Planning For Success

Riddle me this: How to do you convince 500+ cyclists to join a ride that’s only in its third year of existance?

I believe the answer has to do with sound strategy and flawless execution of the plan.

Last time, we explored a strategy for attaining a sponsorship goal of $8000.

(It appears that we’re going to crush that objective – although there’s still work to be done within the strategic framework)

With 100% of rider registration fees going to support the YMCA of Central Virginia’s Community Support Campaign, our emphasis is on building ridership.

So, what’s the plan?

Media

We’ll start by issuing a press release which we suspect may get picked up by local media outlets and national cycling publications. The press release also gives us the excuse to follow through with target organizations that include Lynchburg’s News and Advance, television news networks and radio.

On a national level, we will seek to get our ride included in Bicyling’s event calendar. We’ll also invite the editors including Peter Flax, Bill Strickland and Selene Yeager. Hey, if you don’t ask…

Locally, Lynchburg Living has agreed to write a story about Storming of Thunder Ridge.

Plus, we know that Jay Warren at WSLS in neighboring Roanoke is a cyclist – we’ll be sure to invite him.

Advertising

Well, it’s not like we’ve got budget to do a Super Bowl commercial!

What I’m talking about is posters and brochures that are placed in strategic locations.

Large, local employers such as Centra and Harris have agreed to place our posters at their organizations. With QR Codes, we should be able to draw in interested riders.

While not particularly exciting, brochures placed in targeted high-traffic areas such as doctor offices, bike and running shops, restaurants, etc. should help garner interest.

We’ll also reach out to local and regional bike clubs and shops to request that SOTR be included on their calendar and/or newsletter.

(As a commentary, I will say that we’re unlikely to go for those clubs that want to jack us up for money to get included in their newsletter. I know there are costs involved. But your charter is about socializing riding, so let events – particularly charitable events – be included gratis!)

Social & WOM

(Translation: Word of Mouth)

This is how we grew doubled our ridership in 2011…

We’ve got to get people talking. I don’t care whether it’s on the phone, via email, on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or whatever.

Most importantly, we need sneezers – those folks who spread the word through their vast network of contacts.

I’m talking about well-connected Central Virginia cyclists including Phillip Robb at Cutaway Clothing, Andy Guptill at  the Miller School of Albemarle Endurance Team, Ben King at RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, Dan King, and Hunter Allen at Peaks Coaching.

And bike and running shops such as Bikes Unlimited, Blackwater Bike Shop, Riverside Runners, Rise Above Cycles, 3 Sports, Bonzai and more.

Plus local area politicians including Delegate David Toscano in Charlottesville and Senator Creigh Deeds. Think they don’t have a network?

Who else? Well, colleges and universities. Cycling clubs. Cycling advocacy groups such as Bike Charlottesville. Local tourism groups.

What Am I Missing?

Hit me up in the comments and tell me what I am missing. Here’s a question – what about Twitter?

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