BLR, WATT Use Anniversaries to Launch Successful Campaigns

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"It was a fun, multi-channel, multi-touch campaign that we tied to both internal and external celebrations. Ads ran during the charity week in all our newsletters. It proved to be a positive campaign [inside BLR and with customers]. We even dedicated a BLR board room to our founder, Bob Brady."

That quote came from Amy Wieman, VP of marketing for Business and Legal Resources (BLR), during her session at this month's Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS). She was speaking about the BLR Turns 40 campaign that they staged this year.

Celebrating company and subscriber/member milestones is a great way to engage your audience, initiate new transactions and attract new followers. We certainly tried to play up our history in promoting SIPA's 40th Annual Conference earlier this year and will be trumpeting our 40th SIPAwards next year at this time. (Meanwhile, entries will soon open for the 39th Annual SIPAwards, and the program is being set for the 41st Annual SIPA Conference, June 5-7, 2018.)

The one-month BLR campaign kicked off with an overview that included a short history video and information on upcoming tie-ins: an I Love My Co-worker social contest; 40 Days of BLR Trivia; BLR store discounts (a 20% off coupon was sent out); and a charity element to the campaign.

"In honor of BLR's 40th Anniversary, 5% of all store proceeds from 7/10–7/14 will go towards the High Fives Foundation," an email during the campaign read. (The charity has a very personal connection to one of BLR's employees.)

The results were impressive:

  • More than 4,000 social views of the contests and charity campaign were registered.
  • The I Love My Co-Worker posts set a positive tone—"He listens to everyone's problems and always has a resolution to it; the shop has gone over 2 years without an injury!" read one entry.
  • The store coupon code promotion and charity campaign exceeded expectations—$3,554 was raised for the High Fives Foundation.
  • It generated positive PR inside BLR and among its customers.

WATT Global Media Celebrates 100 Years

Earlier this year, Connectiv member WATT Global Media kicked off a year-long celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of its launch. "As I look back through our historical archives, the one common denominator is serving the audience," fourth-generation president/CEO Greg Watt said earlier this year.

WATT editors created a special content series called "WATT 100: Future of the Poultry Industry," that featured articles year-round in their publications. "Thank you to our "Future of the Poultry Industry" article series sponsors including ADM, Aviagen, Cobb, Diamond V and Elanco, we appreciate and value your support!" their site says.

In January 2018, those articles will be compiled in a special WATT 100-Year Compendium issue that will be distributed at the 2018 IPPE Show and available as a digital edition. WATT also created a special website for its centennial activities, including slideshows and scans of all WATT magazines from when the company started running Poultry Tribune in 1917. See photos here from the Photo Booth at WATT's Centennial Reception IPPE 2017.

In June, WATT hosted its annual company meeting at Indiana-based Fair Oaks Farm, one of the largest "agritainment" farms in the country, offering tours and educational experiences to the public. "This is the first time we've located our annual staff meeting away from our main headquarters," Watt said. "Part of our Line of Sight strategic plan is to connect all our staff to the markets we serve, and the importance of the work everyone does and positive effect that it has for our audience.

"Today, being able to measure and being metric-enabled allows us to react so much faster," Watt added. "Our revenue has changed from being primarily magazine to being significantly driven by events and digital and our newest initiative for 2017 is moving into paid data. We're anticipating that to be an important revenue bucket to going forward."

Do you have a milestone or anniversary coming up that you can promote or build a campaign around?

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…