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Leverage PR to Drive Traffic to Your Holiday Store Events

Have fun and make sure your customers know about the special events you are planning for them so they can enjoy all of the benefits!

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IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, you are planning a holiday party for friends and family, but have you applied that same attention to detail to satisfy your customers this holiday season?

You could plan several mini-events or one for each weekend in December. Special themed days including highlights like hot cocoa bars, pet caricature portraits, photos for pets with “Santa Paws” or animal-friendly photo booths are always a draw.

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Consider partnering with a local nonprofit to organize an adoption event at your store to help animals in need find their forever home. Or, you could host an angel tree program for a local shelter so their pets can enjoy holiday presents too. These win-win programs give customers an opportunity to give back while engaging with your business.

D do you have something special to promote your store’s brand specifically? To encourage return customers, hand out a limited supply of cool swag branded with your logo. You can tie it to a social media contest where you ask customers to post a picture of their pet with your store swag to their Instagram story for a chance to win a prize. Reusable shopping totes and refrigerator magnet frames for a pet photo are a couple of my favorites.

OK, so you put on your Joanna Gaines hat and planned the best holiday store events ever, so now what? To help get the word out, create a digital flyer and email it to your customer list about two weeks in advance. Be sure to display printed flyers at your store and make sure each customer receives one at checkout.

Another easy way to alert potential attendees is to add your event(s) to online calendar listings found on the websites of your local newspapers, regional magazines, TV stations and radio channels. Remember to include your event details including the who, what, when, where and why. The best part is that this is another free promotional tool.

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Don’t forget about social media. Develop a series of three to five posts to inform your audience about the event and encourage them to attend with their pet. If you want to step it up a notch, create a Facebook event and invite the people who like your page to RSVP.

If you want to spread the word further, create a Facebook awareness campaign and target people in your geographic area with ads about the event. Give the ads time to run — we recommend beginning at least two to three weeks in advance.

Have fun and make sure your customers know about the special events you are planning for them so they can enjoy all of the benefits!

Kristen Levine is regarded as one of the foremost pet marketing experts in the U.S. with more than 25 years of experience. She’s developed a Pet Credible Influencer Program for brands and is a senior vice president at FWV Fetching, an integrated marketing firm that services pet-focused companies, veterinary businesses and consumer brands. Contact her at: klevine@fwv-us.com

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