VENTURA, CA: Outdoor sports brand Patagonia is planning a traditional PR campaign as it continues to push into the surf market with the launch of a new fall wetsuit, slated for August 26.
The strategy is to make sure all key surf media are using and reviewing the new R4 wetsuit for frigid temperatures, as well as redesigned R3 and R2 suits, said Jen Rapp, director of PR at Patagonia.
The in-house team will use media relations, Facebook, Twitter, and Patagonia's blog, The Cleanest Line, to communicate a message about materials used in the wetsuit's manufacture, which are “warmer, stretchier, and incorporate more ‘smoothie' neoprene for added flexibility in key flex zones,” she explained.
“Our goal with the surf market is to make sure we're fully established as a new brand in the core surf outlets,” she said, adding that PR is the company's primary promotional tactic and that advertising is "a last resort."
“We need to make sure the editors at Surfer and Surfing and Transworld are on it, and that they understand the stories," she said. "Once the major outlets see that they're covering it, it's an easy sell.”
Though surf gear and apparel accounts for a minority of the company's business, Rapp explained that founder Yvon Chouinard's vision is to eventually split the business between surfing and outdoor sports, which include climbing, skiing, and fishing.