RS Springfield Works Marketing and PA for Effective Advertising
By Sgt John Neal
| | March 08, 2004
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. --
The Marines at Falls River, Mass., gladly got more than they bargained for when the Marketing and Public Affairs noncommissioned officer of Recruiting Station Springfield bought full-page ads in The Sports Journal almost two years ago. In an investment that costs just $1,500 dollars, the Marines at Recruiting Substation Falls River also get constant exposure through public service announcements and live spots on local radio station WSAR 1480 AM in nearby Somerset.
Scott MacPherson, publisher of The Sports Journal, said he is a big supporter of the military and wanted to be able to provide the Marines with affordable advertising in his sports newspaper that reaches the recruiting mission's target market.
"I try to make it affordable for all my advertisers," said MacPherson. "I'm not trying to make money off this. I wanted to provide a good service."
MacPherson is also the host of The Sports Journal Live, a two-hour daily talk show on WSAR. MacPherson invites Staff Sgt. Michael Ciani and Staff Sgt. Daniel Killough from RSS Falls River on the program once a week to announce the "Marine Athlete of the Week." The Marines present an exemplary high school athlete with a certificate created at the recruiting station.
The Marines also spend part of the program talking to listeners about opportunities in the Marine Corps, fielding questions about the military and enlistment requirements, and, according to MacPherson, they "personalize the whole recruitment process better than just ads can do alone."
According to Killough, they sometimes bring a poolee on the air to talk about why he or she decided to join the Marines.
"It gives something the listeners can relate to besides the old recruiter talking," said Killough.
For just $1,500, the Marine Corps is reaching thousands of potential applicants. According to MacPherson, The Sports Journal goes to more than 400 locations in the Falls River-greater Providence, R.I., area. The Sports Journal Live has, on average, 20,000 listeners a day, and that number will go up by mid-March when The Sports Journal Live airs on WPEP 1570 AM in Taunton, Mass., as well.
The Marines started making appearances on The Sports Journal Live in January. Although it's still too early to determine if their appearances have had an impact on their mission, Killough said he's looking forward to coming months when baseball season starts and more people tune in for the Boston Red Sox games broadcast by WSAR.
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Agee, MPA for RS Springfield, is pleased with the package deal with The Sports Journal and WSAR because of the amount of exposure it provides, the public relations value, and it's low cost.
"Five months of full-page print ads, five months of radio broadcast on two stations and promotional mentions throughout the day cost the Marine Corps $1,500 total. That's unheard of," said Agee.