D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — IDA and DASMA Launch National PR Campaign

© 2007 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2007
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 54


IDA and DASMA Launch National PR Campaign

Get ready to sell more upscale garage doors.

This spring, the garage door industry is launching a national campaign to build consumer excitement about the new styles of garage doors now available. The campaign, jointly funded by the industry’s manufacturer (DASMA) and dealer (IDA) associations, will use public relations strategies to disseminate key industry messages.

“More homeowners, architects, and builders recognize how today’s garage door can dramatically affect curb appeal and home value,” said Allen Pfenninger of Cleveland-based Edward Howard & Co., the public relations firm that has been hired to conduct the campaign. “We will accelerate that awareness so that homeowners will replace and upgrade their doors, not because of need, but because of style and value.”

A central component of the campaign is a new Web site, GarageWowNow.com, scheduled to open by Expo 2007 in April. The site, mentioned in articles distributed to key magazines and newspapers, will promote the “wow” factor of today’s residential garage doors and openers.

Key Messages
The campaign has identified several key messages and articles to submit to a targeted list of magazines and newspapers. The messages include:

· Manufacturers have recently introduced appealing new styles that represent a dramatic design improvement from the standard steel raised-panel garage door that has dominated the industry for 25 years.
· An attractive garage door, often comprising 30 percent of the front of the home, can significantly add to the curb appeal of the home.
· Most Americans now use their garage door as the main point of entry to the home, making the garage door “The New Front Door for the American Home.”
· The garage door is a home’s major line of defense against high winds. Stronger garage doors can have a significant effect on protecting homes from many strong winds.

PR vs. Advertising
Instead of spending huge amounts on a national advertising campaign, the strategy seeks to maximize its investment by influencing editors to run stories with our key messages.

“Editors are always interested in new trends and shifting attitudes,” added Pfenninger. “Right now, the garage door industry has a lot to talk about.”

Gale Steves, former editor-in-chief of Home magazine, will serve as a spokesperson for the campaign. In her 10 years at the helm of a magazine with 1,000,000 readers, Steves built a reputation as an expert on home trends. She will lead a press tour that personally visits the editors of key home and remodeling publications.

Kickoff at Expo
At Expo 2007 in Orlando, a brief presentation will kick off the campaign during the opening session on Thursday morning, April 12. A special seminar on Wednesday, April 11, will explain the details of the program.

“IDA and DASMA have both committed to the program for a full year, but we believe it will be most effective as a multi-year strategy,” said Dan Nixa of Chamberlain, who is serving as chair of the joint DASMA/IDA committee overseeing the project.

“We want to change homeowner attitudes about our products,” added Mark Stuenkel, IDA president. “That won’t happen overnight, but working as a united industry, we can begin to effect a change that benefits all of us.”