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Signature events, media options focus of community marketing board

Members of the Community Marketing Board along with Community Marketing Manager Danielle Rogers 
and Senior Analyst Natalie Umsted discuss how best to use funds for advertising throughout the year.
Members of the Community Marketing Board along with Community Marketing Manager Danielle Rogers and Senior Analyst Natalie Umsted discuss how best to use funds for advertising throughout the year.

Defining a target audience based on signature events and discussing media options were the two main topics the Community Marketing Board covered during its meeting Thursday. The board met for the third time along with Community Marketing Manager Danielle Rogers and Senior Analyst Natalie Umsted to continue work on shaping the city’s marketing efforts.

A total of $50,000 has been allotted to the city’s advertising efforts. 

When defining a target audience, Rogers identified four signature events to purchase advertising around. The events include Newton Fest on June 8 through 11, an Iowa Speedway weekend scheduled for July 7 and 8, Thunder Nites featuring Standing Hampton on Aug. 11 and Bowlful of Blues on Sept 3. 

The Get to Know Newton campaign has generally targeted three main audiences: young families and young professionals, central Iowa tourists and current Newton residents. When defining the audience even further for each event, Rogers found women ages 29 through 49 with kids, who live in the Des Moines metro, adults, ages 29 through 49 who live in several surrounding counties and adults 29 through 49 who are outdoor festival enthusiasts and live music enthusiasts were identified by media outlets she reached out to.

The board agreed those groups fit the bill for what the city is working toward but wanted to further delve into where funds were being spent for each specific event.

“Each event may have its own niche you may want to reach out to as well. Thunder Nites is a fun thing but I don’t know how much of the young families will come out whereas at the speedway it is a whole different ball game,” board vice chair Mike Farley said.

Rogers gathered information from four divisions of the media including print, radio, television and social and presented preliminary dollar figures to the board on where funds could be allocated. For print media, Rogers has a total of $8,700 with funds divided between the Newton Daily News and Des Moines Register. 

During discussions, the board voiced concerns about how effective spending more than $6,000 on ads in the Register would be in comparison to reaching out to communities closer to Newton including those in Jasper County. While Des Moines is a market the city would like to break into, bringing efforts closer to home was the preference of the board.

Radio media was divided into the Des Moines Radio Group at $4,125, KCOB/Energy 106.7 at $6,000 and KIX 101.1 at $1,000. The Des Moines Radio Group offer included 15 to 30 second ads on Star 102.5, targeted for Newton Fest, Lazer 103.3 for the Iowa Speedway weekend and Thunder Nites and 93.3 KIOA for Bowlful of Blues. A live in-studio interview during The Morning Jolt on Energy 106.7, KCOB Feature Scope Interview, 250 linter and 550 were a part of the KCOB/Energy 106.7 package and 40 second ads on KIX 101.1 concluded the radio advertising.

Overall, the board was favorable to the radio ad allotment with additional suggestions given by those who had worked in the industry.

“We have found that running two 15 second ads and book ending them, so you would be on at the beginning on the commercial break and the end, people thought you were just on all of the time and that you had long ads. It can really stretch the dollar,” Farley said.

Television media had the second most funds allotted but the board was hesitant to spend almost a fifth of the total advertising budget on less than an hour of total screen time. For KCWI, four, five to seven minute segments on CW Iowa Live the week of the event along with 30 second ads were a part of the offer. KCCI, whose price tag came in at $5,000, had a package of 10, 30 second commercials the week of Newton Fest and 14, 30 second commercials the week of Bowlful of Blues.

“If we are going to spend the money on commercials, (I’m not sure about) spending it during the week of the event. I already know what I am going to do with my kids so seeing a commercial isn’t going to change that,” board member Angie Bolinger said. “If we spend the money we could do it more than a week before.”

Of the two offers, the board was more favorable to KCWI and the opportunity to talk about the events during their morning show. It also agreed that the large sum required to advertise on KCCI could better be used with more localized advertising.

When discussing where the city has been most successful in advertising, Umsted said social media tops the list.

“Social media is great because you can measure it so well and I think you get a really big bang for your buck,” Umsted.

Five thousand dollars is currently allotted for social media through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter advertising. The board agreed it is a worthwhile use of funds that can reach a large amount of people quickly and for an affordable price.

“This is a living program so if we notice that things are working really well we may want to highlight them and things that may be struggling we can rework. That is kind of marketing in a nutshell,” Farley said.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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