Generic public relations strategic plan for marathon
Darren CopelandStrategic Planning Paper for Area Marathon MCOM 4550 3.14.2007
1. The XXXXXXXXXX Marathon is an organization that is trying to promote XXXXX Avenue and the Metro area, as well as raising money for charity, by hosting a world class marathon. The marathon organization is in its second year with it’s main tactic of putting on a marathon for over 5000 runners participating in the inaugural race. The XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization, put together by the three Mayors of XXXXX , XXXXX and XXXXX, is working to highlight the uniqueness of XXXXX Avenue, the nation’s longest continuous street. Besides highlighting XXXXX Avenue, the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon donates its money to the XXXXXXXXXX Charity, which helps schools and kids around the state.2. Business objectives for the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon include:i.Increase the number of participants in the marathon by 20% each year.ii.Increase the number of XXXXX Avenue Businesses involved with the race by20 over the next year..iii.Increase the number of visitors to XXXXX Avenue by 10% in the next12months.iv.Increase the amount of money given to the XXXXXXXXXX charity by 20%from last year.3. Issues, strategies, and policies that have been, or need to be addressed.Form alliances with XXXXX Avenue businesses.Revisit sweeping up the back of the marathon.Highlighting XXXXX Avenue and tying it in to the race.Organizing the increase of runners and volunteersHosting the 2007 United States Wheelchair and the U.S.A. Track and FieldNational Club Relay Championships.Keeping all three cities, XXXXX, XXXXX, and XXXXX, involved in the race.Addressing negative perceptions of XXXXX Avenue.4. Internal and external publics for the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon
Internal•Employees•Volunteers•Mayors of XXXXX, XXXXX, and XXXXX•XXXXX Avenue Businesses•XXXXXXXXXX Charity External•XXXXX Avenue Businesses•Runners•Potential Volunteers•Metro area residents living near XXXXX Avenue•Metro area residents not living near XXXXX Avenue•Local Media•National Media•Running Media•Other Area Marathon•Sponsors5. Internal and external perceptions of the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon Internal•Employees Positive Perceptions XXXXXXXXXX Marathon is a charitable event XXXXXXXXXX Marathon is a fun event Helping revitalize XXXXX Avenue is worthy goal Able to get the cities of XXXXX, XXXXX, and XXXXX work together Negative Perceptions Takes up a lot of time Working with large groups of people is stressful•Volunteers Positive Perceptions It’s a worthy goal A part of a big event Helping the community Negative Perceptions Not trained to deal with problems Not getting paid Lots of work•Mayors of XXXXX, XXXXX, and XXXXX Positive Perceptions
Part of a worthy cause Working in a bi-partisan manner Great publicity Negative Perceptions Name attached, but no control over event Seen as creating a traffic hassle•XXXXX Avenue Businesses Positive Perceptions Part of revitalization effort Brings lots of new people to XXXXX Avenue Free positive publicity Negative Perceptions Only a temporary boost Too much traffic Big clean up The business may not have any connection to a marathon or running in general•XXXXXXXXXX Charity Positive Perceptions Large perpetuating money source Three cities helping cause Positive publicity Negative Perceptions XXXXX Avenue not a “kids” place External•Runners Positive Perceptions Interesting race course, it’s a straight line Championship race for wheelchairs and clubs Lots of runners in Colorado, not a lot of Marathons Negative Perceptions High altitude Sweeping back of race to reopen road causes runners to feel “kicked out of race”•Metro area residents Positive Perceptions
Good for the image of the Metro area A worthy cause A “healthy” event for health conscious community Negative Perceptions A big hassle Creates big mess•Local Media Positive Perceptions Good positive local story Want to help worthy cause Public needs to know about a big event like this Negative Perceptions Takes man power away from other news Hard for media not sponsoring event to cover it Running not a “marquee” event for live coverage•National Media Positive Perceptions Unorthodox race is good angle Co-operation among politicians of different parties is a nice human interest angle Negative Perceptions Not a “marquee” event Don’t usually cover marathons, not even big ones•Running Media Positive Perceptions Colorado is big for running Hosting Wheelchair and club U.S. Championships Negative Perceptions Not a large race at the moment No big name runners participating•Other Area Marathon Positive Perceptions Helps build running base Can work off each other to make both races great “Friendly” rivalry breeds “friendly” competition Negative Perceptions
“Not so friendly competition” might get nasty and personal Creates a “one or the other” scenario they might lose Might make their race look unorganized or amateurish•Sponsors Positive Perceptions Money goes to a good cause Marathon organization is a local product Negative Perceptions Risk with being associated with XXXXX Avenue Race not as big as others6. Opportunities to relay information from or about the organization•Running publications present the opportunity to use the U.S. Wheelchair andClub Championships as an example of the credibility and respectability of therace•Contacts with media race sponsors•Make notable entrants available to radio and television morning shows•XXXXX Avenue’s long and history presents many newsworthy and interestingmedia opportunities•Using the mayors for personal appearance opportunities7, 8, 10-12. (Grouped by business objective)The first business objective is to increase the number of participants in themarathon by 20% in the next year. The communication goal is to persuade new participants to enter the race. Last year there were 5000 participants in the race. To fulfill the goal, the communication objective is to persuade 1000 new participants to enter this year. The theme for this objective is that the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon is a unique race that whose proceeds go to charity.
