What do you do if you’re in charge of PR for a company in a sluggish industry?
The trim, made of PVC, is typically used around windows and corners of buildings. It’s superior to wood and more expensive because it resists moisture and insect damage, making it ideal for the home construction industry.
But that industry is limping along. So Kleber suggested looking instead at an industry that’s red hot. In this case, home remodeling.
KOMA targeted high-end home remodelers and issued a challenge: How can you take a flat piece of PVC trim and reinvent it?
Enter Peter Luciani who took the challenge far beyond what KOMA could have ever dreamed possible.
“He glued boards and started turning them into ballisters,” president Steve Kleber said. “He carved them into corbels, an architectural bracket used to support a cornice, arch or hold up a shelf. He used them to create cupolas and outdoor furniture.”
For his efforts, KOMA anointed Peter “Building Professional of the Year” and brought him to their booth at the International Builders Show in Orlando in February. There, he gave media interviews, answered questions from those who visited the booth and discussed new interior uses for KOMA products.
“He taught the manufacturer applications that the manufacturer didn’t understand were important in the marketplace,” Steve said.
“Now, they’re generating new ideas.”
The trade publications loved the story. Peter was suddenly a star. KOMA’s booth created a buzz at the show. And Kleber & Associates found a clever way to promote a high-end product in a sluggish industry by issuing a challenge to a new target audience.
Can those of you in sluggish industries take this same idea—targeting a new audience and sponsoring a contest—and make it work?
If so, it can generate great publicity for you, and really draw a crowd to your booth at the next trade show.
Dan Janal, who was my guest during a teleseminar called “Trade Show PR: How to Rise Above the Noise Level,” says it’s important to build relationships with journalists who are attending your trade show. Contact them several weeks before the show and let them know what’s new at your booth. Invite them to join you for coffee during the show so you can get some one-on-one face time. And afterward, stay in touch.