The founder & managing director of Playtime PR responds to last month’s Viewpoint column, which questioned the PR value of attending Christmas in July events.
Lesley begins: “Often when I hear a point of view that’s completely different from my own, it’s of great interest as I usually feel there’s something to be learnt from new perspectives. Occasionally, however, I just feel bemused, as I did last month while reading Jim Hawker’s take-down article on all things Christmas in July. Our experiences are like chalk and cheese…
This year, the Playtime PR team ran four stands at one particular Christmas in July event: the Christmas in July Festival. The show gave us the opportunity to interact with over 900 different media contacts and influencers. We know that these contacts weren’t, as seemed to be implied, “work experience” or “just competitions and promotions people” for three reasons. First, whenever we do see the “competitions and promotions people”, we usually throw our arms round them! That’s because we know many of them, and they’re brilliant. We work with these people week in, week out, to secure valuable, child-facing coverage opportunities and to negotiate paid activations on behalf of many of our clients. They certainly did not represent a large percentage of the people at this show, however.
The second reason we know that the contacts are varied and of high quality is that the organisers vet all influencers and only allow access to those who meet their requirements. Third, and rather conclusively, our team was equipped with show-issued media scanners to capture visitor details. That means we know exactly who visited us: none of the interactions or conversations feels wasted, because each visit leads to rock-solid follow-up opportunities. Arguably, this follow-up process is even more important than the initial conversations and is ongoing throughout Q3 and Q4 until we see results land.”
To read the rest of the article about Lesley’s experiences with Christmas in July, which first appeared in the September edition of Toy World, click here.