TFE/TFE Licensing, February 2020

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Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up Making the Most Out of Your Media Appointments at Toy Fair THE MOSS TUCKER GROUP

Editors, segment producers and influencers head to Toy Fair every year looking for the newest and most innovative toys of the year. Publicists Liza Grando and Ayana Meraz, partners at The Moss-Tucker Group (MTG), have met with most of them throughout their years representing clients at the show. Through many candid conversations with members of the media while at Toy Fair, the MTG team has found there’s one thing they notice the most. “I first attended Toy Fair with the Founder of MTG, Maggie Moss-Tucker, in 2007,” said Grando, who took over the firm when Moss-Tucker retired in 2012. “The number one thing I hear from an editor or influencer is that most brands do not follow-up. They get through that first crucial step of engaging the editor out of a sea of brands at Javits, and then drop the ball immediately after the show by not following-up for a placement. It was the first thing Maggie instilled in us as a firm, and the one thing that most brands don’t end up doing.” With over 35 years of experience representing both specialty and mass market brands, MTG has a proven formula for making the most out of the media outlets in attendance, which has resulted in placements with The Today Show, Good Housekeeping Magazine, VOGUE, Parents Magazine and more. To make the most out of your meetings with the media at the show, MTG shares a list of simple do’s and don’ts: 1) DO be polite, and to the point: Practice your “elevator pitch” to prepare for days of appointments. “You’re at the show, you’re showcasing your line, and you’re so excited to talk to everyone that walks into your booth,” said Grando. “You’re also one of thousands of brands at Javits hoping to secure a coveted media placement with the editor or blogger that’s about to see you.” Make it short and focus on what makes your brand the best choice for their stories. 2) DON’T overload them with information or items: Ask them what it is they’re looking for in addition to “new” items so you can easily help them find solutions: i.e. how your brand fits their needs and why. Ask if they just want product information or if they need a sample. Don’t show them every single product in your line. Focus on your strongest contenders and why those would work for their stories and their readers. “They don’t need to know every detail about your brand,” said Meraz. “That’s what a press kit is for!” They also don’t need to be bogged down with catalogues, price lists and other items to carry around. If they want something, they’ll ask you for it. If you want to gift them something, make sure it’s small, relevant to your brand’s image, and memorable. 3) DO your research: If the media attendee has a scheduled appointment with you, research their web site or publication. Found out what they write about on a regular basis. If you don’t know, ask them so you can direct them to the right products. “If you know that the editor focuses primarily on baby items, don’t

push a science kit for ages 7 and up”, says Grando. “It’s a waste of valuable time and you might be missing an opportunity to talk about what CAN work from your brand.” Take notes so you don’t forget what they need. 4) DO ask for their business card: Get their business card and keep it safe. Make sure it includes their shipping address so you know where to send samples after the show. If it’s not on there, ask them if it would be ok for you to contact them for it. BEWARE: many publications in particular have other mailing addresses than what is listed on their web site. Meraz mentions that “many editors may work remotely and will never get the package you ship to the main office. You don’t want your sample to end up in a random mailroom where the editor never sees it.” 5) DO get on social media immediately: Follow the media outlet’s Instagram handle after they leave your booth and are walking the show. “Like their posts and thank them for stopping by to see you,” said Meraz. It’ll remind them about your brand and will show their followers that they stopped by to check your products out. 6) DON’T DROP THE BALL. FOLLOW-UP, FOLLOW-UP, FOLLOW-UP: “Editors are so surprised when we email them immediately after the show on behalf of our clients. Brands are so excited to speak to an editor, then get the editor excited about their brand, and then: never contact them! Don’t get lost in your day-to-day that you miss out on a great media opportunity,” said Grando. Contact the editor the SAME WEEK as Toy Fair ends so they’re reminded of your brand. Meraz adds “if they email you first, RESPOND! The media WILL remember that you ignored them, particularly when you email them in November (too late!) for a spot on their Gift Guide.” (Spoiler alert: probably not going to happen). After Toy Fair, you can easily fail to prioritize public relations and media outreach. MTG suggests you keep the momentum going and reach out to publications, bloggers and influencers that are right for you throughout the year. “They are making decisions NOW for stories in December,” said Meraz. “The sooner you follow-up, the better your chances of getting solid media hits throughout the year.” Want to reach even more media? Showcase your brand at media targeted events like TTPM’s Spring and Holiday Showcases where you can directly meet with members of the media. “Many of the media outlets who attend these shows either don’t personally attend Toy Fair or may not have had enough time to meet with you,” said Grando. “These media events are another great opportunity to showcase your brand ahead of the most promoted seasons of the year.” For more information or helpful tips on how to best manage your public relations efforts, contact The Moss-Tucker Group at

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