90 motorcycles. 175 riders. 6 states. 7 days.

August 07, 2012

If you would have told me I woud participate in a seven-day cross-country motorcycle ride a year ago, I would have called you crazy. Sure, I'm from a suburb of Milwaukee, land of Harley-Davidson, but before a few months ago, I never dreamed that I would be on the back of a motorcycle cruising through the country's scenic Southwest, let alone doing it in the company of NASCAR legend Kyle Petty.

Back in March, the Richards Partners team was tasked with helping raise awareness and generate media buzz for the 18th annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride and Victory Junction, the ride's primary benefactor. The catch? Only one month before the Ride officially kicked off in Napa, California.

Armed with a dedicated outreach plan and social media strategy, we hit the ground running (or riding, to be exact). Inviting fans and followers along for a "virtual ride" by way of Twitter and Facebook was at the core of our social media plan—crucial for bolstering awareness of and engagement in the event. From real-time tweets at pit stops to videos of the redwoods from the riders' perspectives to Kyle's morning announcements, the public got to be part of this year's Ride without leaving home.

When it was all said and done, Richards Partners' outreach efforts for the 2012 Ride produced notable coverage and growth on both the traditional and social media fronts.

Working with the Kyle Petty Charity Ride was an experience our team won't soon forget. We're already revving our engines and counting the days until the 2013 ride.

Annie Rees is a member of the Richards Partners consumer team.