Freihofer's Run for Women Earns Mark of Excellence Honors From the American Marketing Association

ALBANY (October 7, 2010) — A social media campaign created by Rueckert Advertising & Public Relations Inc. on behalf of the Freihofer's Run for Women 5K took first place in the American Marketing Association's (AMA) 16th annual Mark of Excellence Awards held Oct. 6th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albany.

The full-service agency was tapped in the results-driven competition for its integrated strategy that led the prestigious all-women's road race to draw 4,029 competitors, the largest field in its 31-year history and a 19 percent increase over the previous year's total registrants.

In partnership with local social media firm blue.0, the agency created a Run for Women Twitter page (@freihofersrun), which allowed organizers to drive viewers to the event's Web site to read complete stories, press releases and up-to-the-minute race news. A Facebook group and events page were also developed, enabling 700 members to stay abreast of the latest race news, as well as to communicate directly with one another.

Further, 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. In addition, YouTube was used to promote various aspects of the race through video.

"Social media strategies are enabling us to increase message awareness and engage our participants on a much more personal level," said Rueckert Advertising Director of Public Relations Edward Parham, whose firm's Run for Women work has earned back-to-back honors from the Public Relations Society of America (Capital Region Chapter) and been featured in PR Week, the trade journal that covers the PR business in the United States, Europe and Asia. "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 — we are hoping to parlay our expertise in this growing medium into an even bigger turnout for next year's race," he said.

The Colonie-based agency, which has handled marketing for the women-only road race since 1995, also took home the night's inaugural "People's Choice Award," in which the general public texted their vote for their favorite results-driven marketing campaign among this year's 10 finalists.

Each year the Mark of Excellence Awards program recognizes highly effective marketing programs from companies within the Capital Region. By judging based on bottom-line results, the AMA is able to recognize the ingenuity and effectiveness of the smallest organizations, as well as the high-powered marketing efforts of much bigger companies.

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Founded in 1991, Rueckert Advertising & Public Relations Inc. (@RueckertAd) is a full-service marketing communications firm with expertise in advertising, direct marketing, public relations and social media. The agency, named one of the Capital Region's top 30 "Great Places to Work" by The Business Review, provides results-driven marketing services to a range of energy, retail, manufacturing, finance, sports and healthcare clients. For more information, call (518) 446-1091, or visit rueckertadvertising.com.

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