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Kim Jefferson

BLASTmedia Represents Clients at Outdoor Retailer

By | Client Successes | No Comments

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One of our favorite jobs as PR representatives for our clients–working trade shows along side them! Trade shows give us a chance to hob nob with the key media in our client’s given industry, learn the ins and outs of new product lines from the clients and sales reps themselves, and sometimes even scope out competitors (Shhh!). From the Consumer Electronics Show to MacWorld to SnowSports Industries, we represent our clients at trade shows across the country.

Most recently, two talented ladies from our consumer media relations team represented some of our more adventurous clients at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show in Salt Lake City.

Coghlan’s, maker of outdoor essentials and one of BLASTmedia’s most long-term clients, showcased its 2014 line of products at the show. The company asked PR rep Molly Noonan to set up and execute meetings with key media at the show, and the response has been fantastic!

Etón, beloved BLASTmedia client and creator of high-performance, eco-minded consumer products, debuted three new products at this year’s OR: new Boost 4200, Boost 8400 and BoostTurbine 4000 for on-the-go portable power to mobile devices.

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Kiersten Moffatt, one of BLAST’s key accounts managers, also represented Pelican Products at the show. The maker of virtually in-destructive cases showed both their ProGear Elite Coolers, heavy-duty coolers with maximum ice-retention and the Vault case for the iPad Mini.

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Are you attending a trade show for which you need PR support? If you’d like one of our media-savvy PR reps to work as an extension of your brand at a show, please contact us!

 

Earning Media Coverage for Consumer Services

By | Industry Perspective | No Comments

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At BLASTmedia, our clients hail from industries ranging from consumer tech, to fashion, to cloud computing, to home and garden. When we started working with brands to solve their marketing problems six years ago, our client base was mostly consumer technology products, and those are the companies we call our “bread and butter.” As we’ve grown to represent companies in hundreds of categories, we’ve adapted our approach to best serve the brand, its goals, and needs.

One key component in a brand’s overall marketing strategy is media relations. For consumer products, we have the formula down pat: get product samples and news in the hands of national media editors to garner coverage and hands-on reviews. This approach works perfectly for our clients’ products, which range from emergency radios to camping gear. But what happens when our client’s goal is not to sell a physical product? Earning media coverage for a consumer service, such as a deals website, e-commerce platform, or a mobile phone service takes a different formula and a lot of creativity.

Successful media relations campaigns raise awareness, support sales teams, and drive conversions, depending on a brand’s goals. For a consumer service, media relations goals might be website traffic, SEO value, or driving sign-ups and downloads. Below are some tactics we’ve seen success with for our service-oriented clients:

Thought leadership

Our greatest resource for media relations is our clients themselves. Leaders at our clients’ companies have insights into their respective industries that we can mine for story ideas, quotes, bylined articles and industry news. Bylined articles can be as simple as “Tips for Finding Your Most Energy-efficient Appliance” or as in-depth as “Leveraging Marketing Automation for Your Small Business.” We offer these ready-to-run pieces up to fitting media, and facilitate the coverage, amplifying a client’s credibility with expertise in their field. Bylined article posts on major media also create quality backlinks to clients’ websites, creating real SEO value.

Announcements

New product offerings, successful funding rounds, an award earned, and partnerships secured are all perfect opportunities for a company announcement. By issuing a press release and making targeting media outreach, our clients can get news posts on national media, secure interviews with fitting writers and get on the radar of industry experts. Even if a company doesn’t have a newsworthy update, we can piggyback on another brands’ announcement. For example, for electronics trade-in site NextWorth, we frequently reactively pitch new Apple device announcements, suggesting NextWorth as a trade-in option and its leadership as experts in the trade-in space.

 Trend pitching

Working our consumer service clients into trending news stories is a key component of a successful campaign. Staying up to date on current industry trends in our clients’ spaces ensures we’re ahead of the curve. For example, for our mobile phone service client Solavei, we frequently pitch wireless industry writers on the prepaid phone trend sweeping the industry, garnering coverage in Engadget, USA Today, and CNET.

Do you have marketing problems that could be solved with media relations, social media, or online paid media? Contact us to learn more about BLASTmedia’s services.

