National Retail Federation hits the road

The National Retail Federation is going on a cross-country road trip with the first stop outside the nation's capital in North Carolina.

WASHINGTON: The National Retail Federation is going on a cross-country road trip with the first stop outside the nation’s capital in North Carolina.

A year after launching the This Is Retail campaign, NRF has embarked on two, large-scale initiatives aimed at bringing together select retailers and students with state retail associations, legislators, government and opinion leaders, and universities. It has dubbed the two initiatives Retail Across America and the This Is Retail Summer Road Trip.

Through the spring and summer, NRF will partner with five targeted state retail associations to produce "mini campaigns," each designed to drive awareness of retail’s impact in specific states and local communities. It also wants to "challenge common misperceptions about careers in the industry," according to a statement from the group. The NRF has formed partnerships with the California Retailers Association, North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, South Dakota Retail Association, and Washington Retail Association.

As the effort is rolled out through the summer, each state partnership will include four videos, highlighting the industry’s economic footprint in the states. Each state-specific campaign will include roundtable discussions with legislative leaders and retailers, targeted in-state media buys, and blogger coverage of the road trip, through tweets, Instagram photos, and blog posts.

Members of the NRF’s student association will serve as bloggers, said Katie McBreen, VP of communications and public affairs at the NRF. She added that it will be "exciting and unique" to have Millennials along for the ride because they can tell their stories alongside that of the NRF, while also learning about a career in retail. Campaign videos will be posted on the NRF’s website.

Content generated throughout the campaign will later serve as part of NRF’s annual "fly-in" event, the Retail Advocates Summit in July.

Some of the NRF’s PR work is being handled in-house, and it has worked with the agency Rain since the launch of This Is Retail, McBreen added.

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