We’ve made it to the final stretch for the American International Toy Fair. If you’re anything like us at Virtual Press Office, the last few days leading up to an event become a blur of last minute to-dos.
So- you’ve secured your online press kit and release distribution through the Toy Fair Virtual Press Office? That’s great! But before you move down your list, let’s take a few minutes to fine-tune. Below are some tips from VPO to help you tidy up all the content for Toy Fair you’ve been working to create these past few months.
Do The Research For The Media
Journalists love the free candy you have waiting for them. But want to know what they really appreciate? When you package up everything they could possibly need to cover your story in one space. Be sure your press kit includes:
- Your booth number
- Your current logo
- A phone number and email where you can be reached during the show
- Your calendar of events during the show. Do you have a press conference? Celebrity appearance? Panel discussion? Happy hour? Let them know.
- Links to all of your social network channels
- Product shots
- Company bios
The Best Time To Send Your News Release
We get this question a lot, especially because Toy Fair falls on a Sunday. Don’t shy away from sending news for Toy Fair over the weekend. The media are tuned-in and looking for updates. In 2013 the majority of the news issued through VPO for Toy Fair was sent on Sunday- day one of the show. And if you’re sending during the week, the general rule of thumb for any release is to avoid the open and close of the financial market.
Second Guess Your Headline
Does your headline sound something like “XYZ Company announces new line of products at 2014 Toy Fair?” Yawn. You are at Toy Fair because you have an exciting story to share, right? Draw in your reader. During a recent PR Newswire media panel discussion, contributing journalists challenged the PR industry to change the format of the traditional press release. Break the rules. Make your headline short, snappy, include a hook, and get your reader excited. Check out this headline from Whole Foods:
This Whole Foods story ended up as a cover story on Time Magazine.
Break out of that boring template and tell your story!
Multimedia Increases Engagement
Toy Fair is one of the most visual trade show events. What images, graphics and videos do you have that will help tell your story? Press releases that include multimedia get more views- up to 9.7 times more views than releases that do not include multimedia.
The most viewed news release from the VPO Toy Fair in 2013 came from Saban Brands- this release announcing the Power Rangers 20th Anniversary addition of Monopoly. Saban included a multimedia gallery that featured product shots and a logo. The result? They led the pack in release engagements, online views, media views and search views. PR Newswire’s multimedia capabilities are now more affordable and easier than ever to utilize.
Keep your online buzz going during the show. The Toy Fair hashtags are #TF14 and #TFNY. Be sure to have someone updating your social media throughout the day, and be conversational. Follow the bloggers and influencers that most interest you at Toy Fair, and chime into their online conversations that pertain to your brand.
Look At The Big Picture
Take a step back and look at how your product has affected or changed the market. Have you set a new standard for outdoor play at Toy Fair this year? Write a follow-up release from a feature writer’s perspective- maybe a release listing 10 activities for families who want to spend more quality time outside. Then add a quote from your CEO, link your Youtube video, and product image. Don’t wait for the media to tell an incredible story- be your own storyteller!
For more ideas visit the Toy Fair PR Boot Camp page. Now go get a manicure- you’ve got lots of firm hand shakes in your near future.
Author Lisa Kopec-Miller is a member of the Virtual Press Office staff.