Michigan Retailers Association 

Buy Nearby Campaign

Goal: Attract more awareness to the Michigan Retailers Association Buy Nearby Campaign by getting more retailers and shoppers involved and increasing sales on the annual Get Caught Blue-Handed Day.

Notable Awards/Recognitions:
  • 2015 PRSA East Central District Diamond Award for Integrated Communications
  • 2016 PRSA East Central District Diamond Award for Special Events & Observances
  • 2017 CMPRSA Pinnacle Award for Special Events Campaign

In 2013 the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA), the nation’s largest state trade association of general merchandise retailers, initiated its Buy Nearby campaign, an ongoing, year-round, feel-good campaign intended to create excitement about the great shopping in Michigan and the advantages of supporting retailers and communities in the state.

After creating a Buy Nearby Guy mascot and working to increase the campaign’s social media presence in 2014, MRA’s 2015 goals included getting more retailers and shoppers involved, increasing awareness of the Buy Nearby campaign and increasing sales on the annual Get Caught Blue-Handed Day on Oct. 3.

Action Plan & Communication Overview:

Martin Waymire created a 15-question Survey Monkey questionnaire asking MRA’s 5,000 members what they knew about the Buy Nearby campaign and Get Caught Blue-Handed Day, why they participated or what would entice them to participate. Martin Waymire also audited the Buy Nearby social media audience to determine whether the key audience of shoppers and retailers in Michigan was being reached and to find missing demographics that could be targeted through paid advertising. Finally, Martin Waymire looked at deliverables that Buy Nearby already had that could be promoted on digital channels and used to encourage traffic to go to the website (promotional videos, digital flyers, infographics, fact sheets, etc.).

Using what we found and working closely with MRA, Martin Waymire proposed a fun, engaging campaign to make Buy Nearby a bigger part of shoppers’, retailers’ and policymakers’ conversations using a variety of tactics to spread awareness of the campaign through strategic use of integrated public relations and digital media. It also renewed MRA’s efforts to build more partnerships to spread the word about Buy Nearby.

  • Martin Waymire was able to get a total of 21 stories written and/or aired between May and October reporting on Buy Nearby news conferences, the Buy Nearby campaign and redesigned website, and Get Caught Blue-Handed Day.
  • From March 1 through December 31, Martin Waymire increased Facebook growth by 69% and Twitter growth by 73% compared to the same period in 2014.
  • The website saw a 69% growth in sessions and a 68% growth in page views during the same period from a year ago.
  •  The outreach conducted by the five bloggers resulted in 11,347 people reaching out to Buy Nearby and 36,698 people reaching out to the bloggers, for a total reach of 48,045 people.
  • The blogs resulted in 542 Instagram likes and 3,900 Facebook likes, as well as growing recognition for the Buy Nearby campaign; natural, authentic stories associated with the campaign; targeted reach in specific communities; and many high-quality images to be reused and repurposed for the Buy Nearby campaign.
  • The MEDC video was viewed by 330 people, and another Buy Nearby video that Martin Waymire promoted on Facebook was viewed 78,246 times, reaching 221, 049 people.

We offer clients our commitment to Michigan, because our driving passion is making our home state a better place.