Visual appeal gets pizza show bigger slice of airtime

Pizza Marketing Quarterly (PMQ), a pizza industry trade magazine, in 2004 hosted the first New York Pizza Show. Because the show fell on Election Day, "we lost a lot of media," says Jeff Blumenfeld, president of Blumenfeld & Associates PR.

Pizza Marketing Quarterly (PMQ), a pizza industry trade magazine, in 2004 hosted the first New York Pizza Show. Because the show fell on Election Day, "we lost a lot of media," says Jeff Blumenfeld, president of Blumenfeld & Associates PR.

For 2005 show, PMQ enlisted Blumenfeld again, but a challenge remained: maximizing a small PR budget in a competitive media market in a limited amount of time.

STRATEGY

The objective was twofold: Draw attention to a trade show that would attract pizza owners, and generate awareness that demonstrates PMQ's commitment to the pizza industry. "Our strategy was to take advantage of the public's intimacy with the food," says Steve Green, president of PMQ. So Blumenfeld & Associates decided to promote the visual nature of pizza preparation and "build into the event as many photo possibilities as we could," says Blumenfeld.

TACTICS

Blumenfeld & Associates and PMQ drafted members of the US Pizza Team, an acrobatic group whose members can toss pizza behind their backs and while blindfolded, and offered them for in-studio appearances. Also recruited were a 10-year-old pizza tosser and a chef who makes pizza on a stick. The media also had the chance to make and toss pizzas.

Producers of a pizza documentary were invited to cover the show, and producers from WifeSwap and the film Pizza King were invited to hold auditions.

RESULTS

The effort generated more than 275 media hits in 122-plus markets, including NPR, Martha, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN Headline News, and ESPN's Cold Pizza and Sportscenter.

The trade show attracted 1,700 attendees, with many exhibitors signing contracts for the 2006 event.

FUTURE

Blumenfeld & Associates will work with PMQ again on the 2006 New York Pizza Show.

PR TEAM: Pizza Marketing Quarterly (Oxford, MS) and Blumenfeld & Associates PR
(Darien, CT)

CAMPAIGN: New York Pizza Show Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Pizza

Duration: October to November 2005

Budget: $7,000 (fee and expenses)

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