The first strategic consideration is the need to increase media contact with non-sports media outlets. A tactic that can be used to address this strategic consideration is to make notable entrants available to local media outlets for interviews. An example would be to have last year’s women’s champion interviewed on a female oriented morning radio program. The second strategic consideration is the need to increase media contact with running media. A tactic that can be used is to have members of the U.S. Wheelchair and Club Championship teams be featured in running publications. The angle could be the struggles they have had to overcome in order to be able to participate in marathons. A tactic that the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon uses is a first time runner’s diary that they publish on their website. This lets new runners understand that their anxieties about running a marathon are not unique, and these worries shouldn’t stop someone from entering. The third strategic consideration is the need to increase awareness of marathon’s year-round fitness programs. The XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization uses a controlled media tactic by giving training tip articles on its website from the University Sports Medical Center. Additionally, they also have information on their training programs on their website.The second business objective is to increase the number of XXXXX AvenueBusinesses involved with the race by 20 over the next year. The communication goal is to persuade XXXXX Avenue businesses to get involved with XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization events. The communication objective is to persuade twenty XXXXX Avenue businesses to become involved with the organization in the next year.
The theme for this objective is that the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization believes that the revitalization of XXXXX Avenue is a worthy goal, and wants to be involved. The strategic consideration for this objective is to partner with XXXXX Avenue businesses to highlight the unique and interesting nature of race. A tactic for this strategy might be having special events at certain places to promote the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization. An example would be to have a “ten mile party” held at the business located at the ten mile mark of the race.The third business objective is to increase the number of visitors to XXXXXAvenue by 10% in the next12 months. The communication goal is to persuade XXXXX Metro area residents that XXXXX Avenue is a great place to spend time. The communication objective is to persuade 50,000 XXXXX Metro residents to visit XXXXX Avenue businesses in the next year. The theme for this objective is that XXXXX Avenue is much better than it has been. If you haven’t seen the “new” XXXXX Avenue, you need to visit. The first strategic consideration would be to partner with XXXXX Avenue businesses to recognize unique anniversaries in XXXXX Avenues history. A tactic for this strategy might be having a guided walking tour of XXXXX Avenue that people could take that would give them a history of the street. The second strategic consideration would be creating incentives for people to come to XXXXX Avenue to shop. A tactic might be to hold seasonal events and discounts at XXXXX Avenue businesses available to volunteers, participants, and people aware of the XXXXX XXXXX Marathon.
The fourth business objective is to increase the amount of money given to theXXXXXXXXXX charity by 20% from last year. The communication goal is to persuade sponsors and donors to give more money. The communication objective is to persuade sponsors and donors to increase money given to the XXXXXXXXXX charity by 20% in the next year The theme could be that the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization is a 501 Non-profit organization which means, not only will you be helping local children with your donations, and helping to revitalize XXXXX Avenue, your donation is tax deductible. A strategy consideration would be to recognize sponsors who increase their donation amounts. A tactic would be to have a mayor of the cities involved give an award to the business that would be covered by the local media, but created by the XXXXX XXXXX Marathon organization.9. The priorities for these communication goals are as follows: A. Persuade new participants to enter the race. When people see that the marathon is not just a one time event but is in the community all year round, it creates positive feelings about the marathon. Additionally, people will be more likely to get involved in the program if they see others running down the street regularly. This is a high priority and should be implemented immediately if it hasn’t been already. B. Persuade XXXXX Avenue businesses to get involved with XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization events. It’s important the XXXXX Avenue businesses are on board with the marathon and this is a good way for the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon to work with the businesses in a way that doesn’t make the businesses have to do all the work. A winning situation that should be implemented in the next 1- 2 years
C. Increase the number of visitors to XXXXX Avenue by 10% in the next 12 months. This will take a little work to get going. It is not that people need to know about shopping, but that the shopping experience is a good one. An increase is visitors will show that the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon is helping them. This should be implemented in the next two years. D. Increase the amount of money given to the XXXXX XXXXX charity by 20% from last year. Increasing the amount of money given to the XXXXXXXXXX charity is a priority, but it is dependent on the other communication goals. If participation increases as does participating businesses, there will be more money to give. This should be implemented in the next two years.11. Additional Strategic considerations for the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon Action Strategies Organizational Performance – The performance of the organization is important, but it is not something that needs to be highlighted yet. This is a bad strategy for the organization at this time. Audience participation – This is a marathon, so audience participation is a key aspect. The marathon needs not just runners, but volunteers and businesses to participate as well. This is a good strategy for the organization. Special event – Not only is the race a special event, but there are plenty of other opportunities for putting on a special event. This is a good strategy for the organization. Alliances and Coalitions – The marathon needs alliances and coalitions, be it donors, sponsors, the XXXXX Avenue businesses, or the three cities involved. This is a good strategy for the organization. Sponsorships – Sponsors are very important so this is a good strategy for the organization. Activism – The organization is not using persuasive communication, and doesn’t want to alienate anyone, so this is a bad strategy for the organization.
