There are many benefits of belonging to GIMA, aka the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association. One of which is access to exclusive PR opportunities within the regular GIMA columns that we put together for Garden Centre Retail and Garden Centre Update magazine.
How does it work?
GIMA’s PR team (that’s us!) negotiates half a page, about 400 words with a picture, within every issue of GCU and GCR, specifically for GIMA members to have their voice heard as part of the association.
Every issue features a different topic, and each one usually focuses on a specific product category, e.g. decorative garden ornaments or tools.
Contacts at each GIMA member relevant to the category are then emailed by GIMA (or occasionally ourselves) within that sector for a 50-100 word quote. This a great opportunity for the Managing Director to establish market leadership by commenting on what’s happening within the sector, share trends, advice and general opinion.
What sort of thing do I say?
Most times we’ll prompt you with specific questions within the initial ‘free PR opportunity’ email invite. Whatever you say, you must show the reader (buyers and garden centre managers) that you’re at least aware of what is happening in the market. From there you can more easily position yourself as an expert in your customers eyes – and therefore make it easier to sell your products.
I don’t want to stick my neck out…
You don’t have to be bolshy to stand out. If you can offer insight into what is happening in the market, share behind the scenes plans or just provide helpful tips and advice for retailers, you can still raise the profile of your business. However, if you think, for example, that single use plastic has no place in the industry and that fits in with your company ethos and campaigns for your product range – then go for it! The garden industry can be very competitive so in order to stand a better chance you need to show passion for what you do. As long as you are ultimately being positive with your comment, you’ll still be providing valuable insight into your company, building trust in and improving the reputation of your business overall.
Can’t I just tell you about my products?
For these columns you’ll want to focus away from your own products, and seek to provide wider comment, opinion and analysis. It would of course be fine if you want to mention company news, and share updates on new products, but the area of the magazine that the columns appear in are focused on industry association comment.
When is the next opportunity?
The next GIMA free PR opportunity is usually at the beginning of each month, so if it’s relevant to you it will be sent directly to the main contact you’ve put forward. If you would like to request your name be added to the GIMA PR opportunities contacts list, let GIMA know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a GIMA member and require further PR advice then you may contact the author of this post, Account Manager Robbie Cumming by emailing email@example.com.