PetSmart - Pampering Pets, And Then Some

Challenge

PetSmart, the largest specialty retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets, tapped GroundFloor Media (GFM) to generate local media exposure for 350 stores in 22 local markets for PetSmart’s summer, fall and holiday campaigns. The client viewed this exposure as crucial to reinforcing its brand and drive traffic to its retail outlets for events and product sales. The overall goals of the PR effort included increasing print coverage in the local dailies and city magazines, and securing in-studio interviews and event coverage with local broadcast TV and radio stations.

Solution

GFM began by digging into research on industry trends and attitudes, recording key statistics that supported the trends the team uncovered. After analyzing the research, GFM devised a strategy to educate the local markets about PetSmart and its products and services by leveraging local events, pet parent trends and exclusive product lines. The team also developed feature pitches that tied to seasonal events and pet safety messages. To prepare for the holiday season which included a line of pet costumes for Halloween, events with Santa Claws and a new line of Hanukkah products, GFM created a comprehensive media list for 22 markets, reviewed long-lead editorial opportunities and created a holiday media kit and tailored pitch letters. GFM’s media outreach spanned print and broadcast across the country.

Result

GFM quickly met and then exceeded the PR goals set by PetSmart for each campaign. The summer campaign garnered more than four million print and broadcast media impressions in feature stories about summer product offerings, as well as included pet safety messages in 50 percent of the total impressions. The fall campaign garnered seven million media impressions and included safety messages in 75 percent of the local market coverage. The fall campaign was so successful that the stores ran out of costumes two weeks before Halloween. In the course of the holiday campaign, media outreach efforts resulted in more than 40 million media impressions, garnering 20 percent more coverage than expected.

As a result of GFM’s efforts, PetSmart was cited in 90 percent of its 22 local news outlets across the country as well as inclusion in national news outlets such as the AP, Copley News Service, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Times and FOX “Good Day Live.” GFM was also able to secure coverage for the company’s vet and pet care expert in Parents and Cat Fancy.