January 2007 / Issue 13

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Marketing/Communications/PR

Maximizing Media Exposure at Global Pet Expo 2007

With Global Pet Expo just a few weeks away, it’s time to get your press kits assembled, your company spokesperson lined up and to make sure to monitor your weekly e-updates for pre-show publicity opportunities! In year’s past, the Show has received national media attention from such prestigious media outlets as HGTV, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. Additionally, reporters from top pet consumer and trade publications have covered the show and provided valuable media exposure for many members, their companies and products.

Getting good exposure for your products at Global Pet Expo is one of the most important benefits of participation. Remember there are some very basic public relations steps you can take to maximize your coverage and perhaps gain valuable media exposure by driving traffic to your booth and raising awareness of your products. APPMA’s public relations experts have compiled a list in the Global Pet Expo Trade Show Marketing Kit online at www.globalpetexpo.org/marketingkit to assist you with your public relations efforts. One important step you can take is to have a presence in the Global Pet Expo Press Office. Every member of the press that attends Global Pet Expo must visit the Press Office to check in, so make it a point to drop off approximately 30-50 press kits before the show gets underway.

The following are some additional tips from the Marketing Kit to get your PR efforts underway:

Plan key message/sound bite

Before assembling press materials, and especially before you begin the process of scheduling media interviews, it is essential to draft a precise, clear message or “soundbite.” Your message should be no longer than 15 seconds when spoken and should be practiced for a smooth presentation in the future. This is your opportunity to mention your company/product name and to deliver important or exciting news about what’s new with your company! It is also a good idea to designate one individual as your spokesperson to ensure consistency. This could be your one shot at exposure, so having a planned message is key!

Begin drafting press release(s) announcing your involvement at The Show
It’s important to keep in mind that writing and distributing a press release doesn’t guarantee that your story will appear in the news. The media’s primary concern when reporting on news is that the stories and information they are presenting will be interesting to their audience. It is also VERY IMPORTANT to remember that you must capture the attention of the person receiving your release the moment they read your headline. Start with the most important information in the lead paragraph, expand on that lead and continue to present details in decreasing order of importance.

It is of the also important to include the following details when drafting a release:

  • Always date your press releases, provide contact names and phone numbers, company name and address
  • Use photos whenever possible and clearly label photo with date, company name, contact name and phone number-consider photos on disc as most media prefer photos electronically
  • When announcing new products be sure to include details such as when it will be available to consumers, why it’s significant in the marketplace, suggested retail price

Begin preparing press kit materials

It is important when assembling your press kit that you do not over-do it as too much information may be overwhelming to the press and may cause them to disregard your materials. Regardless of the format of your press kit, it is most important to be mindful of the kit’s content.

Here are some examples of what you should include in your press kit:

  • Most recent press releases try to keep it limited to fresh information
  • Backgrounder-a simple one-sheet with facts about your company and products
  • Product photo-it is wise to include a photo (on CD if possible) of any products that you are featuring
  • Contact information-include a business card or contact sheet listing name, address, phone, fax, email, web site and company name
  • Make sure your booth number is prominent on your folder/CD case/materials so that the media can locate you easily on the showroom floor

It is important to come to the show prepared with several press kits (25-50) to keep at your booth and most importantly in the press room. Some media might request that you send the kit post-show, so it is a good idea to keep a running list of requests so that they can be easily followed up on after the show.

Once you have your message crafted, a press release written and press kit assembled, it’s time to start contacting the media and laying the groundwork for driving traffic to your booth.

Determining your target audience and developing media lists are perhaps the most important functions in a successful PR program. APPMA’s public relations team compiled a media list especially for you as an APPMA member to use to promote your company and products. This media list provides you an opportunity to take a proactive approach to maximizing your exposure by sending the media a press release either “teasing” your products or enticing them to visit you at The Show. This list can be found in the Global Pet Expo online Trade Show Marketing Kit at http://www.globalpetexpo.org/exhibitor/medialists.asp.

For further assistance with public relations efforts, you will want to check out your exclusive Global Pet Expo Trade Show Marketing Kit. The Trade Show Marketing Kit is now available online and can be accessed exclusively by Global Pet Expo exhibitors at www.globalpetexpo.org/marketingkit.  

Don’t Forget to Monitor Your Weekly e-Updates for Pre-Show Publicity Opportunities

It is also important to monitor your e-updates to be watching for possible pre-show publicity opportunities. Currently, we are compiling new products that will be launched at Global Pet Expo to entice media to attend the show and cover these products. The product descriptions will be sent to dozens of pet reporters, magazines, newspapers and television programs and could provide excellent exposure for your products and company. If you are launching a new product at The Show, please email product descriptions, retail and pricing information and photos to leah@theimpetusagency.com

Here are some additional reminders as we countdown to Global Pet Expo 2007:

Public Relations Checklist and Timeline

January-

  • Continue preparation of press kits, prepare photos for inclusion
  • Designate company spokesperson, practice key message/sound bite
  • Send Show press release to complete press list
  • Contact Orlando press, begin setting up interviews
  • Send postcards to buyers and media inviting them to visit your booth
  • Complete press kit assembly
  • Master the delivery of your soundbite

February- It’s Show Time!

  • Follow up with key media in the beginning of February and set-up interviews
  • Visit the onsite Press Office and deliver your Press kits
  • Post-show follow-up with buyers and media met at GPE 2007

For questions related to Global Pet Expo media relations and public relations opportunities, please contact Julie Rowe at julie@theimpetusagency.com, 775-322-0755 or Jennifer Bilbao at jennifer@appma.org, 203-532-3609.