On target

I was thinking about Target tonight. Who does their PR? I'd like to sit at their feet for a while. As great as it is to meet my fellow arts PR folks for the first time ("OMG -- you're Jo LaBrecque!?!?! We've been e-mailing since I worked at ______ in 2004!") I think we'd all do well to make frequent visits outside of The Arts (TM) community to learn from successful businesses elsewhere.

(As I write this I have Target's "Good Buy" ad campaign looping through my head:
Hello, hello!"). Tonight Target sponsored the opening night cocktail party, complete with food, beverages, and trapeze artists. (What?? That guy's climbing up a purple ribbon? That's amazing!) I don't know how active Target has been in communities across the U.S. but I know that they sponsor free Fridays at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in Manhattan. It was at a Target Free Friday that I met my husband on a cold January day, by the way. (Um...thank you, Target?)

Contrast Target's image with that of Wal-Mart, for example. Wal-Mart has been blocked from NYC completely. How did Target get in? Strategic sponsorships and community development? I've often wondered. Their image is certainly a healthy one. Shop at Target.  Live a meaningful life with lots of friends and happy families. Do good. Save money. Go see modern art in New York City. Have extremely white teeth. Climb up flowing lavender ribbons. WEE.

Speaking of branding, did anyone other than Mark Pemberton go to the branding panel this morning? I wanted to go so badly but I couldn't understand why it cost another $165 to attend the super secret closed session. What did my conference registration pay for if not to attend relevant, informative panels?

The same goes for "Putting Your Best Story Forward" with Mary Lou Falcone. I was dying to attend that session but the budget wasn't there. Does anyone have CliffsNotes? Trade you a bourbon and apple juice for a photocopy of them! Or perhaps a brain dump over said bourbon and apple juice?

<<sigh>> I guess, even if a) I had been able to shell out the extra cash and b) the session times had been disclosed to the laypeople, I still would have had c) a P.I.T.A. technology problem to deal with back at my booth. IT is great. Except for when it isn't.

posted by Sarah Baird, reporting live, dehydrated, and barefoot from her Eee PC. Thank you, Opera America, for margaritas.

June 12, 2008 4:08 AM | | Comments (0)

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Be sure to check in all week for continuous blogging from NPAC.  Attendees from across art forms and job functions report on their conference experiences. Comments from the convention and beyond are welcome!

Reporting from NPAC:

Amanda Ameer
- web manager, NPAC
Sarah Baird - media and public relations executive, Boosey & Hawkes
Joseph Clifford - outreach and education manager, Dartmouth College Hopkins Center for the Arts
Lawrence Edelson - producing artistic director, American Lyric Theater
James Egelhofer - artist manager, IMG Artists
Ruth Eglsaer - program consultant, Free Night of Theater NYC
Jaime Green - literary associate, MCC Theatre
James Holt - membership and marketing associate, League of American Orchestras
Michelle Mierz - executive director, LA Contemporary Dance Company
Mark Pemberton - director, Association of British Orchestras
Mister MOJO - star, MOJO & The Bayou Gypsies
Sydney Skybetter - artistic director, Skybetter and Associates
Mark Valdez - national coordinator, The Network of Ensemble Theaters
Amy Vashaw - audience & program development director, Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State
Scott Walters - professor, University of North Carolina at Asheville
Zack Winokur - student, The Juilliard School
Megan Young - artistic services manager, OPERA America

Please note: the entries posted by the attendees above represent their personal impressions, not the viewpoints of the organizations they work for.

About this blog From April 1 through June 9, 2008, weekly entries will be posted here by some of the performing arts community's top bloggers. This 10-week intensive blog will serve as a unique forum for digital debate and brainstorming, and both the entries and comments will be archived for use at the live NPAC sessions in June.  New entries will be posted every Monday morning. Please note: the views expressed in this blog represent those of the independent contributors and participants, not the National Performing Arts Convention.

NPAC - the National Performing Arts Convention - will take place in Denver, Colorado on June 10-14, 2008. "Taking Action Together," NPAC will lay the foundation for future cross-disciplinary collaborations, cooperative programs and effective advocacy. Formed by 30 distinct performing arts service organizations demonstrating a new maturity and uniting as one a sector, NPAC is dedicated to enriching national life and strengthening performing arts communities across the country. Click here to register, and we'll see you in Denver!

The Authors Jaime Green, Nico Muhly, Kristin Sloan, Jason Grote, Jeffrey Kahane, Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Greg Sandow, Hilary Hahn, Tim Mangan, Paul Hodgins, Richard Chang and Andrew Taylor!

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