I would love to own a card and craft shop someday. But another dream job of mine is practicing public relations for a much bigger craft store, such as Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Although Jo-Ann Fabrics is a bit pricey, the costs of its products compare to that of other craft stores. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is a trusted brand, and its sales and coupons entice me to return for more scrapbooking supplies. The weekly sales flyers include coupons with generous discounts, and the flyer is even available online.
Jo-Ann Fabrics uses technology to connect with its consumers. The company’s Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube accounts help customers find relevant information about their projects and purchases, as well as communicate with other fans, followers and consumers. Jo-Ann Fabrics also has an account with ArtFire, a small company “with a passion for handmade, art and indie business.” I had never heard of ArtFire until now. What have you heard about it?
The Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store blog adheres to consumers’ needs and wants but also retains a professional tone. Readers may refer to blog posts for project ideas and more.
However, I noticed the blog posts generate very little, if any, comments from readers. Jo-Ann Fabrics would benefit from building stronger relationships with its consumers. An additional Facebook “like” or a handful of Twitter followers will further promote the brand. But encouraging creative bloggers and blog subscribers to interact might better contribute to online relationships.
This leads me to my evaluation of the online public relations efforts for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores:
What they’re doing well:
- The FAQ section of the Jo-Ann Fabrics website is fantastic. The page is very thorough and separated by several categories, including order information, shipping information, gift cards and more. Although the company has existed for more than 60 years and has plenty of experience with customer service, Jo-Ann Fabrics covers most, if not all, customer concerns. This demonstrates a strong understanding of consumers’ issues and the dedication to solving their problems.
- Although the fact sheet is bland, it’s simple and easy to follow. The photos of executive officers are fairly consistent and links to social media pages line the bottom of the page.
- Jo-Ann Fabrics social media sites assist the company by connecting with target audiences and customers. Individuals who shop at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores have many outlets in which to share ideas, comments and concerns.
- The website’s press room and general news pages could both use some work. For such a visually-rich brand, Jo-Ann Fabrics website designers should consider including some photos on these pages. Corporate communications should also attempt to share more meaningful content to the media more often.
- The company’s Facebook page does not stand out compared to other Facebook fan pages. Jo-Ann Fabrics should be unique and creative; its Facebook page should reflect the abilities of its customers. I suggest a colorful background to draw viewers into other features of the page, such as photos and Prom Contest details.
What else do you think Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores could do to improve its public relations efforts?