Rueckert Advertising & Public Relations taps into PR, social media to drive record field at 31st Annual Friehofer's Run
ALBANY, NY (July 29, 2009) — A comprehensive public relations and social media campaign employed by Rueckert Advertising & Public Relations LLC and its partners helped draw 4,029 women — the largest field ever — to participate in this year's 31st annual Freihofer's Run for Women.
To raise awareness of the prestigious 5km road race, the full-service marketing communications agency generated 57 million impressions from 585 pre- and post-event print and electronic stories. This record coverage, which included in-depth articles in industry trade publications like Runners World and TV segments on the YES Network's Running HD show and the International Association of Athletics Federations' Running Roadshow, was valued at more than $1.6 million.
The agency also partnered with local social media firm blue.0 to launch an aggressive social media campaign.
"As the news hole shrinks social media is becoming an increasingly powerful communication tool," said Rueckert Advertising Account Executive Chris Rueckert, noting that social media helped boost attendance by 19% this year. "This new communications tool enables us to tell our story with our audience on multiple fronts."
Among the social networking tactics employed were the creation of a Run for Women Twitter page (@freihofersrun), which allowed organizers to drive viewers to the event's Web site to read complete stories and press releases, and a Facebook group page, which enabled 364 members to stay abreast of the latest race news, as well as communicate directly with one another.
A new Freihofer's Run for Women blog (http://blog.freihofersrun.com) — featuring news, video interviews with event staff and runners, elite athlete updates, women's health and fitness news, media stories about the race, and general running news — was also introduced. Meanwhile, YouTube was used to promote various aspects of the race through video.
"With such a strong running community in the Capital Region and with so many Freihofer's Run for Women participants blogging about their training, races and interests, it made sense to establish ways for them to connect with one another online," explained Chris Bowcutt, founder of blue.0. "Hopefully these connections will translate into an even bigger turnout next year."