Communication Strategies Newsworthy information – The marathon itself is a newsworthy event, but there are other opportunities for stories relating to the marathon to be news worthy. This is a good strategy for the organization. Transparent communication - Transparent communication is always a plus, but it is not really necessary for the marathon. A good strategy for building trust with the people the organization deals with.13. Evaluation Techniques for the Business Objectives The evaluation technique for the first business objective which is to increase the number of runners participating in the XXXXX XXXXX Marathon is a simple quantitative evaluation. If we have 1000 new runners, which would be 20% of the 5000 participants that took part last year, the organization will have met the objective. The evaluation technique for the second business objective which is to increase the number of XXXXX Avenue Businesses involved with the organization by 20 over the next year is also a quantitative technique. If the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization can persuade twenty new XXXXX Avenue businesses to get involved they will have met their second business objective. The evaluation technique for the third business objective which is to increase the number of visitors to XXXXX Avenue by 10% in the next12 months will be a bit more difficult. I would survey the businesses on XXXXX Avenue to find out how many sales they had for the previous year. I would then ask those businesses to keep track of how many sales they had for this year and compare the results. If the numbers show a 10% increase in the number of patrons who completed a transaction, then the business objective will be met. By continuing this survey over a three to four year period, the results should become more accurate. The evaluation technique for the fourth business objective which is to increase the amount of money given to the XXXXXXXXXX charity by 20% from last year is, again, a quantitative technique. The total amount of money given last year can be compared to the amount given this year, and once adjusted for inflation, can be measured. If the final sum for this year is 20% more than last year, then the organization will have met this business objective.14. Estimated Timeline
The goals should be put in place as soon as possible. The three mayors kicked of the 2007 XXXXXXXXXX Marathon on March 13th, so the objective of persuading runners to participate should start immediately. The organization has already started the new runner diary and training sessions. As for getting notable participants on local non-sports media, it takes a bit of time for some of the interviews to happen, the athletes’ schedules must be collected and then producers should be called. This should start happening before April 1st. The objective of persuading XXXXX Avenue businesses to get involved with the organization should also happen as soon as possible. The organization should come to a decision on some XXXXX Avenue historical dates to target for events, as well as find out which businesses are near certain mile markers of the race by April 1st at the latest. The events need to be scheduled by the first week in April so there will be ample time to prepare and publicize the events. The business objective regarding visitors to XXXXX Avenue should also start immediately. It will take time for XXXXX Avenue business to collect the data so they should be given as much time as possible. The data should begin with the first fiscal quarter after the race, which is the fourth quarter. Once that data has been collected, the businesses should be reminded to keep track of the sales beginning in the fourth fiscal quarter which starts July 1. The business objective which is to increase the amount of money given to XXXXXXXXXX Charity can be put off for a until after the race, but sponsors should be contacted immediately to see if there are possibilities of them paying for sponsorships of the events leading up to the race. Once the race is finished and the money from the entry fees calculated, the actual percent increase or decrease should be evident. From that data, the organization can start more aggressively finding sponsors to help next year’s lead in events.15. Anticipated Resources There are six employees working at the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon organization There are the three city sponsors and the mayors from those cities There are two title sponsors There are three presenting sponsors
There are five corporate sponsorsThere are the businesses along XXXXX AvenueThere is the XXXXXXXXXX Marathon websiteThere are the U.S Wheelchair and U.S. Club championship organizationsThere are the workers and volunteers from the 2006 raceThere are the XXXXXXXXXX CharitiesThere needs to be survey instructions to be given to the XXXXX AvenuebusinessesThere needs to be a computer with internet to distribute press releasesand other communicationsThere needs to be volunteers to research and give walking tours ofXXXXX AvenueThere needs to be an accountant to count and disperse the moneyThere needs to be an office for the organizationThere needs to be awards to give to sponsors who donate more money.There needs to be office supplies.