Marketing ideas? Get your running shoes on

People choose to run marathons mainly for two reasons – for a sense of achievement and to raise money for a good cause. Thousands of people take to the streets of London in April to run the 26.2 miles around the capital city. Many of those people are content creation opportunities.

When a managing director or any member of your company’s team signs up to run the marathon, this creates an opportunity for content, PR, social interaction or even some customer relationship management. Personal stories and popular events are ideal ways of building engagement for your brand with people on a personal level.

Here are some examples of stories that have been created by companies whose managing directors are reaching for their trainers.

“Run, fatboy run”

Julian Croft, MD of British Design Experts, stars in a blog post on his own company’s website which is part fun and part serious. “Crofty” also set up his own domain to promote his fundraising efforts

All in the games

Marathon story - preparing for London Marathon 2013Andy Robson, MD of games company Testology, featured in a news article on the Develop website. Robson, running for the Katie Piper Foundation, has provided an opportunity for the company’s PR department to get a bit of coverage in a key trade publication.

Local fame for local people

Paul Collins, MD of St Neots-based Wizard Recruitment has benefitted from a similar PR move by securing coverage in the local newspaper, Hunts Post. Even companies targeting customers nationally should remember the power of local coverage, especially when there is a human interest story. I’ve never heard of Wizard Recruitment, personally, but thanks to a local newspaper article, and thanks to me deciding to write this blog post, not only have I heard of them but now you have too.

Video blogging

I have saved the best for last – I love what Martin Bamford has done. He has not only written about his plan to run the Marathon in aid of The Jigsaw Trust but he has produced videos to talk about his preparations (unfortunately the video page is no longer available). So what? you might ask. The great thing about Martin’s efforts is that his website is devoted to giving independent financial advice. Martin has created content that is likely to attract an audience to his website through means other than a search for an IFA.

Key takeaway and tips

A key takeaway from this article should be that there is no such thing as nothing to say. No company can say it is unable to produce news or feature content. Here are some tips to help you think about how you can widen the coverage for your brand, both in print and online:

  • Look for human interest stories related to your company employees that might interest a local newspaper
  • Think about photo opportunities. Local newspapers and magazines have limited budgets and they often don’t have good pictures they can use for free.
  • Look for human interest stories that can also be useful for trade publications in your industry. Your peers want to know what you are up to. They really do.
  • Use social media. If employees use Facebook or Twitter, get them to tweet about things, like a charity run or some other event that you might be involved with. Maybe a colleague is doing a parachute jump for charity – pics for Facebook or Flickr would be good content and you can also use them within content on your own website, or in an email newsletter.

Need more inspiration?

Check out this article How to come up with content ideas or our A-Z of content below:

Steve Masters profile picture
Steve Masters

Steve (RIP) was Services Director for Vertical Leap. He started professional life as a magazine journalist, working on music magazines and women's titles before becoming a web editor in 1997, then joining MSN to work purely in online publishing. Since 1999 he has worked for and consulted to a broad range of businesses about their digital marketing.

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