A View from Here

Bill's Sisson's weekly Trade Only blog

PR key to promoting boating

With the arrival of Memorial Day, media coverage of boating accelerates dramatically.  We monitor this coverage nationwide and work to create positive coverage of boating and the boating lifestyle nationally as well.More...

DiscoverBoating.com recently introduced a new section called the Spousal Conversion Kit.  To promote boating, the website, and the new spousal conversion kit, Grow Boating partnered with Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman, Mike Schmidt, as a spokesperson.  Mr. Schmidt owns two boats and talks about his own experiences convincing his spouse that boating was right for their family. 

In addition to dozens of live radio interviews in markets from coast to coast, Discover Boating scored a major PR success with an appearance by Mike Schmidt on ESPN’s nationally syndicated Mike and Mike sports radio talk show which airs simultaneously on ESPN TV.  To view the segment, click here http://www.discoverboating.com/marketing/spousalconversionkit.aspx?b.

The use of a celebrity spokesperson who has a real enthusiasm for our industry can be a very powerful tool in gaining positive coverage of the boating lifestyle.  In fact, our PR team is working on an encore performance by Mike Schmidt in response to requests from radio stations that did not get him on the air during his first go around.

Speaking of press coverage, nearly twenty articles about boating were published in newspapers and on TV news channels from coast to coast this past weekend.  Headlines ranged from the positive–

Area Boaters Staying Afloat Amid Soaring Fuel Costs
Green Bay Press-Gazette (Quoted: NMMA) More

Gas Prices Won’t Sink Summer Fun
Columbus Dispatch (Quoted: NMMA) More

Boaters Are Eager To Get Afloat
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Quoted: NMMA) More

to the not so positive…

Boaters, Like Motorists, Recoil At High Fuel Costs
Associated Press (Quoted: NMMA) More

Gas Prices Tug At Boat Owners
The Journal News (Lower Hudson Valley, NY) More

Gasoline Prices Dock Local Boaters
Pittsburgh Tribune Review. More

Take a look at a few of these stories and see what a difference it makes when the industry spokesperson has something positive to say.  Most reporters have decided their story angle before they call us, but one thing is clear, when an industry spokesperson is quoted in the article, we have a better chance of telling the positive side of the story by sharing our passion for boating.  We always answer their questions honestly and provide all the facts, but we also work really hard to make sure the reporter or producer understands all sides of the story instead of jumping to conclusions or simply reporting the bad news.When the media calls you for a story, how prepared are you to deliver positive messages about the boating lifestyle?  In the current environment we need all the positive consumer coverage of boating we can get.  Being prepared with positive things to say about boating can make a big difference in the coverage of our industry.  Are you prepared?



3 comments on “PR key to promoting boating

  1. Wade N D Waters

    For the last 2 days Fox News did remotes and feature stories at National Liquidators. Their reporters were out and about on the various boats that were being repossed, from small run abouts up to 70+ ft yachts. They did mention it was a good time to buy a used (Repo) boat if you were in the market and that the focal market is Europeans who are taking advantage of the poor US economy.
    Does anyone under 30 know who Mike Schmidt is??? Scotty Pippen might have been a better choice he is a lot younger than Mike and is an avid boater. Youth is the future.

  2. Thom Dammrich

    I did an unscientific survey of my three sons, aged 29, 27 and 24. The 29 and 27 year olds responded with facts and figures indicating a thorough knowledge of who Mike Schmidt is. The 24 year old had no idea who he was. So maybe no one under 25 knows who he is. But, then the primary target of the Discover Boating campaign is aged 30-55–the sweet spot for boat sales. That doesn’t mean people under 30 or over 55 won’t see our PR or are ingnored in our PR efforts. No question youth is the long term future, but the near and intermediate term future is in the 30-55 age demographic targeted.

  3. Island Boy

    Discover Boating & Grow Boasting Intiatives are the wrong programs at that worng time. The old saying “timing is everything” most certainly applies to both as to why they are not delivering as was promised. To re-spin the story is not appropriate either. Face it, both programs from the start used their names to do a “slide-of-hand” on the entire industry by who? And for what reason? I say bag those programs and get back to basic’s, the industry will be stronger for it.

    A turn down in the economy is a time of opportunity, not time to be shaken down!

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