Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District
In phase I of Art Lives Here, the communications team developed a multitude of stakeholders messaging about the projects, partners and activities. While artists, partners and municipal leaders share a common vision for the Gateway Arts District, each had different short-term objectives, organizational capacities and targeted different audiences. Public relations was anchored by a new brand identity, media relations campaign, and video that gave a peek inside what locals call the region’s best kept secret. Grassroots marketing was anchored by an aggressive social media strategy that included the Art Lives Here blog, Facebook page and outreach on community listservs. The challenges for phase II: First, provide a more in-depth look into the community and make the case for further investment. Second, how do we incorporate even more partners and stakeholders into a project with so many moving parts. Plans include further developing:
1. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker lead a media roundtable in June, 2013, focusing on the Gateway Arts District and Art Lives Here. We are proud to report that he has agreed to serve as the Honorary Chair of Art Lives Here (phase II) and will lend his name, time and other resources toward our kick-off.
2. Marketing coordinators from three of our partners met and for the first time are creating an integrated marketing communications plan. The team has the potential to serve the marketing needs of partners and the community in general, way beyond the life of the campaign itself. The team will conduct mini communications audits, generate a community calendar and expand the social media strategy.
For a project such as Art Lives Here, it is important for marketing and communications professionals to emphasize to partners that it is (at least in part) a tourism and outreach campaign. The marketing and communications team is also promoting a lifestyle and customer experience. While understandable and appropriate that each organization and artist would look to the campaign to support their niche, the campaign does require sharing resources, each dedicating staff time and coordinating outreach tasks to improve the image of the district. This will bring together those segmented markets for a comprehensive regional campaign that develops our audience and builds foot traffic.