Webby Awards 2014: Social Media, Events Category – Run the Rocks

Thank you for considering Webolutions and the American Lung Association in Colorado for a 2014 Webby Award for Social Media, Events Category.

Event Overview

Run the ‘Rocks is an annual 5K run/walk. It is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association in Colorado. It is the only timed 5K at Red Rocks. Red Rocks is best known for its historic natural amphitheater in the foothills outside Denver.

For the 2014 event, Webolutions designed and implemented an Internet marketing strategy that included home page banner advertising on high-traffic websites, search and display advertising through Google AdWords and a heavy emphasis on paid and organic social media, especially Facebook.

Webolutions designed the overall social media strategy, managed all advertising campaigns, created the categories and publishing plan for all content and served in an active advisory role for the nonprofit’s internal resources who published the content and interacted with the online community.


Company Overview

Award Applicant: Webolutions

Webolutions is a full-service Denver marketing agency with roots in website design and digital marketing. The company celebrates its 20th “birthday” in November, 2014. Webolutions actively manages social media community development and advertising for a number of local and national clients in a broad array of verticals. As part of the agreement, Webolutions accepted remittance for the majority of its services in the form of sponsorship. Webolutions became the event’s first-ever Inspirational Sponsor.

Client: American Lung Association in Colorado

The American Lung Association in Colorado offers practical help to people living with lung diseases, educates kids about the dangers of smoking, pushes for more smoke-free workplaces and works to reduce air pollution.


Award Criteria – Content


Because of limitations in the client’s budget and corresponding ability to generate its own content, and its overall inherent online structure and funnel, the content strategy depended heavily on curation. Webolutions researched and worked with the client to identify sources that were trustworthy, noncompetitive with the nonprofit and whose content would add value to the lives of the targeted audiences, which Webolutions also worked with the client to specifically define.



Sponsor-driven Content

For seven weeks prior to the event, Webolutions contributed a weekly inspirational message on its own blog. These posts were shared to Webolutions own social media audience as well as through two installments of its monthly enewsletter, which reaches over 7,000 people and enjoys an average open rate of over 40 percent.

Additional sponsor content included:


Advertising Content

Webolutions designed and managed promoted content and display advertising strategies for Facebook.

Run the Rocks - Competitive Content


“Competitive” Content

Tapping in to the competitive nature of participants to generate additional fundraising, Run the ‘Rocks social media content included highlights of the most successful individuals and teams.






Run the Rocks User Generated Content 2
Run the Rocks Webolutions Revolutions ContentUser-generated Content

Event participants were successfully prompted to share their photos and through their own social media outlets for fundraising.

Webolutions met its goal of fielding the largest team at the event and, at this writing, sits as the third-largest fundraiser for the event. Much of the organic social media fundraising and exposure Webolutions achieved came through a Facebook group it maintains called Webolutions Revolutions. This is a group of active community leaders who wish to occasionally get together to engage in team activity. All gatherings are centered on healthy physical activity.








Run the Rocks Client-Generated Content 1


Client-generated Content

These efforts were complemented by image-based content the client could easily create in the course of preparing for the event. This provided participants with a newfound level of transparency and deeper connection to the event and its implementers. Examples included:





Award Criteria – Creativity

Creation of Permanent and Marketable Social Media Assets

Prior to 2014, the social media presence for Run the ‘Rocks was comprised of:

Webolutions, believing more marketable assets would permanently improve retention, referral and outreach, worked with the client to established a Facebook Page for the event and a Twitter account.

Leveraging Existing Online Community

The first audience targeted for likes and followers was the aforementioned pre-existing Run the ‘Rocks Facebook Group. That group numbered 786, almost all of whom immediately liked the new Facebook Page upon request. The Facebook Group was thereafter used as an additional social media outlet for event communications.

Outreach to Niche Social Networks

Webolutions found a number of Denver and Colorado Front Range runner’s groups organized on Meetup.com, and participated with the client in outreach through the network. This was extremely successful in recruiting large groups of people who increased the social media audience and activity around the race and who are likely repeat participants.

Social Media Outreach to Prospective Sponsors

Webolutions worked with the Client to identify tasteful, effective and zero-cash-flow options to leverage LinkedIn to identify and contact decision makers at companies identified as potential event sponsors.

Award Criteria – Engagement

Inspire Others

To fuel its Inspirational Content series, Webolutions created a Facebook-based Inspire Others initiative. A Woobox app was installed on the Run the ‘Rocks Facebook Page and received a number of user-generated stories about “why we run.”

Engagement Metrics




Award Criteria – Overall Experience

Permanent improvements to the event without recurring costs include:

Metrics (2 month period)




Thank you for considering Webolutions and the American Lung Association in Colorado for a 2014 Webby Award for Social Media, Events Category. For more information, please contact Mike Hanbery, Director of New Media Strategies, Webolutions, (303) 300-2640.

Denver really is one mile above sea level.