There are countless news stories that portray pawnshops in a negative way. A recent article in one of the nation’s largest newspapers, however, highlighted the positive side of pawn. And it all began at the dentist’s office.
“The article featuring my store and myself in the Chicago Tribune and Post-Tribune happened because people liked me!” says Christine King.
“My dental hygienist loves to hear my stories. Honestly, my visits to the dentist tend to take twice as long as they normally would because she and I enjoy talking about pawn so much.”
“One day, she decided to send her significant other into my shop to meet me and have an heirloom diamond appraised. He happens to be a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Post-Tribune. He enjoyed speaking to me as well and was inspired to write an article on the spot. It was on the front page within two days.”
The lesson here? According to King, it’s “Be the light! To shine a positive light on the pawn industry, you must, quite literally, be the light!”
She says that she had no idea that so many people still read the paper beyond the online article. Countless people have told her that they’d never thought about pawnshops in the way that she portrayed them.
When asked about ways that Pawn Leaders can prepare for media coverage, her advice is simple:
“Self promote!! Say every single thing you ever wanted a large group of people to know about our industry! About a third of everything that I actually said ended up in the article, so make every sentence count!”
“A good portion of the questions that I was asked were geared toward the common misconceptions the public has about our industry. I used them as an opportunity to showcase what amazing services we offer to our communities,” she adds.
“I am endlessly proud of my company and what we do, and I’ll tell anyone who will listen! Really, the best advice I can think of, is don’t wait for the opportunity to be in the news to speak loudly and proudly about being a pawnbroker. There are ways to work the positive things we do into many conversations, and word of mouth is still the best form of advertisement there is!”
Christine King is Ameripawn’s Chief Operating Officer. Ameripawn was founded in 1986 by Greg Engstrom, and he is present daily in one or all of his beloved stores in Valparaiso, Lake Station, and La Porte, Indiana. They operate a full-service jewelry and coin store out of each location and have a bench jeweler on staff.
Her passion is jewelry—in fact, her office is set up in the jewelry department of one of their shops. She has lived in or visited all but six states and focuses now on international travel, which she enjoys with her husband and 18-year-old son.