Guerrilla Marketing for the Coast Guard Auxiliary Using

Here are some simple low cost ways to get EVERYONE in the Coast Guard Auxiliary involved in building the Auxiliary.  District 13 will be implementing in 2011 the goal of making everything the Auxiliary in the Northwest hands out an advertisement for the Auxiliary and the safety services they do.

Everything you need to get start marketing is here.  There is an online narrated PowerPoint Presentation, the PowerPoint file so Guerrilla Marketing can be presented to Auxiliary groups such as District, Division and Flotilla meetings.  The PDF files for the labels, posters and cards are below.

This is a living document so check back for changes, I expect to make additions as we receive feedback from other areas on what can be done to help them.

The District 13 Boating Classes section now has a Contact Form for each state’s class listings that allows someone looking for a class but can’t find a class to send an email to District 13 for more information.

Guerrilla Marketing PowerPoint (PPT)

Guerrilla Marketing 4UP for printing (PDF)

Update for GNATS April, 2011 Oak Harbor, WA

The draft of the presentation I am scheduled to give is below, two slides have been added showing new placement of labeling.

Draft – Guerrilla-Marketing-2011 – (PPT)

Draft – Guerrilla-Marketing-2011 (4 UP PDF)




Put the labels on EVERYTHING you hand out.

When applying labels, DON’T do it one label at a time, set out 5 or 10 piles of things you are putting labels on and put a label on each one before collecting all of them and repeat, goes much faster.  Another trick is to take what you want to stick labels on to the Flotilla and give each Flotilla member a packet of 50 or 100 items to put a label on and in a few minutes hundreds of labels have been applied.  Set up a line of pamphlets to apply labels to along a table and have one person stick labels on and a second person to take care of the pamphlets, picking them up off the stack after they have a label on them so the label sticker always has a place to stick a label on.

The labels are 1 x 2 5/8 inch in size, they are the standard Avery 5160 or equivalent white laser mailing labels,  30 labels per sheet.

District 13 is working on providing a source for Flotillas to buy the labels pre-printed from an Auxiliary friendly printer, that should save the Flotillas some money and make it much easier than printing the labels themselves.  The cost for labels is in the $ 0.01 for each label, I have bought a box of 100 sheets or 3,000 labels at large office supply stores for less than $ 30—tax included.  Contact us for more information.

Take-a-Class-auxnorthwest-Label-5160 (PDF)

Large Take a Class Label (PDF) – Text is about 5 inches wide, Print on heavy paper and cut out for use on Literature Holders and at Boat Shows.  Scale size to fit, prints 4 per sheet.



There are several different posters.  Each state has at least one poster.  Flotilla locations are listed on the posters.   Many of the posters have an open space to add area specific information by two pass printing.  See the descriptions below.

These posters can be used year around to raise the profile of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The posters will size from 4 x 6 inches up to about 36 x 48 inches so you can print them the size that is needed.  The posters are printed to Adobe using “Press Quality” settings to drive a commercial press.  The posters were rebuilt from scratch and new graphics to provide sufficient quality to a commercial printing process.

The posters can be customized to your area, please contact captnmike or the webmaster for more information on how you can get custom PDF files.

Boat Show Poster – A (PDF) – Take a Safe Boating Class in the Pacific Northwest – //

Idaho – A (PDF)

Montana – A (PDF)

Oregon – A (PDF)

Washington – East – A

Washington – Northwest – A (PDF)

Washington – Southwest – A (PDF)

Washington – West (Puget Sound) PDF

District 13 Division 11 – A (PDF)

District 13 Division 11 – B (PDF)

Business Cards


Carpet bomb your area with ‘”Take a Safe Boating Class” cards, pass out 1,000’s of cards.  There are several variations of the cards.  They all have the URL that goes to the District 13 web site.  The cards are great to hand out at boat shows, boat launch ramps and anyplace you are meeting a mobile public.  Remember Northwest boaters are highly mobile so information links need to travel well from Seattle to Montana and Coos Bay Oregon.  The PDF files are “Press Quality” with high resolution to drive commercial presses

The files with “Borders” have thin black lines so they can be printed on heavy stock and cut apart by hand which will save some money over using Micro-Perf business card stock.

Take a Class Card – No State

Take a Class Card – No State – Borders

Take a Class Card – Oregon

Take a Class Card – Oregon – Borders

Take a Class Card – Oregon and Washington

Take a Class Card – Oregon and Washington – Borders

Take a Class Card – Washington

Take a Class Card – Washington – Borders

Important Seattle Area Boating Information


This contains Seattle area information such as speed limits, anchorage limits, Lake Union Test area, no wake zones and more information to help a boater not get a ticket and be a safer boater.  Double sided letter sized.

