D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — GARAGEWOWNOW UPDATE: How Good Publicity Happens

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2008
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 64


GARAGEWOWNOW UPDATE
How Good Publicity Happens

On April 11, the Dallas Morning News published a major story titled “Glam Goes the Garage.” Appearing in the Home Improvement section at the start of the spring fix-up season, the story covered more than a full page and included five large full-color photos of the latest upscale garage door designs.

Spreading the Word

Best of all, the article carried our industry’s key messages about the value and good sense of upgrading garage doors. Here are some quotations from the story:

  • “The garage door is the single most dominant design feature on homes with garages that face the front of the home.”
  • “Upgrading the look of that door instantly transforms the look of a house and is the most economical way to improve curb appeal.”
  • “Carriage house designs are popular.”
  • “When shown before-and-after photos of homes that received updated doors, appraisers consistently assign higher values to the updated homes …”·

Our industry’s Web site, www.GarageWowNow.com, is cited in the story. Plus, the article was immediately posted on the newspaper’s Web site, along with the large garage door photos and a link to GarageWowNow.com.

The Story Behind the Story

These stories don’t just drop out of the sky. They are the result of diligent, persistent efforts to get the attention of editors. Here’s how this story happened.

Before the International Builders’ Show in February, our GarageWowNow public relations firm called the real estate editor at the Dallas Morning News. That editor was on the list of the many editors who planned to attend the show. We sent the editor our press kit and let him know that we would also be at the show.

At the show in Orlando, Allen Pfenninger of our PR firm met with the editor who said he was genuinely interested in pursuing a story about the great new garage doors. Shortly after the show, the editor assigned the story to Erin Covert, a freelance writer.

The Birth of a PR Victory

Covert took advantage of all the resources at GarageWowNow.com. She interviewed our editor, Tom Wadsworth, and called Fred Kimbrell, a Dallas-area dealer, for local input. To enhance her story, she also obtained several high quality photos of garage doors, courtesy of GarageWowNow.com.

The huge story finally appeared in the Home Improvement section on Friday, April 11, splashed in front of the paper’s Friday circulation of 373,586.

“I’m proud of this one,” says Allen Pfenninger. “It was a combination of many efforts.”

Translating Publicity Into Purchases

This Dallas story, though it’s certainly a noteworthy victory for our industry’s PR campaign, isn’t the only one. It’s one of many similar articles appearing in newspapers, magazines, and Web sites everywhere this year. This kind of coverage is worth tens of thousands of dollars in free publicity, and it supports our industry’s efforts to encourage homeowners to purchase upscale garage doors.

It’s possible that editors in your area are pursuing similar stories for your local media. For good ideas of talking topics, go to the Design Tips area of GarageWowNow.com.

And if a reader calls about the classy new garage doors … you know what to do.