Bridgestone's BlogHer event really stood out. I'm going to be frank with you all. I was not dazzled by this year's BlogHer conference. One of the big reasons I make an effort to attend is to spot trends and meet with marketing representatives. The 10th Annual BlogHer Conference expo was so small it only took a few hours to navigate. I was very displeased with the amount of quality connections I made. San Jose is a long way away from Brooklyn (3000 miles) and involves a great deal of effort and organizing to arrange the trip. When I attend a conference, I want to be blown away. BlogHer didn't do that.
Yes, I love seeing my peers and hobnobbing with the leading ladies of the internet. Yes, it's amazing to see the energy of the new bloggers and be reminded of what's awesome about this space, but ultimately I run a business. These trips are not boondoogles. I need to justify the $2000+ it costs to attend (not to mention leaving my family for a few days) a conference. Take note: if you are considering the BlogHer conference and blog professionally in my opinion the expense really wasn't justified.
On the upside, I had some great chats with the brands that were there, on the downside, it's huge expenditure of time and money to just meet with a handful of potential partners.
Enough negative. Here's the positive. One of the highlights of the weekend was the well-orchestrated Bridgestone event. From what I understand, this was the first-ever BlogHer Bridgestone DriveGuard Drive and Learn Event. Bravo to the Bridgestone team for earning an A+ on the first try. I want to recap their event and also use them as a case-study for best-practices, so PR gurus, take note.
How to impress bloggers with the perfect sponsored event:
Keep it on time:Buses picked us up promptly from the small expo hall and drove us off-site to a huge empty lot to test drive the tires. The bus was clean, and the event ran with efficiency. Did I mention, I really hate when events run late? I pack my calendar with meetings at these conferences will little wiggle room. Running late is disrespectful and will likely impact the rest of the day.
Keep it interesting: See that picture of me behind the wheel with an instructor? That smile isn't fake, this event was awesome. I loved checking my mom-driver status for a bit and letting 'er rip around the turns of the test track. And you know what? Those tires totally handled the curves and the wet pavement like a dream. Takeaway: no one writes about boring events.
Make it instagram worthy: Setting a bunch of moms loose with souped up BMWs on a wet track? Yep, you'll get some great photos out of this. Have a good backdrop and you will be amazed at the coverage you get. Sami Cone and I were bombarding our followers (that's a combined 50,000 moms for me) with hashtagged photos. Do you know how much that would cost you if you came to me directly without an event? About $2500.
Make me want to post about it: DONE! Not only was I wowed by the performance of the tires, I got great car care tips from the team at Firestone Complete Auto Care see below). Bridgestone also has a link to an amazing supporting site, where I can steer you to get more information about these awesome tires http://www.driveguard.com/index#/accomplished the link has great collateral making it so easy to post tips like this:
Make it so good I mention the brand IRL: My parents came to visit last weekend and I shared my experience and talked them into upgrading their tires.
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Dear PR professionals: Follow these rules and you're in good shape.
Simple Car Care Tips You Should Know:
Firestone had the knowledgeable Amber Delp parse out car care tips for the novice (ehem, guilty as charged).
- Don't check tire pressure in your drive after your car has been sitting for hours. Check tire pressure after driving at least 5 miles.
- Get an air pressure gauge (here's a link to purchase on amazon). Look on the door of the driver's side to for the air pressure sticker that tells you how much air to put in.
- Use the tip of the gauge to let out extra air.
- Why check the pressure? Low tires don't wear well--a flattish tire keeps you from using middle of the tire.
- When do you need new tires? Try the tread-penny test. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it's time to visit Bridgestone for new tires.
We also learned how to jump a dead battery. Amber's tip: the red side equals red danger! Don't touch the red and black once the cables are connected. red=dead.
For more information about Firestone Complete Auto Care, visit www.FirestoneCompleteAutoCare.com
This is not a sponsored post and I didn't get free tires, but I will probably buy these when they become available for SUVs.