DC Marketing Pro recently sat down with Mary Kay LeMay. For the past 13 years, she has been Director of Marketing and Advertising for WTOP Radio, WTOP.com and FederalNewsRadio.com. Handling the marketing for these 3 properties provides us a unique look at the best marketing strategies and tactics for similar, but different products. WTOP Radio is a well-established brand, one with massive name recognition in Washington DC. WTOP.com is a brand extension of WTOP Radio and is growing rapidly. FederalNewsRadio.com is hyper targeted, super niche product that requires a uniquely integrated marketing strategy and tactics than the WTOP branded properties. Some of her marketing can be leverage to benefit all 3 properties and some requires unique solutions. We think this Q & A will be helpful as you plan an effective marketing strategy for your company.
This is the final part of this three part series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here. In this portion of the interview, Mary Kay teaches us about some important marketing best practices she's learned over the years including:
- Best practices for press releases
- Effective positioning statement for your business
- Leveraging of marketing out of your community involvement
- Event Marketing
DCMarktingPro.com: We know you are also the one who writes the press releases for all your products. What are your secrets on writing a press release that will get read?
LeMay: I’m not sure there are any “secrets” per se, but some of the “best practices” are to keep them short, to the point, and very targeted so they go the most appropriate recipients. We also try not to send out so many that they get lost in the shuffle. I get press releases from organizations almost daily – about everything they say or do – and I tend to delete them before reading (p.s. we send them all via email – what is a fax machine anyway??). I also try to stay away from sending out any press release on a Friday (unless it’s an announcement we want buried). Nobody is paying attention on Fridays and we end up losing out on a marketing opportunity.
DCMarktingPro.com: All three of your products are uniquely positioned. Their positioning has changed over the years. Can you discuss how you develop your positioning statements?
LeMay: We really try to look at who our audience is, who we want to reach, and what we want them to think/know/feel about us. With the state of media changing, you constantly have to make sure you are positioned with your audience as they are evolving, as well as constantly trying to expand your audience without alienating your core. It’s a tricky proposition. I also like to have an internal positioning statement, or mission statement, so that everyone in our company is following the same course, with the same vision – whether you are in programming, sales, or marketing.
Here is a relevant link to an article about positioning and grabbing the attention of the consumer that was written by our own Jim Farley, head honcho of WTOP’s programming department.
DCMarktingPro.com: Lastly, how do you leverage community involvement in order to benefit your marketing efforts? Can you give us some examples of how you further your presence at these events?
LeMay: In addition to the fact that community outreach helps extend our brand, we truly believe it is the right thing to do. Our properties here in DC and our owners, Hubbard Radio, are firm believers that we have an obligation to use our megaphone and our massive distribution to serve our community to the greatest extent, and getting marketing exposure out of it is an added bonus. We support dozens of events in our community on a variety of levels – from in-kind support to on-site efforts. Some of the larger and longer-running relationships include the March of Dimes March for Babies, The Susan G, Komen Global Race for the Cure, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society annual ball, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, just to name a few – there are literally dozens. We further our presence with logo exposure, signage, and many times have air talent on hand to emcee, judge or host an event. We also have a handful of events we do ourselves – free flu shot clinics, an annual blood drive, and car seat safety check events, for example. Just another way to serve our community and get our brand in front of as many people as we can and in as many different places as we can.
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