Internet Marketing & Public Relations for the Arts

lessons for promoting your arts organization on the web.

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Viral Envangelism


Sure, Buzz marketing and WOM campaigns may be fun to try to pull off--but never, ever forget your base.  The main reason you exisit is due to the support of your donors and subscribers.  Use these people to help promote your season--after all, they are your most ardent supporters.


Find your most loyal fans and start a conversation. Empower them with tools, such as customizable banners and graphics that they could add to their email or their webpage, or offline tools like Bumber Stickers, Yard Signs, even buttons.

Give them background information. Let them inside. Give them an advance look at upcoming promotions. Make them feel like members of an exclusive club. Encourage them to share with whomever they see fit. Treat them like partners. It will reinforce, maybe even enhance, the way they feel about your brand or products.


Enthusiastic fan sites can be a tremendous boost for any brand. They generally enjoy much more street cred than the master brand. Advertising can take you lots of places, but an endorsement from what the online community views as "the experts" is most powerful when it comes from this kind of environment.


This kind of word-of-mouth marketing is more appropriate for many brands than "viral" marketing is. It is still tricky and can be dangerous. You're relying on parties outside your own marketing group and agency partners to develop and deliver communications around the product. But with the right amount of control and by setting expectations with the site owners, it can be very powerful.