How to Best Work With Bloggers and Toy Industry Experts at Toy Fair

Fourth in a series of posts on preparing for the annual trade event.

by Julie Livingston, director, business development and accounts, Child’s Play Communications

In addition to the hoards of journalists from traditional media channels covering Toy Fair, exhibitors should also consider outreach to bloggers (specifically, mom bloggers who write product reviews) and toy industry experts who cover the annual event.  Both influential in their own right, the clout these individuals carry can be particularly valuable to small and mid-sized toy companies, driving brand awareness, social media prominence, and, ultimately, sales.

Getting your toy featured on the right product review blog is a marvelous way to generate grassroots buzz for your product. According to a recent study conducted by Child’s Play Communications and the NPD Group, 79 percent of all American moms with children under the age of 18 are active in social media. Of that number, about one in four have made purchasing decisions as a result of a social media recommendation; more than half (55 percent) said they made their purchase because of a recommendation from a personal review blog

To reach moms where they “live,” it is essential that toy and youth entertainment companies have a strong presence among mom bloggers. To clarify, a mom blogger is a mother, generally with young preschool-aged children, who blogs on a regular basis. Many of the mom bloggers we work with at Child’s Play turned to blogging as an outlet following earlier careers as journalists, writers, and marketers. Some were involved in other aspects of business, and many are moms looking to express themselves while connecting with other moms to share experiences and life lessons. These women are smart, dedicated, and energetic.

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Child’s Play Adds LeVar Burton’s RRKidz to Client Roster

LevVar Burton

Child’s Play Communications has added LeVar Burton’s RRKidz brand to its client roster. In addition to launching RRKidz, Child’s Play will relaunch the company’s Reading Rainbow brand, promote the Reading Rainbow classic library of episodes (DVD and streaming), and announce the Reading Rainbow Kidz app.

Reading Rainbow ran for 26 years on PBS (1983-2009), and was co-produced and hosted by actor LeVar Burton. RRKidz will bring Reading Rainbow to today’s digitally connected children beginning with a reading and book discovery app that will initially launch for the iPad early this year. RRKidz aims to become a leader in digital publishing and a major, multi-platform, kids’ educational and enrichment brand. Burton, Co-Founder Mark Wolfe, and CEO Asra Rasheed run the brand.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Child’s Play President Wins Social Media Innovator of the Year

Stephanie Azzarone, president of Child’s Play Communications, has won the Gold award for Social Media Innovator of the Year in the 2010 Bulldog Awards for Excellence in Media and Public Relations.

Child’s Play Communications specializes in public relations, social media, and word-of-mouth communications targeted to moms. Azzarone recognized early on that mothers were using social media as their communications channel of choice. In 2006, before many agencies took the plunge, Child’s Play began reaching out to moms in social media.

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