WRAL Hosts The Most ‘Social’ Race In The U.S.

komenWRAL turned the notion that running can be lonesome on its head.

“We wanted to share inspirational stories of why they’re there,” said Shelly Leslie, creative director for Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., of the participants in the area’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

“Some of those runners are just out of chemo, and we wanted to capture and share that emotion.”

WRAL has been a partner with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for six years. And this year, race officials asked WRAL to be innovative, to see if it could make the race the most social in the country.

Leslie immediately thought of Jenni Hogan, chief media officer at Tagboard, a company that uses hashtags to search for and collect public social media within seconds of being posted.

The hashtag Komen chose was #KomenTri.

“Hashtag is becoming the new URL,” said Hogan.

More than 10,000 runners and walkers at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in June were joined by millions of on-line supporters who sent words of encouragement via social media during the event.

The messages were displayed on two 70-inch touchscreen monitors, named Social Inspiration Boards, strategically placed along the race route.



Tagboard aggregates content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The dashboard can toggle to display all the posts live as they come in, or switched to featured, which are posts you choose to be seen. WRAL had a curator on site to display just the featured posts.





touchboardDuring the race, Komen officials requested on stage that people take selfies and post them using #KomenTri.

“When you do social media” said Hogan, “people spread it to their friends. You make an event a two-way experience, and the power of that is amazing.”

The results?

Komen raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research and support. Komen’s Facebook page saw a 453% increase in fans, and a 328% increase in reach.

“Social TV is changing the game,” Leslie said. “You can drive viewers to your content on all your platforms using social media. You can dominate the social chatter in your market with a coordinated effort that includes on air, social and web promotion. If you’re not experimenting, get started!”

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