Along with ongoing and aggressive media relations and tactics designed to increase floor covering awareness, each year the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) sets out on media tours to communicate and showcase the latest trends, technologies and advancements in flooring. Over the course of three to four months, beginning in May, representatives from the WFCA travel to meet one-on-one with consumer editors and writers working on and drafting home décor and flooring articles at some of the largest magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs across the U.S.
To prepare for the tours, WFCA trend scouts select innovative new products that launched at the Surfaces tradeshow to share with press. In total, the WFCA contacted over thirty-five Surfaces exhibitors from around the world to participate in the tours. Making the list for 2012 are products ranging from 400+ year-old teak floors to carpets woven with silver and gold.
The first stop on the four-leg 2012 tour is the media capital of the United States, New York City. The NYC leg which took place on May 16h 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, Woman’s Day, Windows, Walls & Floors, House Beautiful, Distinctive Kitchens & Baths, Parents, and more.
Following the New York City tour, the team travels to Des Moines to meet with Meredith Publications, which produces Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Renovation Style, Kitchen and Bath Ideas Magazine, Beautiful Homes Magazine, BH&G Creative Collection, Remodeling Ideas, BHG.com, Home Decorating & Design Books, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Media, Home Design Magazine, Midwest Living, Before & After Magazine, Meredith Corporation Books and Decorating Magazine. In addition, for the first time, WFCA representatives will travel to Birmingham, Ala., to meet with editors at Southern Living and Coastal Living magazines. Following the Alabama tour, the road show will culminate with a tour of San Francisco and Los Angeles to meet with west coast-based newspaper editors and writers at home and shelter publications.
To date, the reception from media sources has been very positive, with nearly all reporting that they plan on using the information provided in feature articles in upcoming issues.
“Our annual media tours across the country are a critical component of our successful consumer awareness campaign,” said Tom Jennings of the WFCA. “The opportunity to sit face-to-face with the very people that write the articles that reach, educate and influence millions of consumers is a priceless one. The fruits of our labors are seen throughout the year and beyond in the form of articles and stories about flooring in the country’s most popular consumer magazines and newspapers.”
The 2012 media tours are staffed by Jennings, Cammie Weitzel, General Manager, WFCA; and Leah Gross-Harmon, Principal of Story Dept., LLC — the WFCA’s public agency of record.