Monday, October 12, 2009

Collaboration: Apples to Ipods

Collaborations are increasingly becoming an integral component of successful public relations work - especially in a state like Vermont where relationships, transparency, and integrity own the way a company relates to the public.

In addition, collaborations relate very importantly to the newsworthiness of something. Pretend you are a furniture maker living in Northern Vermont who enjoys fishing. Which would be more meaningful to you?
a.) An article on the newest furniture polish and its eco-friendly attributes
b.) A blog post written as a first hand account by a guy from Southern Vermont who visited a Vermont resort for a fishing outing and took a furniture making class where he tried the newest furniture polish and then shared a link on his blog to its green attributes.
(please note the social media plug)

Anyway, here is a case study of sorts on a recent Vermont collaboration:

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing wants more Vermonters and tourists alike visiting Vermont apple orchards.
Vermont Department of Agriculture wants more Vermonters and tourists alike visiting Vermont apple orchards.
Small Dog Electronics wants to continue to be known as the leader of Apple products both in Vermont and beyond.
Woodchuck Draft Cider wants more people (of legal age) to know about their product and to have appropriate settings to taste it.

The common denominators of Vermont, apples, and similar demographics made for a great opportunity for collaboration. Small Dog Electronics and Woodchuck Draft Cider sponsored the Vermont Tourism and Vermont Agriculture "Apples to Ipods" promotion where 20 or so wooden apples were distributed throughout apple orchards in Vermont and when someone finds a wooden apple, they trade it in for an Ipod. A kick-off event held on September 15th brought on a few more collaborators - the event was held at Shelburne Orchards and Shelburne Farms cheese was provided as a snack. People could pick apples, taste apple and cheese treats, chat with folks in the Vermont Tourism and Agriculture industries, and a Woodchuck Draft Cider tasting was held in a designated area. The event and entire Apples To Ipods promotion was low cost, responsibilities were spread across the collaborators, and the publicity not only came from different collaborators, but was far more newsworthy by involving multiple groups, rather than just one product or experience.

Here are some photos from the kick-off event...

And if they haven't all been found yet - keep looking and enjoy those apples!!! Mmmm.

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