RepairClinic.com, founded in 1999, is an online source of major home appliance parts and free repair advice for those who want to save time and money by fixing their own appliances. The dynamic site features a PartDetective™ to help consumers find the part they need and the RepairGuru™ to provide expert advice, maintenance tips, troubleshooting and more. RepairClinic.com applies the latest in Internet, e-commerce and warehouse technology to the traditional market of appliance parts and repair.
When Eiler Communications began work with RepairClinic.com, the site was not yet live and competition was limited. The consumer appliance parts market consisted of two main segments – parts sold through the repair technicians who installed them and parts sold directly to consumers who installed the part themselves. RepairClinic.com’s initial focus was on the do-it-yourself consumer currently purchasing parts directly from the manufacturer or from parts distributors or dealers. In addition to making a spot for itself in the market, RepairClinic.com aimed at increasing the number of people able to fix their own appliances through the expert information available on the Web site.
Eiler recognized the immediate need to develop brand awareness and attract media attention to compel consumers to visit the Web site. The ultimate goal was to increase sales. Working with a limited PR budget and minimal advertising, Eiler developed a comprehensive PR program focused on the do-it-yourself consumer.
Our first objective was to develop key messages that could be used to create press kit materials in time for a January 2000 Web site launch. Additionally, we needed to prepare a target media list, focusing on regional daily newspapers, local broadcast media, national B2C technology publications, woman’s magazines, syndicated home columnists, and home improvement publications. Eiler contacted each editor via phone and email with personalized pitches, mailed each a full press kit and scheduled phone briefings with RepairClinic.com president, Chris Hall. After the initial media launch was completed, Eiler executed a series of geographic launches to targeted regional media. More creative pitches were developed and directed to key print and broadcast media generating brand awareness. Gradually, RepairCinic.com was recognized across multiple regional markets, creating a national presence.
Since RepairClinic.com went live, it has received rave reviews from the media. USATODAY.com listed them as a “Hot Site”, MSNBC’s “High Tech Tool Guy” Tom Kraeutler selected them as a top ten home improvement Web site, and Yahoo! Internet Life featured them as the Web Site of the Day. RepairClinic.com has been featured in national and local newspapers, women’s magazines, home improvement publications and on various radio shows. RepairClinic.com’s success was evident when the company redesigned its site to broaden its scope and offer more to its customers.