99.5 WYCD Downtown Hoedown

Proactively Communicating Position to Public Produces Positive “Unprecedented Media Exposure."

Project Overview:

For over 30 years, Detroit’s #1 country music radio station, 99.5 WYCD, had hosted the Downtown Hoedown in Detroit, a free, three-day country music concert and festival on the Detroit riverfront.

When the radio station and LiveNation made the difficult but necessary decision to move the iconic event to Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers) as well as to charge admission to the 30th Anniversary of the Hoedown, they knew that it was imperative to proactively inform the public of the changes.

99.5 WYCD and Live Nation turned to CKC Agency to publicize the event and positively position the change of venue, new admission fee and improved guest experience to its target audiences.

Tactics Implemented:

CKC Agency worked closely with 99.5 WYCD management and LiveNation on the annual announcement. CKC Agency strategically:

  • Recommended a charitable component tied to each ticket purchase
  • Developed and highlighted the benefits of moving the popular event to its new location as well as the reasons for the ticket fee
  • Gathered information regarding new event elements as well as local and national musical artists 
  • Researched all performers for localized story ideas and content
  • Updated and compiled targeted media lists
  • Wrote and distributed press releases and media alerts
  • Determined unique pitch angles that created newsworthy topics of interest to each member of the press
  • Followed up/pitched reporters


  • Worked closely with print, broadcast and online media outlets to maximize media coverage and developed additional publicity opportunities for the 99.5 WYCD Downtown Hoedown before, during and after the event weekend
  • Coordinated interviews for the music and entertainment writers with artist management in Nashville
  • Coordinated, scheduled and attended in-studio and onsite interviews with artists and 99.5 WYCD spokesperson(s), creating interview details/talking points for each interview and provided content to guests and their agents
  • Acted as press liaison and primary point of contact with the artists, artist management, 99.5 WYCD and LiveNation

“CKC Agency’s work on the WYCD Hoedown gave us unprecedented exposure in the media. CKC Agency knows TV, print and radio and has connections in metro Detroit no one can match.”  

Tim Roberts, VP Music Programming – Entercom Communications

Results Achieved:

The announcement about the reasons for the move to the new venue and ticket fee tied to charity was met with an overwhelmingly positive response by the radio station’s country music listeners and the public based on the proactive messaging CKC Agency helped to craft. CKC Agency’s team was on site during the three-day event, coordinating live interviews with artists and radio personalities and arranging event coverage. The agency secured front page stories in all major Detroit/local newspaper entertainment sections as well as a barrage of live and taped television coverage.

The operations director for CBS Radio Detroit stated that CKC Agency’s work on the 99.5 WYCD Downtown Hoedown’s 30th Anniversary event “gave us unprecedented exposure in the media, which absolutely benefited not only our event, but the CBS brand.”