Meet Content: Empowering the Hot Trot 15k to Inaugural Success!

In 1979, the Fond du Lac Running Club was founded to bring affordable, quality running and walking events to the Fond du Lac area. A Board of Directors was formed in 1981 and a club constitution was drafted in 1983. The Fond du Lac Running Club obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 1994. We currently have eight events and will be adding a ninth in August of this year called the Hot Trot 15k. We are in the process of creating a brand for this event based off of our own running club brand. This means we will be using existing content marketing strategies but adding new content strategies to make this event as successful or more successful than our current events.

Inaugural Hot Trot 15k, 1 mile run/walk, 3 mile walk

August 2, 2014

Horace Mann High School – North Fond du Lac, WI



Content Marketing Strategies:

Existing Strategies:
■  Monthly Fondy Footnotes newsletter (Publicity Director) – Articles published in March, April, May, June, and July newsletters
■  Add event to running websites and race calendars within Wisconsin (Publicity Director) – April
■  Distribute entry forms to area organizations and businesses (Board of Directors) – April
■  Mass email to all contacts, strictly about event (Publicity Director) – Email sent in June and July
■  Gather and coordinate roughly 60 volunteers through Facebook, emails, and phone (Volunteer Coordinator) – June and July
■  Action Advertiser front page spread (Publicity Director/Katie Larson from Action Ad) – July 13
■  Radio advertising on B104.7 (Publicity Director/Marty from B104.7) – June, July, August
■  Daily posts on Facebook page including pictures of t-shirt design, award design, sponsors logos, reminders and FAQs about event, results and photos after the event (Publicity Director) – April, May, June, July and August
■  Update website with event details including results and photos after the event (Webmaster) – April, May, June, July, and August

New Strategies:
■  Create Hot Trot logo utilizing the charities of choice (Fondy Food Pantry, Ruby’s Pantry, Salvation Army pantry) and a pair of sunglasses (sunglasses will be the constant logo of this event) (Hot Trot Committee) – Immediately (March)
■  Implement member discount for those members who pre-register for the event (Registration Coordinator) – Immediately (March)
■  Contact area organizations and businesses with sponsorship forms (Publicity Director/Hot Trot Committee) – March and April
■  Order and place yard signs in North Fond du Lac and surrounding areas (Equipment Director) – May
■  Implement 15k training plan specifically for event and include sponsor talks regarding nutrition, stretching, recovery, and race prep (Group Run Director) – May, June, and July
■  Offer discounts via codes on Facebook for registering within a certain timeframe (Publicity Director) – May, June, and July
■  The Reporter front page spread (Publicity Director) – July 6
Interview club members and race coordinators on Blog Talk Radio (Publicity Director/Race Coordinators) – July, August
Advertise for FourSquare check-ins for participants and discounts for utilizing check-in (Registration Director) – August
■  Action Advertiser and The Reporter articles post-event regarding recap and highlighting champions (Publicity Director) – August

Mini Style Guidelines:

The Fond du Lac Running Club’s Facebook page will be run by the Publicity Director. Any updates to the Facebook page must be approved by the Publicity Director. All other marketing entities must be approved by the Board of Directors with a final approval by the Fond du Lac Running Club President. The following guidelines should be used when creating contect to share with the Publicity Director or Board of Directors prior to approval:

■  Do your research. Make sure your content is accurate and reliable. Cite resources as necessary.
■  Create content based on the running club’s mission. (Organized to promote quality running, fitness and wellness to the Fond du Lac area)
■  Consider individual differences. Include all types of runners and walkers. Not everyone is a seasoned veteran, nor is everyone a beginner. Make everyone feel included in training plans, event information, etc.
■  Include the correct link to the event’s website in all postings. This makes it easy for people to click on it after reading the post, instead of having to search for the event.
■  Include sponsor’s logos as specified in sponsorship contract, and include the Hot Trot logo on all pieces of media and participant information. The logo is the symbol for the event. We want people to look at the logo and know it’s the Hot Trot event for year’s to come.
■  Tell everyone EVERYTHING about the event. We work on the event so we know everything about it. Make no assumptions that others know detals about the event.
■  Be responsive. Positive and negative feedback are both important for an event’s success. Responding to feedback is just as important.

do-and-dont - Copy

■  Don’t be rude. To anyone. Ever. – You are representing the Fond du Lac Running Club. Do it in a positive and friendly way. Word of mouth travels fast. You don’t know how many people the person you were just rude with talks to in a day. They might be the CEO of a sponsoring organization or they might be a non-interested future participant. Either way, treat them with the same friendly respect.
■  Don’t talk like a machine or press release in postings on Facebook or with people in conversation. You are a person. Use your people skills to be human, conversational, and authentic. Less of “contact us” and more of “get in touch!”

The content of the Hot Trot 15k is very important. Following these crucial steps can lead to the success of our very first Hot Trot 15k!



  1. Great post. I like the idea of creating a Hot Trot logo for the event. Does the Club have a logo its self? A logo could go a long way in helping your group create a solid brand as it would be used for any advertising and publicity you were a part of. You could also use it with all the charities and other events and groups the club is partnered with so that it always shows how you’re working for the greater good and the needs of the target population.


    1. Our club does have a running club logo but we also give each of our events their own logo. These logos are always on the shirts for the event as well as logos for our main sponsors of that event (if we have any).


  2. Kate,
    Great Graphics!

    Nice, very nice post. I will suggest a few things you can add to your new strategy list.

    1. Foursquare check-in’s – Runners can check-in the day of the run.
    a)This will increase the day of the run visibility ( peak interest for next year’s run).
    b) Provide group check-in discounts for those who sign up the day of.

    a) Create “Badges.” These are logos that go on your board member, runners, supporters and advertising supporters web site. They should have a link to the 15K run page (not to the main page of the organization) but to the event page.

    Blog Talk Radio
    a) Interview past runners (even though this is a new event, interview runners of previous events in the organization. You have seven events. This is still promoting the organization, the umbrella brand (every new brand under the main brand (umbrella) is now a spin-off and previous runners can talk about the fun, benefits etc., they have with the people they meet, volunteers and people who work for the organization.
    b) Interview experts ( this can be anyone who has experience) with the following that helps people before and after the run. Topics can be 1) Nutrition 2) Warm up exercises 3) Run Day activities and events 4) More about the organization and the reasons for the run

    Your Style Guide — Lady it is right on! I love it. It isn’t intimidating or authoritative. You communicated clearly what is and isn’t acceptable.


  3. Over the course of these past assignments, it’s been neat to see all the ideas you have for the running club and how they all tie together. You have a very informed strategy, and with people like you involved in this organization I don’t see how this new event couldn’t be a success!
    I also like the graphics you added for the style guide section of this post– it’s something small, but it really got my attention and made for a nice separation of the dos and don’ts. Great job!


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