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Kirtland’s FSS marketing team tops in Air Force

Meaghan Russo, left, and Joanne Perkins of the 377th Force Support Squadron marketing program show their level of commitment to sponsored events by dressing up for a Glow Run. The program won best marketing program in the Air Force. (Courtesy photo)

Meaghan Russo, left, and Joanne Perkins of the 377th Force Support Squadron marketing program show their level of commitment to sponsored events by dressing up for a Glow Run. The program won best marketing program in the Air Force. (Courtesy photo)

Joanne Perkins, left, and Meaghan Russo dress the part for a 377th Force Support Squadron-sponsored "Day of the Dead" event. The duo, along with Amanda Chavez, make up the FSS marketing team. The marketing program won the award for best in the Air Force. (Courtesy photo)

Joanne Perkins, left, and Meaghan Russo dress the part for a 377th Force Support Squadron-sponsored "Day of the Dead" event. The duo, along with Amanda Chavez, make up the FSS marketing team. The marketing program won the award for best in the Air Force. (Courtesy photo)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- Despite having just three employees on the marketing team -- Joanne Perkins, director; Amanda Chavez, graphic designer; and Meaghan Russo, social media specialist -- the 377th Force Support Squadron recently earned the 2014 Air Force Marketing Program of the Year award.

"Marketing is a very large job and I'm very proud of what we accomplished, especially with just three people," Perkins said. "This award is a validation of our hard work. It is a tough job if you are going to do it right, and it means working many evenings and weekends, but it's worth it."

Perkins, who has since transferred to Kirtland's public affairs office, said what made the hard work worth it was seeing the results of her team's efforts and the enjoyment of those participating in their events.

"Seeing the faces of kids and parents as they run the three-legged race or win a prize at bingo is priceless," she said. "It's tremendously satisfying knowing you played a role in improving their quality of life."

According to Perkins, one reason the program was a success was the fact that her team was able to form a coalition of base agencies and organizations. They brought together groups that were hosting competing events, working with the 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland Family Housing, Blue Star Families, the Kirtland Spouses Club and other organizations to combine labor and resources and make events better for attendees.

"Working with the (377th) Force Support Squadron marketing team was a dream," said Elise Thomasson, marketing coordinator for Kirtland Family Housing. "They are so creative. They work hard and develop relationships so that events get bigger and better. Kirtland Family Housing is known across Hunt Military Communities as having the best events and amenities because we can partner with FSS."

The marketing team has also developed a robust commercial sponsorship program, manages social media efforts and provides event publicity.

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