MAD makes successful trip to New York City
Three top officials with the Murphy Arts District recently spent some time in New York City, as part of an effort to not only highlight the district’s impending opening, but the city of El Dorado as well.
The district’s Chief Marketing Officer Bob Tarren, Chief Executive Officer Terry Stewart and Chief Operating Officer Austin Barrow traveled to New York on July 12-13 where they received a great amount of positive feedback after pitching the story of El Dorado’s arts district to various popular publications.
“I want to stress this – the story is not about just MAD,” Tarren said. “That’s not enough of a story to get traction. Our story strategy is about El Dorado and the people here and that’s why this is an interesting project.”
When Tarren was first hired at MAD, his job was to fully develop the marketing and communication strategies that would help launch the project. Tarren selected a PR agency out of New York City, which ultimately helped get the word out about MAD across the nation.
A report showed that just three weeks after the first press release in June, MAD’s story has spread from coast to coast.
Numerous print and digital outlets leading to more than 220 million potential impressions picked up the release, Tarren said.
With the success of the first release, the trio planned the trip to New York to further pitch MAD’s story.
“Out of that, we received an awful lot of interest and attention that will lead to our next wave of stories,” Tarren said. “I don’t want to jinx them yet, but we talked to some terrific publications.”
Some of the meetings included popular magazines such as Fast Company, Southern Living, Travel and Leisure, and Rolling Stone, as well as newspapers such as the New York Daily News and The Wall Street Journal.
The meetings were exploratory to determine whether the publications thought the district’s story was worth telling, Tarren said.
“I’m happy to report that the majority have given us feedback both in that meeting and since then,” Tarren said. “Some have actually asked us very pointed follow up questions from which you build an article. Others have said they are planning trips down here.”
When meeting with editors, Tarren said he, Barrow and Stewart emphasized the story of El Dorado.
“Nobody cares about one more place to see your artists,” Tarren said. “Its legacy from the first oil boom in the ’20s forward and its beautiful downtown area, the historic main street and the overwhelming support for the arts. All of those things I just said are woven into the story that got pitched to our media targets.”
From a PR standpoint, MAD’s future will be to continue telling the El Dorado story and raising awareness of the performances coming to the district, some of which will not be musical, including comedians, circus acts, off-Broadway plays and others.
The district’s ultimate goal is to attract people to El Dorado who will spend money and create job growth, Tarren said. This will in turn positively impact the tax base, which will help the city with infrastructure projects, he said.
“When you have publications around the region, state and country that are talking about this crazy little project in El Dorado and all these cool things that they are doing, that elevates us on the narrative, and elevates us in people’s perceptions,” Tarren said. “If people don’t know we exist, then they won’t pay attention. If they know we exist, they will pay attention and then they might show up with $100 in their wallet to spend on stores around town.”