This is the Publisher’s Letter as published in the July issue of Pet Age.
A short 12 years ago when I had just moved back to the New York metro area I had a calendar where I would write all my appointments in, along with all the information I needed for them. It was the system I knew best at the time and it worked well. Then my wife suggested that I get a Palm Pilot. It changed the way I kept myself organized and started my journey into the world of technology.
Since then, I have gone through three Palm Pilots, three Black Berries, three iPhones and two iPads. It’s amazing how everything works together so seamlessly and goes straight to the cloud. It has made my life vastly easier, except for the occasional computer crash, or two.
In this month’s cover story we write about how technology has changed the pet industry. How companies like PetSafe, Kurgo and many others are using technology to not only enhance and better the lives of pets, but to help the pet owner. The second section of the story covers how technology helps the retailer. In the past few years, so many different POS systems, alarm systems, scan able QR codes and different types of technology have come out to help the retailer not only to sell more, but to do it more efficiently and effectively.
Along the lines of technology, social media and digital media is something that we at Pet Age strive hard to achieve a level of excellence.
I have been on Facebook for years, and it allowed me to connect with friends, keep in touch with clients, manufactures, retailers and other people around the pet industry.
LinkedIn has been one of my primary social media outlets. Through it, I have kept in touch with thousands of people and it is one of the best networking tools out there.
Most recently, our editor talked me into trying my hand at Twitter. I’m starting to get the hang of it by tweeting two or three times a week and reading up on different little news bites from different pet retailers and manufactures around the country.
So why do I bring this up? Because if I can do it, anyone can; and it’s something I would strongly encourage pet retailers to use. Even if it’s something that takes you out of your comfort zone, try it anyway. Take a chance.
In May we went to the Halo pop-up store where we not only used social media, but digital media. We uploaded photos, did real-time status updates — all the small things on social media to get a large amount of impressions. Also, we took video while we were there that allowed us to show our followers and website visitors what Halo was doing.
It goes to show, that while print is still the main way of reaching our readers, social media can have a big impact. It has allowed me, and many others, to connect with others in the pet community on a regular basis, whether at my desk, on the road at a hotel, at the airport waiting for a flight or at the doctor’s office. It lets me stay in touch with my calendar, clients, emails and friends.
You may not need all the different technology, or social media outlets I use, but you can use the ones that make the most sense with your clientele, because you better believe they are using some form of it.
– Craig Rexford