Andrew Adler featured yours truly in his latest Courier Journal article. Now you all know who is the main blogger for Kentucky Opera. I do have a few others that contribute, and I am always open to more. Lets give a shout out to the Wagnarian and Holly the Pirates of Penzance costume designer.
One element to the whole social media/ PR world that wasn't addressed in Andrew's story - with my social media activities, I don't have the third party endorsement that increases value. So it's not just about what I write and post, its also trying to get others to write and post about the opera too.
Finding the right blogger is a challenge. There isn't a yellow pages directory of bloggers in your area broken down by beats. Google blog search is pretty good, and really the only resource to find the right writer. While it would be great if Brian Dickie, blogger for Chicago Opera Theatre, it is doubtful that a Kentucky Opera mention on his blog would actually result in a ticket sale. So area is important.
Pitching to a blogger is very similar to pitching to traditional media reporters. You have to know their beat; I wouldn't ask Robin Garr to write a story about Howard Kaplan, the costume designer extraordinaire who the opera brings in at least once a year. Garr is a food guy and that is his beat. So, I wouldn't ask Jason Falls to write about the music of La Traviata because he writes solely about social media. Jason may however reference Andrew's article and the opera may get a reference from that.
It helps to know the bloggers off line. When I found Consuming Louisville, I was able to connect with the talented Michelle Jones (who writes about everything Louisville) at one of the Social Media Club of Louisville meetings and after taking her to lunch, I learned how she prefers to be approached for stories.
Just like how the Opera is striving for personal connections with its audience through the various receptions, connecting through social media has given us another layer to interact. I have really enjoyed developing the social media component to our marketing strategies and I am sure that the future will bring more interesting and creative ways to mingle with opera audiences.
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