Monday, December 10, 2018

The Power of Face Time

I recently returned from Des Moines, Iowa, where I traveled to represent our client Trex Company as part of a “speed-pitching” event held at Meredith Corporation (whom you may be familiar with for publishing magazines like Better Homes & Gardens and Traditional Home). With some great Trex outdoor living products in the cue for 2019, we saw this as a timely opportunity to get these new offerings in front of influential long-lead editors while they are in the midst of planning their spring/summer issues.

A Decked Out Booth
To capture the attention of attending editors, we decked out (pun intended) a visually compelling Trex display, creating a product playground where editors could interact with samples and view stunning photography of Trex products in actual outdoor living settings. Trex even provided us with branded Bluetooth speakers to give to each editor – what better way to enhance your outdoor living experience than by cranking up your favorite tunes?

Building Products and Building Relationships
In an increasingly digital world where people spend the majority of their days looking at screens and interacting with others primarily by email, PR continues to be a business of relationships that require nurturing both on and offline. These personal connections are key and often open doors to opportunities that might otherwise get lost in an overflowing inbox.

Live and In-Person
The face-to-face interaction afforded by this event not only gave us the perfect environment for showcasing the new Trex products, but also enabled us to connect with many editor friends with whom we have worked for decades, and put faces to some of the newer names on the Meredith team. This opportunity to truly engage with editors led to highly productive and valuable discussions about their likes, dislikes, favorite projects and plans for 2019.

Solving Individual Problems
As tends to happen in these settings, things also got personal. For example, one editor shared her disappointment with how her wooden deck at home scratched so easily. This provided an ideal opportunity for us to highlight how a Trex composite deck would be able to solve that problem thanks to its high-performance, scratch resistant shell. We even got the editors of Wood Magazine thinking about the benefits of composite!

These personal conversations effectively brought Trex top-of-mind and fostered interest in their new product offerings. Just as important, they allowed us to reinforce, and in some cases create, lasting relationships with media that we will continue to cultivate throughout the coming years. 

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