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Discussion: how to promote your race to thousands for free

in: Adventure Racing; General

Aug 29, 2015 5:47 PM # 
It's the boring old media release. Do most adventure races send one out? If not, here are a few things I learned in my old marketing/pr job before I started putting on races full-time. Not rocket science, but I sense maybe it’s not happening for many events?

1. Every event should have a media release. It can expose your race to thousands of people at no charge. Even nav clinics should have a release if you know you will have room for more attendees.

2. Gather emails for local/regional media. Do an online search for all media outlets in your area. Grab emails for general newsroom, on-air personalities and reporters.

3. Write a media release. Here’s an example from our summer sprint race that drew almost 600 racers.
a. Cover the what, when, and where right away. The subject line and headline should grab their attention.
b. Describe the how and the why next. Explain the race format, the benefits of participating, how to prepare (e.g., free nav clinic), etc.
c. Offer a “hook” that makes the event worthy of coverage. Include a human interest story (email your early registrants or those you know are racing and ask if they have something interesting to share) or talk about why your event is unique (e.g., compare it to OCR/mud runs, describe its wilderness or Amazing Race type challenges). Include quotes from racers or yourself.
d. Provide contact info. Consider posting your photos to an online site like Flickr so media can view and grab what they want. If you have video, post on YouTube so they can grab as “b-roll”.
e. Keep it short. One page max.
f. Confirm the key facts are there. Have multiple people read/proofread it.
g. Lots of additional tips online if you need more help.

4. Email the release after you open registration. Send the text in the body of an email, never as an attachment. Personalize each email if you have time. Follow up with key media contacts.

5. One to two weeks before the event, email the media release again. Include any updated info such as the number of attendees or new sponsors. Make sure you send it so that there’s enough time for people to still register.

What other tips do you have from your experiences?
Aug 31, 2015 12:29 AM # 
Great stuff, Mark!

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