Friday, November 14, 2014

11/14/14 Class Recap

By Shayna Cook

Communications Director Danielle Davis
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Danielle Davis spoke to the class and fielded questions about her role as communications director of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. During her presentation, she also outlined what she looks for in hiring interns each year. Most important, she said, are enthusiasm and excellent communication and writing skills.

Additional notes from her talk follow:

     - Board of Directors
     - 11 full time staff
     - Not government funded; all from private sponsors
          - Safway, Capital One, Big Bus, DowntownDC, TCMA, Sucampo, etc. 
Spring Focus
     - Enhancing the natural environment
     - Showcasing arts and culture
     - Building community spirit 

     - Headliner events
     - Family days
     - Opening ceremony
     - Pink tie party
     - Parade
     - Kites

Year-Round Planning
     - Developing programs and working with partners, securing sponsors
     - Celebrities and “wows"
     - "Celebrating our natural world"
               —> all goes into a cohesive message track 

Public Relations Methods
     - Social media
          - Timing: Saturday night is the best for Facebook 
     - Pink blossom stickers
     - Press Releases
     - Fliers
     - News/Broadcast
     - Apps
           - Free festival app for pushing messages, maps, newsfeed, etc. 

Print/Broadcast Stories —> Press Releases
     Press Releases
          - Factual, straightforward, most important information is up front, 
          - Failure to maintain print relationships isn’t helpful
               - even quick notes are beneficial 
Buzz Factor
    - Launch Event for 2015
     - Vocal Competition
     - Debut of Garden Gnome (plays into garden theme)
            - I totally volunteer to do the live-action character for this
            - Diversity issue 
     - Anacostia River Project
Audience- Everyone
          - It’s a problem
             - Family events versus pink tie
               - Politicizing? Not really
          - Missing the 18-20 college demographic 
     - It happens
          - Usually feel good
     - Trash left on Nat’l Mall 
Crisis Management
     - Weather: plans A, B, C, and D for depending on the weather 
     - Bloomtime: Re-focus on events 
     - Fee means they are included in all fliers and publicity 
     - Gaining sponsorship: exposure to sheer amount of people, media opportunities, etc. 

PR Agencies
     - Multiple clients
     - Account teams (managing strategy, plans, etc.)
          - trickles down to staff doing day to day things, maintaining media lists, etc.
     - Building a brand inspiring a look and feel for the festival (summarizing it)
     - Look changes every year 

     - Targeting audience
     - Maintaining a focused brand 
     - Delegating inquiries
          - company with FAQ
          - festival email 
     - Diversification of experiences 
     - Advertising DC in the Springtime for tourists— community outreach/building balanced with tourism 
     - Marketing/PR not too separated 
          - advertising: pick and choose on an event by event basis 
     - Relevancy 
          - Using partnerships for new events
     - Mass appeal versus targeted audience 
     - City-wide impact; positive versus negative

Biggest Challenge: Timing of each thing; events, publications, etc. 

Interviewing Interns?
     - Looking for someone who is a good writer
     - Enthusiasm, being interested, goes a long way (having an idea of the position that you want)

4 weekends, 24 days, 1.5 million people, 45% outside of DC, 55% DC-metro area
15m dollar value
2.9b unique pageviews
178m tv audience
45m Times Square impressions
37m print circulation
54k facebook likes
7,830 twitter followers
1m b#bikeinbloom impressions

PR versus Journalism versus Advertising
     - different goals
     - different media focuses

PR Format
     - Immediate release versus embargo: embargo date is when it can be used 
     - Headlines: short, active verb (makes it a headline not a title)
     - Tense needs to be consistent
     - Do not capitalize prepositions, do not exceed one line

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