D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — GarageWowNow Makes The New York Times

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2008
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 50


GarageWowNow Makes The New York Times
Traffic Spikes to Industry Web Site

In August, the industry’s GarageWowNow national public relations program successfully delivered its message to hundreds of newspapers. One of those newspapers was a big one.

On Aug. 21, the renowned New York Times ran a full column titled “Garage Doors for All Seasons” by Jay Romano, an editor at the paper. Romano had received the GarageWowNow press kit and cited www.GarageWowNow.com in the story.

Carrying the Message

The 550-word article begins, “It’s easy to forget the garage doors — how they open, how they look, even how much heat they let out of the house.” Quoting a few garage door dealers, the piece focused on the energy-saving aspect of today’s garage doors and the benefits of garage door openers.

In the section on openers, Romano writes, “Opening and closing the garage door is not always as simple as it sounds. For a few hundred dollars, an automatic opener can be installed.”

Spiking Traffic to GarageWowNow.com

Why is this one story significant?

The New York Times print circulation is 1,077,000, and its Web site is the most-viewed newspaper Web site in the nation.

The same story was also posted on the newspaper’s Web site, offering a direct link to GarageWowNow.com. The link caused a major spike in traffic to our Web site, as 1,177 visited GarageWowNow.com on Aug. 21 alone. The site typically attracts 1,750 visitors in an entire month.

Not Just Browsing

Of those 1,177 visitors on Aug. 21, 405 of them went to our Find a Dealer page. In a typical month, that page gets about 450 visitors. When visitors navigate to the Find a Dealer page, they are much more likely to be interested in buying our products.

“It looks like people read The New York Times,” quipped Allen Pfenninger of Edward Howard, the PR agency handling the GarageWowNow program.

Promoting Fall Fix Ups

Also in August, GarageWowNow distributed a “fall fix up” story to editors throughout North America. The timely story titled “A Great Fall Fix Up Starts With Your Garage Door” quickly gained good coverage on Web sites and in newspapers.

Since this story may be appearing in your local newspaper or TV station Web site, dealers should know the key concepts promoted in the story. Here’s a sampling:

• A stylish new garage door “yields the biggest bang for the buck of any exterior home renovation.”
• This fall fix-up task simply requires an Internet connection (to see door designs on www.garagewownow.com) and a telephone (to call your local dealer).
• The hottest new style is the carriage house design, “the first major new design in garage doors in more than 25 years.”
• A new garage door offers protection against severe weather and theft, helps save energy costs, and “substantially increases the appearance and value of your home.”
• Hire a pro. “After only a few hours of the pro’s work, you’ll get a stunning home makeover that will make you proud every time you pull in your driveway.”

Spreading to Hundreds of Sites

In its first two weeks, the fall fix-up story was picked up on 331 Web sites. This was excellent compared to our “Top 10 Garage Door Secrets” story from earlier this year. In the first several months after its release, it appeared on 336 Web sites and in 73 newspapers.

The total number of newspapers running the fall fix-up story won’t be known until late fall. One paper that quickly ran the fall story was the Sunday, Aug. 17, edition of the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times. The paper is popular in the eastern Bay Area, with a circulation of 180,000.

GarageWowNow, jointly funded by DASMA and IDA, officially kicked off in April 2007, just before Expo 2007. The campaign seeks to increase awareness of the industry’s new garage doors and openers. The two organizations are now considering a plan to continue the program into its third year in 2009.


To comment on this story, send an e-mail to the editor at trw@tomwadsworth.com.