Wednesday, April 25, 2012

See What’s Trending at the National Hardware Show

It is that time of year again for our team at Eberly & Collard Public Relations to start preparing for the National Hardware Show (NHS) in Las Vegas, NV. Held from May 1-3, the National Hardware Show offers one of the most complete ranges of home-related products ranging from hand and power tools, electrical and plumbing, housewares, and paint to home d├ęcor, lawn and garden, and tailgating products. Show attendees, including retailers, buyers, distributors, media members, and more, will have the opportunity to network with some of the most innovative and well-known companies in the industry. And, to help kick-off the show, our team will be sharing an inside look at some of the products attendees will see this year.

As part of a preview prior to NHS, and in a series following the show, we will be reporting on top products and trends. We’ll begin by publishing a photo album on our Facebook Timeline for attendees and members of the media. Many of our media contacts (editors, publishers, producers, bloggers, etc.) have requested this resource, as is our norm, so we are looking forward to reporting helpful information about our clients and many others in the industry.

As you follow our posted Facebook album in late April and early May, feel free to add your comments under each narrative / photo. Products with the most comments could be considered for our post-show “Best of Show” feature series. We are looking forward to sharing valuable information and trends with our friends, fans and readers. Be sure to follow us on Twitter during the show, as we’ll be tweeting about products and trends from NHS as well. Here are our social media channels; be sure to bookmark, fan and follow them to stay on top of breaking information:
Members of the media whom may not yet have tapped into this resource, contact us if you would like to receive special articles, product profiles, photos, etc. directly.

~ ECPR team

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

High Point Market Highlights

One of the largest indoor furniture trade shows is upon us, High Point Market. Companies from all over the world will make the trip to High Point, NC, to exhibit the latest styles and trends in the furniture industry. More than 2,000 companies will be exhibiting at this year’s market, debuting home furnishings and accessories in every category, style and price range imaginable. The show runs from April 21 – 26, 2012, and is otherwise known as “Market Week”. Throughout the duration of the show, educational seminars and social gatherings will bring together retailers, buyers, media members, and other industry professionals. For a list of events taking place during “Market Week,” click here.

Whether you are a first time attendee or veteran, there are a few key showrooms and exhibits that are must-sees. Here’s what we suggest…
  • Made in America Pavilion – The Made in America theme has increased in popularity immensely among Americans. This year, the pavilion has expanded to over 32,000 square feet, due to the growing trend of consumer awareness and demand for American-made goods. Exhibitors include Flat Rock Furniture, Habersham, Shiner/Home Source International, and many others. For a full list of exhibitors in the Made in America Pavilion, click here
  • Century Furniture, LLC – Located in the Market Square Building, spaces 500, 412, Century Furniture will be showcasing upscale home furnishings and accessories. Ranging from a variety of styles including French, Coastal, Contemporary, Mediterranean, and more. In addition to producing elegant, handcrafted products, Century Furniture has embraced the sustainability movement. Since 1947, the company has been creating furniture and accessories at its Hickory, NC facility, using predominantly domestic materials to help reduce energy costs. To learn more about Century Furniture, click here
  • Lamp Works – Buyers and retailers, Lamp Works, is one of the top lighting design companies showcasing new products at this year’s market. Located in the IHFC Building, space D341, Lamp Works designs beautiful, high-end light fixtures. Ranging in styles, shapes and sizes, the company’s designs are ideal for hospitality projects. One of the company’s most recent installations includes Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. To learn more about Lamp Works, click here
High Point Market is the place to be in April for companies in the furniture and accessories industry. Retailers, buyers and media members will have the opportunity to catch a first glimpse at the newest and most innovative products that will soon be available to consumers. For those of you exhibiting or attending the event, visit High Point Market’s website for more details at www.highpointmarket.org.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making the Most of Social Media – Part Two: A Guide for Businesses Using Twitter

As a continuation of our social media guide for businesses, the second part of our series includes ways to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool. Also, be sure to view part one of our social media series by clicking here.

Twitter is a great way to connect with clients and customers via quick conversational exchanges. Though some Tweets can be vague and slightly ambiguous, the point is to create short phrases and messages to get your meaning across in a direct and instant manner. Essentially, Twitter is a short-form messaging tool, geared towards businesses looking for new ways to communicate with target audiences. And, not to forget, Twitter is also a platform for listening to the communication of others.

Twitter’s primary difference from other social media channels is that each individual tweet, is restricted to 140 characters or less. As a Twitter user, you can post updates; follow and view updates from other users; and send a public reply or private direct message to connect with another tweeter.

As a guide, below, the ECPR team has put together four simple steps to creating meaningful Tweets. Let’s begin!

Page Tags: Much like Facebook, Twitter allows users to interact and connect with potential clients, consumers and fellow industry professionals. The key is to use the “@” symbol to “tag” other Twitter pages. The “@” is a means of sharing valuable information from an outside source, who also has a Twitter account, thus virally connecting your business page with the source’s page.

If possible, we recommend all Tweets include a Twitter “tag.” This will not only help potentially multiply the number of followers you have by reaching out to another page’s audience, but also increase the number of retweets and comments related to your Tweet by other users.

Hashtags: A “hashtag” is a means to help spread information on Twitter while also helping to organize it. In essence, “hashtags” are subject matters pertaining to specific trending events, topics, etc. The “hashtag” symbol allows users to come together as part of a single conversation. While “hashtags” should not be overused, they can be a great way to reach target audiences at any given time. This allows companies to expand networks and create wider brand awareness.  

Links: Most, if not all, Tweets should include links to related pages, whether they are to company websites, online resources, articles from regional and national publications, etc. This will aid in improving brand awareness by directing potential clients, current clients and consumers to informative and educational “bits” of news a company finds relative to its designated industry.

Comprehensive Tweets: It is essential to develop concise, comprehensive Tweets within the 140 character limit at all times. Your target audience must clearly be able to understand the message your business is trying to get across. For a business page, this is one of the most important aspects to remember when using Twitter for business marketing.

One final thought for companies that are already using Twitter, or are in the process of setting up an account, pages need to be maintained and updated on a daily basis; whether that be designating a team member or a group to be responsible at all times. Not doing so could result in a negative effect. This is where our team of social media experts can be of assistance. We offer clients a range of services related to maintaining social media channels, such as developing content, interacting with friends and fans and calculating page analytics. For more information about our services, click here.

Stay tuned as we continue our social media series by exploring how to use blog as a creative marketing tool for businesses.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

From Airplane Hangar to Bachelor Pad

Photo Credit - John Burcham for The New York Times
To our designer friends, we thought you might enjoy reading about “The Ultimate Man Cave.” Located in a remote region of Utah, Ivo Zdarsky has turned an airplane hangar, dubbed Lucin International Airport, into his very own bachelor pad. Complete with a 90-inch flat screen T.V., a drum set and two mattresses, Zdarsky goes about his daily business in the most distinct fashion. While the design of the hangar is intriguing in itself, the unique story of the man who created it is even more compelling.

To read the full article on The New York Times website, click here. Be honest, what do you think of Ivo Zdarsky’s man cave?