In the retail world, its Christmas. Retailers and manufacturers are getting their goods together for the holiday season. They get the word out about these offerings often by hosting a media preview so editors and writers of magazines, newspapers and online sites can start to gather items for their holiday gift guides.
I've been fortunate enough to have been invited to a few media events. Its always fun to see what's hitting the stores before everyone else. Usually, I find there are one or two standout items that I covet and start stalking my local stores for. And then there's the giveaway, a little token thank you that the retailers give the attending media - who doesn't like getting free stuff? :)
I don't know how I started getting invited to these events but I thought other bloggers may be curious about them so I'll share what I know:
- If you want to be invited to an event, just ask. Seriously, its that easy. You need to find the PR person and ask to be put on their media list. Telling them you are a design/lifestyle blogger is usually enough to get you on the list.
- So what does being on the media list mean? Any number of things - you could receive their press releases; you could get first wind of their newest products/catalogues/store openings. They could have a media-only site which contains background information about the company, high res images of products etc. And you could get invited to media events. These run the gamut from a straight showroom tour of new offerings to a media breakfast to kick off an event, or special sale night at a retail outlet just for media.
- What do you have to "do" as media? This area is a little fuzzy. You can't be forced to write a post about the events you attend or products you see, but I think that if you want to keep having media access, then you should mention them - but do so only if the events/products are relevant for your blog audience. Ask yourself, would my readers care about this?
- In the same vein, don't feel the need to say Yes to everything. Firstly, many events happen during the week day (when most bloggers are at their day jobs). Be selective about which events you attend.
- PR firms usually have more than one client in the same industry. Its worth asking who else they work with, in case you want to pitch them for a collaboration or just know about the other brands.
I wasn't sure if this was a BlogTalk topic many would be interested in, but I know the "Why was she invited and not me?" lament is one I've heard amongst some bloggy friends. Hopefully this helps and I'll get to see more of you at these events!
One final thought: I thought I'd share one standout item I saw at a recent media preview. Meet Melting Snowman:
You make him out of a play-doh like substance and decorate him with the mini scarf and carrot nose and accessories provided. Slowly, he starts to 'melt' and you get to make him all over again. That would be so fun to have at my work desk! The perfect stocking stuffer, coming soon to an Indigo store near you :)