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Informed Owl

Wise Local Marketing

How martial arts, canoeing and aqua zumba benefited from a Social media upgrade

by Mary Hanson

Traditional media was not getting the Billings Parks and Recreation department the desired recognition of its summer youth programs. The programs weren’t filling up. The problem was simple:  potential registrants were confused between the Billings Parks and Recreation programs and the local YMCA offerings. 

After an in depth conversation about goals and expected outcomes, we developed a multi-platform solution.  KTVQ helped Billings Park and Recreation develop a like-gated Facebook contest along with an ad campaign promoting the new user-friendly website that had recently been launched.  The contest was supported by ROS display advertising on, which invited locals to enter to win prizes after “liking” Billings Parks and Recreation on Facebook.  The contest was also promoted with a broadcast television schedule on KTVQ.

The campaign ran for 14 weeks with weekly prizes like passes to the various water parks, batting cages, summer camps and other programs run by Billings Parks and Recreation. 

The Billings Parks and Recreation Facebook page grew from 400 to 1,400 likers and, perhaps most importantly, program participation nearly doubled.  As a result of the success of the campaign, Billings Parks and Recreation has determined that they will repeat the contest again this year and establish an annual presence on  The group recently launched its second annual contest.

Mary Hanson is the Interactive Director at KTVQ-TV in Billings, Montana