Midwest Contractors EXPO and Joe the Plumber

A trade show is not newsworthy. Having a tradeshow for plumbers during the 2008 election is.

When pitching a story to the news media, TIP CUP: timeliness, impact, prominence, conflict, unique, and proximity must be relevant for the story to be considered “news.”

During the 2008 presidential election, “Joe the Plumber” became a substitute for that other American icon, “Joe Sixpack.”

It was just our luck that our client, Kansas Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors Association, would host their annual Midwest Contractors EXPO tradeshow just when “Joe the Plumber” exploded into mainstream media. Talk about a timely event. This story also included prominence, conflict and proximity.

It seemed like a good idea to contact the local media to tell them that the tradeshow, heavily populated by plumbers, would be an excellent opportunity to get a local angle on a national news story. All three local television stations expressed interest and one actually did show up and interview a local plumber.

I also contacted the local newspaper, and although they did not send out a reporter, they included part of my message in that Sunday’s “Have you Heardbusiness column, and included a picture from the tradeshow in the “Out of the Office” section later that week.

Being a public relations professional is seldom an 8 to 5 job. A good practitioner must be aware of what is going on in the world and constantly be on the lookout for ways to TIP CUP and generate awareness and publicity for our clients.

RIPPLe Electronic Communications
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