WFCA media tours raising consumer and editor awareness

Home Inside FCNews WFCA media tours raising consumer and editor awareness

Magazines gain flooring insight

Anaheim, Calif.—Executives at the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) have wrapped up what they are calling yet another successful consumer media tour.

Traveling to three media hotspots across the country including New York, Des Moines, Iowa, and Birmingham, Ala., WFCA spokespeople—including Tom Jennings, chairman of WFCA Services—met with over 40 editors and writers from some of the top nationally distributed home and shelter magazines.

“Our consumer public relations and our annual media tours play a critical role in raising awareness with consumers,” he said. “By informing the media that influences and educates our customers, the flooring industry benefits as a whole. When we have knowledgeable consumers, we’re one step closer to creating a customer.”

Along with Jennings, Cammie Weitzel, WFCA’s general manager, and Leah Gross-Harmon, principal of Story Dept.—WFCA’s public relations agency, conducted the media tours.

The tour, which kicked off in May, began in the nation’s media capital, New York City—home to the largest consolidation of consumer home and shelter magazines targeting women in the country.

The New York leg, which took place on May 16 and 17, included stops at Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Interior Design, Country Living, Real Simple, Elle Décor, HGTV Magazine, Traditional Home, This Old House, Windows Walls & Floors, House Beautiful, Distinctive Kitchens & Baths, Parents, and others.

Jennings said the press in New York learned about the new products and technologies revealed at Surfaces including softer texture carpet, octagon-shaped designer concrete tiles, hardwood floors embedded with glitter and area rugs with Swarovski crystals. Products shown to the editors were from manufacturers who answered WFCA’s call prior to the tour.

One participating manufacturer has already found success from the trip as its products were featured in the New Product section of September’s House Beautiful magazine. Jennings said many pending placements are also in the pipeline as a result of the trip.

The second leg of the tour took place in Des Moines on July 26. Editors from over a dozen publications joined Jennings at a WFCA-sponsored media luncheon to learn about the new products and trends. Represented magazines included Better Homes & Gardens, BHG.com, Traditional Home, BH&G Real-Life Kitchens & Baths, Midwest Living, BHG Kitchens & Baths, BHG Remodel, BHG Kitchen & Bath Ideas, BHG Remodel Magazine, Meredith Publications (BHG Book Series) and BHG Home Design Group, among others.

Jennings said one of the interesting aspects of doing these tours each year is how the press reacts, as many of them commented on how much they look forward to the WFCA road show. They also posed questions on proper application and care of the new products in preparation for stories they have slated involving flooring.

The last leg of the 2012 tour took place in a city that was just added to the line-up this year, Birmingham, Ala., home to Time’s Southern Living and Coastal Living magazines. Jennings conducted desk-side meetings with editors on Aug. 7, followed by a hosted lunch.

He noted the editors here commented they rarely meet with companies in the floor category, so WFCA’s presentation was especially informative for them.

For more information on WFCA’s media tour, call 800.624.6880.

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