Julia Clukey Women's Quarterly Article

Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association

Objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association’s (MBWDA) new “Julia Inspires” campaign, featuring Olympian Julia Clukey, and promote the new Julia Clukey Courage award
  • Secure at least four presentation requests through Julia’s website in the two months following the article in Women’s Quarterly
  • Help generate a 300% increase in registrations for Julia Clukey’s Camp for Girls with a goal of increasing registration numbers in the two months before the camp opened
  • Make sure that schools: know what is involved in a presentation by Julia; understand Julia’s presentation style (not to preach to the kids); and gain awareness that presentations given as part of the “Julia Inspires” campaign are provided at no cost to the school.
  • Increase traffic to both Julia Clukey’s website and the MBWDA website by 10% by June 2016.

Situation Analysis:
Nancy Marshall Communications (NMC) was tasked to build on the success of Julia’s role as spokesperson for the MBWDA by creating a new community outreach campaign targeted at schools. NMC created the “Julia Inspires” campaign. Two elements were added to the campaign that were different from her previous outreach to schools. One, Julia would present a Julia Clukey Courage Award to a deserving student selected by the school. Two, a local legislator would be invited to the presentation to enhance the MBWDA’s legislative relationships, introduce legislators to Julia, and make them aware of her youth outreach in their community. The more presentations she made, the stronger the relationship between the MBWDA and the legislature. The new “Julia Inspires” campaign started in late November 2015, and strategic marketing by NMC encouraged schools to contact Julia and the MBWDA to have Julia make one of her school presentations at their local school and inspire their students. To raise awareness of the campaign, NMC generated publicity and coordinated the public relations elements of the campaign. Target audiences are school administrators and teachers that would be likely to submit a presentation request on Julia’s website. The other target audience was legislators in Augusta who may not be familiar with the MBWDA and their commitment to promoting responsibility and good decisions. One of the strategic decisions was to secure placement for a bylined article in the Women’s Quarterly, published by The Kennebec Journal and Waterville Sentinel.

Methods:

  • Planning ahead: At Julia Clukey’s Camp for Girls in 2015, NMC coordinated the photo shoot and with forethought took the large file size, high-resolution photo of the powerful image of Julia and campers showing their muscles. The large photo was then available to pitch the media and for use in publications, such as the Women’s Quarterly in 2016. NMC contacted the editor of the Women’s Quarterly three months in advance of the spring issue to ensure enough advance notice and possible cover story placement
  • Geographic targeting: Placement in the Women’s Quarterly was key to the strategy because its circulation area includes the capital of Augusta and surrounding cities and towns where Julia can easily travel to make a presentation. Our research showed that most teachers or administrators who were submitting presentation requests were women, so Women’s Quarterly was a perfect publication to target female school administrators.
  • Having pitched the article idea well in advance and having the space confirmed for the article, NMC scheduled the school presentation for late March 2016, before the deadline for the article, so the photo of Julia presenting the first-ever Julia Clukey Courage Award could be used as a visual in the article.
  • A quote from Nick Alberding, president of the MBWDA, was included in the article to ensure readers understood that the MBWDA supports Julia and is proud to have her as their spokesperson.
  • The article included the number of school presentations Julia has made over the past five years so school administrators and legislators would see the extensive experience Julia has speaking at middle and high schools. The article also mentioned the presentations are at no cost to the school; this addressed one of the most frequent questions, “How much does her presentation cost?”
  • The article also included the direct URL where readers could find out more and request a presentation. We were then able to use Google Analytics to measure the increased traffic to this unique “landing page” and not just Julia’s home page.
  • As an extension of the MBWDA responsibility initiative, the article promoted Julia Clukey’s Camp for Girls, a summer camp made possible by the MBWDA to garner media exposure for Julia and her efforts to inspire and build relationships with Maine youth.

Results:

  • In the month after the article, direct traffic to Julia’s website increased 97% and the presentation page was the second most popular page behind the About Me page, indicating more people were learning about Julia and her outreach.
  • In the three months after the article, Julia received six presentation requests through her website.
  • In the 45 days after the article, Clukeyluge.com was the number one referring website to the MBWDA site.
  • In total, Julia made 18 presentations at schools across Maine, the most presentations she has made in a calendar year since she became the MBWDA spokesperson in 2010.
  • Following the article, more than 90 girls registered for Julia’s Camp, an average of one per day; this was a 500% increase in registrations between when the article came out and when the session became sold out (June 17, 2016).
  • The likes for Julia Clukey’s Facebook page increased by more than 100 in the three months after the article was published.