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Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5

Presented to the West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America

Derek DeVries

on 11 October 2016

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Transcript of Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5

Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5
Crisis Management
PR by Fishing Pole
Overall Votes for ArtPrize:
Votes on the Last day of Voting:
Votes During Round Two:
LITN entered the Top 25 shortly after 1:00 pm.

[First Time in Artprize History]
Local, National and International Media Coverage (including GMA)
crowdsourced photographs and unique video
earned multi-media mentions both domestically and internationally
Results [1]
Users advocated on behalf of the entry on message boards
Users spontaneously began organizing/tagging content by copying and pasting the description of the entry into their Youtube videos
(allowed for easy tracking/searching)
Results [2]
Very challenging - the goalposts kept moving up until an hour before the event.
Required strong-arming in the end - needed to have an event that was “too big to fail” so that it couldn’t be shut down.
Gov't Relations
Originally Tried for Five to Seven Distribution Stations - was approved, then later cut down to three and the city backed down on closing down streets (city had to reverse their decision when their lack of planning became a safety hazard).
Gov't Relations
Put your energy into Facebook
Updating the website was too cumbersome to stay current (was developed pro bono by a remote designer through artist relationship).
Twitter: is not widely used by families (which were the target audience)
Was less effective at driving engagement prior to the event
WAS effective with Artprize engagement and news outlets
Initially tried to engage them, but they wouldn’t participate without compensation.
Mommy Bloggers
Need Trusted Inner Circle
Originally had someone managing the project, they did not finish the project with the team.
Inner Circle
Contingency Plan was First Priority
You cannot start planning too early.
Tapped Into Public Consciousness
The movie “Tangled” gave people a visual reference to know what to expect
This drove many families out to the event.
Public Consciousness
Media Relations Key
The media was an invaluable partner throughout the process - particularly in announcing the cancellation and rescheduling of the event.
: Served the Media’s Needs Rather Than Vice Versa
Media Relations
Prepped artists, identified key messages, and accompanied to all media events.
Media Training
Basecamp was Clutch
Coordination of the project required a project management system to connect many separate entities and people to set up the project.
Document Everything - very important and Basecamp does this well.
Basecamp = Clutch
User-Created Videos Drew More Traffic Than Videos From the Newsmedia - Sample Comparison:

Lights in the Night by Pat McCarthy -
Users > Media
The best user-created videos on Youtube were taken down due to copyright claims for the music used in the videos:

150,000 photographer and graphic designer in Holland (taken down after only 2 days)
Intellectual Property
Name Selection
Email and Communication Design
Mini Business Cards
Content Creation
Public Relations Pitch to Local Media
Weekly Blog Posts to Facebook Notes
Postcard (included in Gilmore Collection restaurant checks)
Weekly Email Communication (2,000 people on list at peak)
Assets [1]
Assets [2]
Content Creation
Social Media Messaging
Communications Template
Whitepaper for Charities (ultimately not used)
Assets [3]
Assets [4]
Advertising Budget (not more than $1,700 - driven primarily by PR)
GRNow.com (highest clickthrough rate in the history of GRnow.com)
Print Materials
Facebook Ads
Mini-Launch for Media at Blue Water Grill
Mini-Launch at Arnies
Mini-Launch at Coast Guard Festival (scrapped due to weather)
Partnership With Gilmore Collection

Ensured Placement at the B.O.B. (Ground Zero for Artprize)
Offered Redemption Program for Lanterns
Promoted Event in Advance With Postcards
Facebook Likes:
Full transcript