Next One Up
Critical Awareness for Next One Up
Maroon PR was engaged by Next One Up (NOU) to showcase what the social impact nonprofit has grown into, now in its 11th year. With the dual goals to publicize NOU’s programs success in direct, positive results for at-risk young men in Baltimore City’s toughest neighborhoods, and to help them attract potential donors, Maroon PR developed an aggressive three-month campaign strategy.
Maroon PR was retained by NOU for a three-month project to assist with key internal communications needs and execute an external media relations campaign focused on two key areas:
Publicize NOU’s programs success in direct, positive results for at-risk young men in Baltimore City’s toughest neighborhoods
Help attract potential donors
The primary strategy was to position NOU Founder/CEO Matt Hanna as a thought leader in the social impact nonprofit space as way to garner media attention for Next One Up. By using Matt’s expertise in this space, he could talk about timely issues while bringing attention to his efforts with NOU and his vision for growth.
Our secondary focus was on highlighting NOU’s current and former participants, called “scholar athletes” while part of the program. Featured in media hits were NOU’s current program director, who is a former participant, along with several of their current high school and college, and recent college graduate scholar athletes.
Our team secured media hits in a mix of local, regional and national outlets across TV, radio, web and print, including a feature story that laned on the front page of The Baltimore Sun. The same story was later published in The Washington Post.
BILLION Earned Media Impressions
As part of our work with Next One Up, Maroon PR developed a comprehensive social media strategy designed to assist their team in curating the right content and post cadence to help grow their social channels.
Maroon PR’s design team also enhanced the NOU logo, developed brand guidelines for the organization and developed several social media graphics to be implemented in their content moving foward.
After seeing multiple stories about the upcoming movie, Charm City Kings, Maroon PR pitched the powerful story of Next One Up to show the sharp contrast between what the media portrays of Baltimore City, compared to the reality for so many here. Tatyana Turner, at the Baltimore Sun, had already covered Charm City Kings and had a history of covering black community initiatives, similar to NOU.
This editorial piece was written by Greg Jones, a technical analyst at Flywheel Digital, a local managed service company driving brand growth in digital retail. He was a Next One Up scholar athlete program participant from middle school through college.
As a growing non-profit, Next One Up needed to reach more people with the inspiring stories of our young members as well as formalize a real public relations and social media strategy. John Maroon and his great staff at Maroon PR took us on, knowing we were smaller than most non-profit organizations they had worked with in the past. They saw something special in Next One Up and from the first day, we felt the impact and after three months, we can truly say that this was exactly the partner we needed during these times.
We encourage our clients to let us do more to drive business growth.
Learn how our integrated services can
work for you.
Strategy & Background
The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill marks a new chapter for the State's rich horse and equestrian tradition. One of only two 5 Star events in the United States, and seventh worldwide, the prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*) designation is the pinnacle of the sport of Eventing, best described as an equestrian triathlon. Knowing that the event has been well attended by Equestrian enthusiasts, MPR was tasked with growing awareness for the Maryland 5 Start and the sport of Eventing to a wider general event-goer audience, particularly in Baltimore and the surrounding Counties. MPR developed a comprehensive earned, owned and paid media campaign focused on our strong media relationships to drive awareness in key markets and ultimately drive ticket sales across the four days of the event.
Our tactics included:
- A targeted media outreach plan using compelling pitches and a cadence of announcements to drive credibility and secure consistent media coverage leading up to the event.
- Creation of a unique media day in the Baltimore market where we took Eventing athletes - rider & horse - to the local television stations for a visual and interactive interview opportunity.
- Development & execution of strategic media buy encompassing digital, television, radio, print, and outdoor, using a mix of tactics to reach the target audience in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Development & execution of email marketing strategy, along with handling messaging and deployment of the emails
- Media preview day on the Wednesday before the 4-day event to give media early access to the event.
- Proactive media relations efforts before and during the event, including the credentialing process, encouraging media attendance by both trade and mainstream media, and managing the press center onsite.
- General event attendance grew by 18% compared to 2022
- A total of 101 broadcast and online (print/digital) stories garnered
- Secured coverage across all four Baltimore TV stations throughout the campaign (WMAR, WBAL, WBFF and WJZ), through various pitching efforts.
- Secured multiple radio interviews on top news-talk radio station WBAL Radio and with WDEL Radio in Wilmington, Delaware, the region’s top news and information station.
- Deployed 37 email campaigns resulting in 195,233 total opens for a 47% Open Rate and 12,734 clicks to the website resulting in a 2.5% click-through-rate (CTR).
- Over 25 Million paid media impressions generated through advertising campaigns and media partners.