$250K in Free Marketing Services Up for Grabs

Minneapolis marketing agency Echo Creative will give away $250,000 in marketing services to a local small business-and it plans to make the giveaway an annual initiative.

Local marketing agency Echo Creative is looking to help one small business compete with the big guns by giving it integrated marketing services valued at $250,000.

Under the new initiative-called “My City Is Cool!”-Echo Creative will provide $250,000 in marketing services to one local small business each year. The agency said that the purpose of the pro-bono program is to “help local small businesses look, feel, and produce like big businesses through better marketing.”

The lucky business that snags the prize will receive the following free services: branding, environmental design, photography, print design, Web-based design and development, and advertising.

There's no specific criteria outlining which types of companies can apply for the money, but Chris Peterson, owner and CEO of Echo Creative, said that the winner will need to have capital available to invest in its marketing efforts.

Echo Creative started accepting applications in May and will continue accepting applications through the end of the year. The winner of the free services will be chosen in January 2012. Click here to apply.

“As we all know, small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Echo Creative said on its Web site. “The more successful our small businesses are, the more successful we all are.”

Echo Creative isn't the only local agency giving away free media. Minneapolis-based ad agency Mono last month issued a request for proposals to find a client for which it will develop a campaign-and give $125,000 in free media.

Mono recently received that same amount when it won the “Small Agency of the Year” title from the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Proposals for the ad dollars are due Friday, June 3, and the winner's campaign will run from July through December.