For those outside of Seattle make a similar sheet for your own area.  Give boaters something they will want to hang onto, remember to have the link to the District 13 web site, remember we want people to see an easy to remember  URL.

Important Seattle Area Boating Information – (PDF)

Important Seattle Area Boating Information – Web page

Contact captnmike or the webmaster


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13 Responses to Guerrilla Marketing for the Coast Guard Auxiliary Using

  1. Jennifer Zechenelly says:

    This information and created work is great! You have many things done that I was thinking about doing. Is it okay to use these outlines and place my own Flotilla’s information in? I just want to double check before using any of the work already created.

    • captnmike says:

      Yes you can use it and change it a bit – I have sent you an email on this as well as a request for a bit of help from you to help spread some good practices.

      Thanks for helping with Boating Safety

  2. Pingback: Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for the Coast Guard Auxiliary – Pt 2 | Boating Safety Tips, Tricks & Thoughts from Captnmike

  3. Wayne Bean says:

    Excellent ideas to promote USCG-AUX

    • captnmike says:

      Glad you liked the ideas – thanks for helping with boating safety

      Please give the labels and some of the other ideas a try in your area and let me know how they work.

  4. Jimmy says:

    I’m up in Massachusetts and I’d like to use your ideas. Any thoughts on how to market in my neck of the woods?

    • captnmike says:

      I think that most of the ideas would work in your area, you have marinas, boating supply stores and such – the only difference is that I think things freeze up in your area so the boats need to come out of the water for storage – most of the boats out here are in the water year around or on trailers year around – target the storage areas when people start to take boats out of the water – “Take a class this winter and be ready for the spring”

      In the spring – target the storage places again – “How about a Vessel Safety Check to make sure you meet State & Federal Requirements” – get the folks when they take the boat out of storage – maybe put some literature in a Ziploc bag and give them to boat owners or leave on the boat

      Good luck – part of the battle is just get the name out – if any companies are doing any kind of health or safety event – get a booth at the event –

      • Jimmy says:

        Thank you. I’d like to use your ideas to get college students to join my flotilla. Any thoughts on adapting your ideas to a college campus?

      • captnmike says:

        The Division & Flotilla both have Facebook pages, we have a person that likes Facebook and they take care of the sites for us.

        If the schools have some sort of an event for groups, typically during registration – DON’T tell them you are looking for members (I would not anyway) – but you want to raise awareness of boating safety – you should get some interest in classes and a few leads for new members.

        The Coast Guard has some sort of College outreach program but I can’t remember the name – try asking the Coast Guard and contacting some recruiters.

        One of our people used to work at a University and they were able to get our marketing efforts into I think a business / marketing class of some sort and some students did a marketing study of the Aux. and made some recommendations. Sorry I can’t find the copy of the report. But worth looking around,the right professors are always looking for new challenges to give their students, not sure how to find the right professors, but worth a bit of checking

        Hope this helps a bit –

      • captnmike says:

        The college program the CGAUX has is called Auxiliary University Program (AUP)

  5. Jimmy says:

    How would you layout the information on a business card? I can envision plastering my local college’s with cards, but not using the same card for boat owners.

    The idea’s I am getting from your site is great!

    • captnmike says:

      You can find some sample business cards about half way down the page below

      The Aux sells some business cards through their store, ( – but they are in lots of 250. If you make a good file and go to a printer and order a larger quantity, should be able to get 2,500 cards for less than $ 100.- if my memory is correct (I just used the online store from Office Max when I did the cards for my web site ) but there are many places that do cards.

      For the Text – I use two lines “Get a Free Vessel Safety Check” & “Take a Boating Safety Class” – not sure how to get the attention of college students – someone at national would probably get upset at “free beer & pizza” or “discount on your first beer & pizza” 🙂

      Found a card template on National some time back – but it was low quality & that is why I found the graphics and made my own cards.

      We are starting a review what we are doing process & the cards and making sure we have lots of them at our public events to hand out to visitors.

      I have found out that not everyone wants to give a name & contact info to someone. I have found out that being able to hand someone a business card with more info hand written on the back works very well

      We are erratic at getting stickers on all the handouts – so thus my push to get cards for our public events

    • captnmike says:

      Some flotillas have also worked with Scouts & Sea Scouts. Sometimes a real official program, other times just doing some sort of hands on demos (knots was usually what was done – other times it was a short talk on life-jackets)

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