D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — Builders’ Show Kicks Off 2009 GWN Coverage: Tax Credit Grabs the Attention of Editors

© 2009 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2009
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 49


Builders’ Show Kicks Off 2009 GWN Coverage
Tax Credit Grabs the Attention of Editors

GarageWowNow, the garage door industry’s national public relations campaign, began its third year with a targeted focus on editors at the 2009 International Builders’ Show in January in Las Vegas.

Hundreds of editors attended the show, coming from newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and Web media. This year, GWN hosted a booth, made personal contact with more than 60 editors, and distributed 150 press kits that focused on the $500 tax credit. The kit was also mailed to the top newspaper and magazine editors in North America.

“We were surprised at the show that many other home products were not promoting the tax credit,” said Allen Pfenninger, a public relations professional who worked the show for GarageWowNow. “That works to the advantage of the garage door industry.”

The tax credit (see related story on p. 44) applies to many qualifying energy-efficient home improvement projects, not just garage doors. But it appears that the garage door industry is leading all industries in promoting the incentive.

A Quick Response

In February, when President Obama increased the tax credits from 10 percent of the purchase price of a door to 30 percent, the GarageWowNow team was quick to respond. Within a week, the GarageWowNow Web site had been completely updated with several articles about new tax credit provisions.

Dozens of key editors nationwide were also contacted about the hot tax-credit news, and news releases were distributed to hundreds of newspapers and magazines. One syndicated writer, who writes for about 200 newspapers, jumped on the news and wrote a story about the tax credits and the new garage door designs.

“If editors are excited about the tax credit, dealers should be, too,” said Tom Wadsworth, who serves as a spokesperson for the campaign. “Dealers should be ready to respond to calls from reporters, and, better yet, dealers can begin an advertising campaign to promote the credits.”

Victorian Homes Victory

In one of the first successes of 2009, the March issue of Victorian Homes magazine featured a five-page feature article titled, “The Victorian Garage Door: Your car’s home should be as stylish as your own.”

The story includes 10 photos of upscale garage doors on Victorian homes with lengthy descriptions of why the new garage doors complement and enhance a home’s curb appeal. GarageWowNow.com is mentioned throughout the story, which ends with a sidebar story on “Finding a Reputable Garage Door Dealer.”

Positive Coverage in a Negative Economy

If the above (Builders’ Show exposure, new tax credits, Victorian Homes) are any indication, the remainder of 2009 should contain some excellent exposure for garage doors.

“Homeowners will eventually start spending again,” said Wadsworth. “If we are successful in getting positive news stories published in major publications, garage doors can be among the first products to benefit when people start opening up their wallets.”

GarageWowNow, jointly funded by DASMA and IDA, officially kicked off in April 2007. The two organizations have agreed to fund the program through a third year.

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