Tradeshow Tips: Earning Exposure at International CES 2013

By | Industry Perspective | One Comment

Though it seems like our planes only just touched down from the Vegas whirlwind that was CES 2012, we’re already hard at work gearing up for the 2013 show. The International Consumer Electronics Show might not open its doors until January 8, 2013, but electronics startups, big brands, and their PR reps have been gearing up for the tradeshow since the show floor last closed.

Since so many consumer electronics brands will be represented at the show, standing out in the CES crowd takes prior planning, ingenuity, and hard work. As public relations representatives for our clients, the B2C PR and social media account executives at BLASTmedia work for the months leading up to CES to make media appointments, develop giveaways and promotion plans, and work as an extension of our clients’ brands to help them gain exposure at the biggest CE tradeshow of the year.

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Leading up to CES, press appointments must be made, Twitter contests must be planned, and product giveaways must be lined up. To get you started, we’ve put together a few basic tradeshow tips to get you noticed at CES 2013.

Press Outreach

  1. Sort press list. By December 1 at the latest, exhibitors should have the pre-registered press attendee list in hand. Thousands of qualified press who registered for CES make up the list, with contact information for each. Sort and whittle-down that list for outlets and writers who would be interested in your product or service at the show, and start pitching!
  2. Pitch, pitch, pitch. Make sure to keep subject lines catchy and email bodies short because writers, editors, and producers will be receiving thousands of emails every week until January. Also, develop your brand’s press kit with pertinent information to hand out at the show.
  3. Make meetings. The pitch’s call-to-action should be asking the press member to set a specific time for a meeting, but some press (especially top-tier) don’t like to schedule times, but agree to stop by the booth instead. The main objective of pitching the press ahead of time is to make them aware of your brand and location at the show, so any positive response from their inundated inboxes is a win!

Product Giveaways

  1. Coordinate giveaways. Setting up product giveaways can help your brand stand out at the show and drive traffic to your booth. Whether it’s a big prize like an iPad, a product sample from your brand’s line, or a discount code handout, show-goers love free stuff.
  2. Offer press samples. Reserving product samples for review can also be a tool in getting press to make a firm meeting.
  3. Generate leads. Also, having attendees, buyers, and press add their business cards to a bowl or using the CES provided contact swipe cards to enter a giveaway can be a great lead generator at the show.
Social Media Management
  1. Pre-event promotion. Spread the word that you’ll be attending the show on all social platforms. Make Twitter lists of people you’d like to meet with or event enthusiasts and converse with other attendees. Now is also the time to come up with an experiential marketing stunt, contest, or promotion to lure people over to the booth.
  2. Establish an Internet hotspot. Not only is the foot traffic overwhelming at CES, but so is the Internet bandwidth. Prepare ahead of time by purchasing a device (like this Samsung 4G Mobile Hotspot) that allows you to update your social channels, business as usual.
  3. Tap into the hash tag. Like most consumer-driven events, CES will have a hash tag used for on-site booth promotion and special offers. Be sure to know what it is (or use a variation of it) so you can get in front of potential buyers and media.
  4. Have a backup plan. Service not working from the show floor? Be sure to have some Twitter content scheduled in advance of the show so the account doesn’t appear dormant throughout the busiest times of the day.

If you’re looking to gain brand exposure at CES or other tradeshows, contact Lindsey Groepper to start a conversation about how BLASTmedia can join your team.

 

Out-of-the-ordinary Consumer Client Coverage

By | Client Successes | No Comments

As the public relations arm for our clients, we have to be flexible, knowledgeable, and above all, creative. The same consumer product or service can appeal to any number of audiences from travel to business to women’s interests, and it’s our job as media liaisons to fit our clients into those stories.

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An inspired pitch angle and the right contacts can earn media placements that blow away expectations. Check out some of BLASTmedia’s more unexpected media hits below:

Safety Radio on Marie Claire

BLASTmedia client Etón leads the market in green-powered consumer products, making safety radios and music accessories. A fashion-focused pitch and a contact at a leading women’s magazine landed the Etón FRX 1 Radio on MarieClaire.com (and the bright purple color didn’t hurt either!).

