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    Giving an historic road race a boost.

Troy Turkey Trot

Troy turkey trot

Rueckert Advertising & Public Relations recently assumed marketing duties for the 65th annual Troy Turkey Trot, one of the world’s oldest and largest road races. Our goal was to increase the number of runners participating in this prestigious event from previous years.

With only seven weeks to pull the event off, we had to work fast. We devised a comprehensive campaign that included proactive public relations, advertising and social media strategies to reach our target audience.

Public relations efforts included a launch press conference, eight-page newspaper tabloid, feature stories, press releases and public affairs shows, while a comprehensive website provided links to registration, event and media information, maps, volunteer sign-ups, as well as solicited donations for three regional charities.

A strong social media strategy — Twitter, Facebook and YouTube — was also instrumental to the campaign’s success. Contests and giveaways helped double the number of Facebook fans, while two creative videos accounted for 80% of our You Tube channel’s total views. An email marketing push (with a 40% open rate) also enabled us to cost-effectively reach past and potential runners.

To help participants get in the shape for the 5K, we created a “Virtual Training Program” that was entirely automated via our website and e-mail. Participants opted-in with their e-mail address through the event’s website and received three workouts a week in their inbox. Meantime, our event nutritionist, injury-prevention specialist and certified coach also provided helpful tips to the program’s 269 participants.

The agency created and placed all TV, radio and print ads, as well as designed all of the graphics associated with the Troy Turkey Trot.

All of our hard work paid off with a record field of 8,290 participants (a 15.7% increase over 2011). Contributing to the success were 348 media stories from print/online/social media and broadcast outlets totaling 50.1 million impressions and an estimated publicity value of $2.4 million.

Web traffic, in the period between September 27 and December 1, included 20,968 unique visitors and 36,027 total visits.