Robert Young: Not Just Another VP

What to do if you want to invite the University of Louisville Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams to be the Grand Marshalls of the Kentucky Derby Festival‘s Pegasus Parade? Ask your Facebook followers to ‘share’ your request with their followers! This is what Robert Young and his Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) team did to show our U of L athletes that they had our respect, and we wanted to support them in person!

Just a few days after their post, almost 125 thousand people had viewed their invitation. The U of L teams responded with a big…

L Yes!

Young and his KDF Communications Team won a Gold Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Event Association (IFEA) this year for the Grand Marshall social media campaign. The award was aptly named the Most Creative/Effective News Stunt. Not too shabby considering this award sits alongside 18 other Pinnacle Awards this year alone, including IFEA’s highest honor, the Grand Gold Pinnacle.

This was one of the many examples Young gave to our social media class this morning regarding the potential impact social media can have on our future careers. One of the things he shared was his view on why social media is so important to our society as a whole. Here is his take:

  • Enhanced Communication
  • Enormous Audience (Sharing Capabilities)
  • Cheap CPM (Cost Per Thousand)

This means consumers have direct access to two-way communication when participating on social media platforms. Using these platforms for real-time updates, for example during the KDF’s Thunder Over Louisville, has been a real asset to the festival. This two-way communication allows followers to be “in the loop” and keep up with events as they are happening. Cheap CPM means you can promote posts on social media for around $50, while reaching thousands of people. You can be the journalist and promote your brand immediately. You don’t have to wait until the newspaper article comes out the next day.

Young left us with a summary simply stating: engage with your customers. In public relations that’s the bottom line, and to be honest, social media has made communicating with customers as simple as the click of a button.




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