Camping accessory on Bon Appétite 

Long-time BLASTmedia client Coghlan’s has been making camping essentials for 40 years, but being featured on one of America’s most popular food and entertainment magazine’s site was an out-of-the-ordinary media hit. The outdoor corn popper was a surprisingly good fit for the Bon Appétite’s online gift guide.

 Wearable Sleeping Bag on GLAMOUR and ELLE

Outdoor enthusiasts love the BLASTmedia client Selk’bag, a wearable sleeping bag that moves with you, but what about slaves to fashion? Editors at both top fashion mags GLAMOUR and ELLE just had to let their readers know about the beautifully puffy Selk’bag.

Coupon site survey on Men’s Health

CouponCodes4u.com, the top coupon site in the US, hired BLASTmedia to gain online media exposure for their consumer surveys, earning quality links back to the site. Some of the surveys are rather unorthodox, with results ranging from celebrity gossip to shopping tips to the most recent – an iPhone 5 survey surrounding what men are willing to give up for the new device. Men’s Health found the results interesting and controversial enough to feature, becoming the most popular post on the site for the week.

Members of the media love new and innovative story angles – they make PR pitches less boring and reporters’ jobs easier. However, creative angles can take a turn for the irrelevant if the product is completely not a fit. If you have a consumer product that you’d like to see in the pages of a major magazine or in print, contact Lindsey Groepper at BLASTmedia.

Fashion PR in an Online World

By | Industry Perspective | No Comments

I see you think [fashion] has nothing to do with you. You select that lumpy blue sweater from your closet because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.

–  Miranda Priestly, Devil Wears Prada

Devil Wears Prada, Fashion PR
Famed fashion publications like VOGUE, ELLE, GLAMOUR and GQ set the standard for what’s considered on-trend in any given season. As PR pros, it’s our job to find inroads with editors at these magazines to get our clients featured alongside the Christian Louboutins and Louis Vuittons of the industry.

Gone are the days of only household-named, Fashion Week-represented brands in the pages and blogs that influence the masses—online communication, and a resulting shrunken globe, has opened up the field for up-and-coming brands to get recognition. Consumers no longer want only the same big brands they see on every billboard—and consumer press are following suit by offering fresh looks and ideas.

As consumer PR reps, we can take advantage of this new demand in several ways—many of which can be achieved from behind a Macbook, anywhere in the world.

Here are five methods PR professionals can utilize for fashion brand exposure:

Lookbooks

On of the easiest ways to get your brand in front of decision-making market editors is with an eye-catching lookbook. Lifestyle photography and crisp product shots show quality and fit. Whether sent to editors digitally through email or mailed to their office in hardcopy, lookbooks get their eyes on your brand.

Creative Angles

Just as with any press, fashion editors need to be intrigued with an inventive story angle. Spring Break fashion, winter travel, blingy accessories—don’t just pitch your product, pitch a feature idea. Even if your client isn’t a fashion brand, a creative angle can get your less-than-sexy emergency radio featured on Marie Claire or your wearable sleeping bag featured on GLAMOUR. Yes, those are actual BLASTmedia clients, Etón and Selk’bag.

Stylist outreach

If you want to see your brand on the pages of Life & Style or OK! Weekly, it better be on a celebrity. And the only way to a celebrity’s style is through her stylist. Shipping lookbooks and product samples to major styling houses can get your hat on the head of Channing Tatum or watch on the arm of Ice T. It’s worked for us!

Gift Guides

Most major magazines feature some version of a holiday gift guide in their November/December issues, and are always looking for ways to freshen them up with new content and brands. Real Simple, in fact, specifically calls for products that have not had press elsewhere, so new brands are sure to draw attention.

Press Tours

Although online and phone conversations make up the meat of today’s media relations, sometimes you have to step out from behind your coffee-speckled keyboard and get out into the world. For fashion brands, setting up one or two days of desk-side meetings with major press in New York City can get the bulk of your collection in front of major contributors.

All of these tactics require finesse, expertise and acute fashion sense, so they should only be carried out by trained professionals. At BLASTmedia, we just so happen to be experts in tech, lifestyle and fashion public relations and social media. So, if you’re looking to increase your brand recognition, online presence and general style status, get in contact with Julie Zaitz.

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