Our 2010 Year in Review
from Megan Wendell, Founder & President
I’ve always felt that happiness in life is connected to happiness in your work and finding passion in that work on a regular basis. As Canary Promotion approaches its 10-year anniversary later this year, I can say confidently that I’ve spent my time well, doing work that I love.
We had a tremendous 2010 and so did our clients. We worked with some of Philadelphia’s most artistically adventurous and critically acclaimed arts and cultural institutions, providing expert media relations, marketing, community engagement, and consulting services. We thank all of our clients who have continued to be great partners and who inspire us with their work every day!
Here are a few of our highlights from 2010:
- In its inaugural year, we placed the city-wide print and contemporary art festival Philagrafika 2010 in the international media spotlight through a highly successful publicity campaign which included major feature coverage from Art in America, The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, WHYY, The Philadelphia Inquirer, ABC-6, and NBC-10, among many others.
Regina Silveira installation at Moore College of Art and Design
- We worked with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to launch the inaugural year of the Knight Arts Challenge in Philadelphia, a three-year, $9-million initiative to fund the best ideas in the arts. The city’s cultural community was charged with excitement and a slew of great ideas after our launch party with Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Chief Cultural Officer Gary Steuer and over 200 arts professionals, advocates and artists. The contest was widely covered in the local media, and successful social media and community outreach efforts brought in 1,752 applicants to the first year – a new Knight record!
(Pictured: Mayor Michael Nutter & Knight’s VP Arts/Dennis Scholl)
- We further developed and expanded our services to offer comprehensive communications plans, including media relations, marketing, branding consultation, social media and community engagement. We’ll continue to build on that this year as more organizations are recognizing the need for consistent messaging across all platforms.
- We helped launch TWO new theater companies in 2010 with branding, media relations and marketing services. Temple Repertory Theater debuted as a new professional company of accomplished and talented actors at Temple University, and Swim Pony Performing Arts presented the critically acclaimed world premiere of SURVIVE!
Temple Rep logo, created by Canary Promotion
- Who would have thought that working in the theater would lead to rubbing elbows with political dignitaries? While working with The Wilma Theater on the American premiere of Leaving, starring Academy Award® nominee David Strathairn, we scheduled interviews for playwright and former Czech President Václav Havel. The premiere was attended by Havel and his wife, as well as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and was covered nationally and internationally.
Madeleine Albright, President Václav Havel, Dagmar Veškrnová
- After working with BRAT Productions on their 2009 hit Haunted Poe (our work is highlighted in a recent Pew study here), we managed another Halloween-season campaign for their production of Carrie, based on the classic Stephen King novel. From an appearance at the Zombie Prom, to an official theme song and music video to die for, to a highly customized social media campaign, Carrie was seen all over town, and the buzz was undeniable.
- We managed our seventh press campaign for the citywide Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, featuring cutting edge performing arts from around the world. Press coverage included four hits in The New York Times, industry outlets like American Theater and Dance magazines, and coverage in every major print, broadcast and web outlet in the area.
- We put the Rosenbach Museum & Library, a longtime media relations client, in front of the camera this year, as they were featured on 5 major television outlets in the region, in addition to regular print, radio and online coverage. The museum saw many great successes this year from the prized new portraiture acquisitions of Rebecca Gratz, and her brother Joseph to the announcement of The Chertoff Mural by Maurice Sendak, which will move to the museum permanently in early 2011.
(Pictured: Rebecca Gratz (1831) by Thomas Sully)
- 2010 brought some big changes for us, the most significant being the departure of Canary co-founder and head of our design department, Mason Wendell. Mason has settled in as Creative Director at Philadelphia web development firm, Zivtech, and is quickly growing a talented design team. Meanwhile, Canary has continued to focus on expanding our core promotional services.
- We moved to a bigger office in Glenside, just a few minutes outside of Philadelphia. There’s paint on the walls, we haven’t killed the plants quite yet, and we love being able to spread out in a creative work space.
- We welcomed Kara LaFleur as our Marketing & Community Relations Coordinator in 2010. Kara has been a fabulous addition to our team, bringing in her skills and expertise in social media, community engagement, and marketing. She also has a great sense of humor, and a laugh louder than mine (which is really saying something)!
We’ll be revamping our website and amping up our blog and Facebook activity in the new year to offer more industry news, tips, and insight on the area’s vibrant cultural and creative scene.
Coming up: blog posts on how to improve your PR writing, our favorite cultural moments of 2010, and what we’re looking forward to in 2011. We hope you’ll keep reading!
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