Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail Public Relations Plan
The Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail is not only a place to let Western Indiana’s artists thrive, but for the community to come together to support the arts. Within this organization comes the drive to promote tourism and support of the local talent, as well as awareness of the collaborative efforts of the artists. Within the rural areas that this artists derive from comes the opportunity to expand the potential of this organization. Focusing in, we decided to not only raise the number of artisans on the trail, but to raise public awareness of the Trail as a tourist option.
Rivers and Roads is a local artisan organization that is seeking to increase their presence in the community as well as their membership. In the state of Indiana, there are nine artisan trails that stretch out from the farthest Northeast corner all the way to the most Southwestern tip of Indiana. With so many trails the potential for artistic growth is phenomenally huge. With so many trails to choose from in just a single state, one would think that some of them would be overshadowed by the others but thanks to the efforts of the organization Indiana Artisan they all seem to work together to bring art to the entire state. One could say that the other eight trails outside the Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail are the organization’s competitors but I believe colleague would be a more appropriate term. With this being the case, our goals are focused around how to get people involved in Rivers and Roads. We also want to have members of the community utilize the artisans that are apart of the Trail. Currently, the public is not very aware of the Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail which is why our goals are centered around increasing this organization’s presence in the involved communities. There is a website that includes information on Rivers and Roads, however, their social media manager does not frequently post to expose the organization. As of now, the only competitors of this organization would be the local art museum, and any retail or grocery store. The artists who are apart of the Artisan Trail possess many talents and our mission is to draw the community to them as opposed to big name retailers.
Our goal with this PR plan is to not only raise the number of artisans participating in the Artisan Trail, but also raise public awareness of the Trail as a tourist option.
Our campaign is expected to reach a variety of people in the art and tourism world. The primary target audience will be local artisans and encouraging them to join the Artisan Trail. Having a chance for artists to showcase their work is essential for the success of the artists as well as the organization.
Another audience that will be targeted are local consumers that are planning staycations or entertaining guests this summer in the area. This summer is an exciting time for the Artisan Trail and we want to make sure that consumers are in the know of the events taking place so they can plan accordingly.
Tourism is one of the important components of the Artisan Trail that is overlooked, more specifically cultural tourism. When people come to Western Indiana, we want them to be aware of the artisans that are in the area such as the painters, craftsmen, woodworkers and many more amazing forms of art. Tourism professionals will also be targeted so they can spread the word. If tourists are interested in the culture in Western Indiana, we want the Artisan Trail to be the first places they visit.
To reach a broader audience, we want to also target art enthusiasts and organizations. Some of these might be tourists but could also be citizens in the area who are interested in purchasing art for their home or business. Art organizations may want to feature someone’s work as part of a gallery or exhibit. These target audiences are essential in accomplishing our goals to increase the number of Artisans while also raising awareness.
Key Message 1
The Artisan Trail website and literature will help you realize the rich artistic culture the Wabash Valley has to offer.
Key Message 2
The tourism that the Trail will bring to the Wabash Valley can assist in strengthening the economy of the region for more spending capability.
Key Message 3
The Artisan Trail can bring a new appreciation for the arts which can assist in raising the quality of life for tourists and citizens alike.
Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics
Increase the use of tourism tools for travel planning in the Wabash Valley.
Strategy: Customer referrals/testimony. Have previous customers and visitors give feedback of their experience with the artisans along the Trail.
1) Create a Yelp account for the Rivers and Roads artisan trail to allow customers and visitors of the Trail to leave reviews. This would serve the purpose of providing customer testimonies to potential future visitors as well as providing a platform for RUDEI to gauge public opinion of the Trail. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00
2) To better reach citizens in the greater Terre Haute region we will be working with Jen Perry who has generously offered to spend some money to assist us in creating a campaign strategy using Google Adwords. This campaign would be focused on area codes 47802, 47803, and 47807 and would help to promote staycations and local tourism. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00.
3) Create a new flyer for consumers and tourists that is less cumbersome than pamphlets. These flyers can be distributed using a street team in Downtown Terre Haute and on ISU’s campus. These street teams would work in one to two hour long shifts at local events that would cater to our target market such as the Terre Haute Farmer’s Market. We would each go out with 100 flyers or cards and strive to pass every one of them out. Depending on availability and possibility we would wear shirts with the Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail logo on them to better identify our organization. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00
Raise gallery and Trail attendance for the June Gallery Exhibition at Clabber Girl’s The Gallery.
Strategy: To go along with the social media strategy for the June Clabber Girl exhibition that is stated above we would also like to build the Rivers and Roads facebook, twitter, and instagram pages to target art lovers in Indiana as a whole. We would do this by working closely with Jen Perry to promote our pages to the publics that are already interested in other Indiana artisan organizations and trails. We would target these publics in hopes that their pre-existing love of art would be easily transferred to our Trail.
1) Start distributing Artisan Trail literature at local hot spots such as coffee shops (Corner Grind, Java Haute, etc.) and cafes, gyms, hotels, the Terre Haute Visitors Center. If they allow, flyers and pamphlets could be carried by the Agave Cocktail Lounge and The Verve. In distributing the information to a wide base of establishments and businesses we hope to raise the overall amount of local tourism and provide sufficient information to families planning staycations, entertaining out of town guests, or just trying to find something fun and new to do. The wide base of businesses and establishments would also provide the Trial with a more diverse following and encourage the spreading of information about the Trail from person to person. We plan on distributing 50 copies of Trail literature to each of the different businesses and establishments. Our goal is to have Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail information in at least 15 different locations. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00
Increase public and artisan knowledge of and participation in the Artisan Trail.
Strategy: Promote the upcoming exhibition at Clabber Girl’s The Gallery using social media such as Facebook and Instagram (create an Instagram if there is not one, promote on the Facebook page).
1) Attend gallery openings to pass out “Are you an Artisan?” flyers to artists as well as collect business cards to gain potential members. It is our goal to pass out 200 “Are you an Artisan?” flyers to 40 artisans. This will give each artisan 5 flyers and will encourage them to pass the flyers around to their interested friends and colleagues. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00
2) Add a check-in feature on social media such as facebook, twitter, and instagram. This will create a platform for customer interaction with the trail and will perpetuate a feeling of involvement. Checking in would be suggested on all literature about the Rivers and Roads Artisan Trail in the section that mentions all of the Trail’s social media sites with a simple line above the facebook page name and the twitter and instagram handle that says “Be sure to check in along your Trail!” Our goal is to get 100 check-ins per month. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00
3) Create a short questionnaire that could be given in a one on one interview with the artisans at each different gallery opening to provide an easy way for RUDEI to understand the wants, needs, and opinions of the artisans. This short interview will also provide the artisans with a feeling of being more closely connected with RUDEI and the Artisan Trail due to the intimacy of an in person interview. This tactic could potentially answer some questions or address some concerns that they might have about the Trail as well. Another short questionnaire could be made that is directed towards the visitors to the June Exhibition at Clabber Girl’s The Gallery. This questionnaire could be done in many ways. It could be made available at the front desk of The Gallery to be passed out or completed either while at The Gallery or before leaving. The questionnaires would be no more than five questions but no less than two questions. The questionnaires given to the artisans would be done in person to encourage follow up questions by the interviewer or interviewee and therefore would not be a set amount of questions but would instead be drawn from a list of questions that could be asked. These interviews still need to remain short and to the point and would contain no more than eight questions but no less than four. Deadline:04/20/2015 Budget:$0.00