to consistently communicate their unique position in the marketplace and what sets them apart from other alternative lending models. To help you in this effort, we’ve provided some graphics below.
While it may seem that a post to a social media channel or blog will have little impact federal legislation, doing something is certainly better than nothing and even seemingly small gestures can help educate the public about the importance of the pawnbroking industry.