Cartwright took to the stage to orchestrate a PR campaign like no other.
The Nottingham Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert on 2 April 2017 was due to feature an 11-year-old, Matthew Smith, conducting a nine minute operetta – Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Appreciating the potential of this story, Cartwright – as part of its pro bono work in the not-for-profit sector – devised a PR strategy to enable national and international coverage through a traditional PR campaign, incorporating video and an integrated social strategy.
All PR activity had to focus on the orchestra’s target of achieving 1,200 ticket sales, as well as promoting Nottingham as a musical city that’s full of talent.
Cartwright strategically timed the release of Matthew’s story in order to gain the most amount of traction with the national press, offering exclusives where relevant and negotiating further coverage and repeat features in national publications.
Video content was also a driving factor in this campaign and, by linking with Nottingham’s Confetti Media - which was on board to create a documentary following Matthew’s journey - Cartwright was able to offer footage as an added bonus alongside press releases and interviews.
With a considerable amount of experience in the arts sector – having promoted a number of events and galleries across the region and beyond – Cartwright proceeded to handle press calls from national and international journalists throughout the day and into the evening, promoting both the musical prowess of Nottingham and the availability of tickets to potential audience members.
Strategic interviews were agreed, gaining exposure with the right audience across both radio and television, locally and nationally – including an exclusive slot on children’s favourite, Newsround.
Previously, committee members had used social media to post sporadically. Cartwright introduced a strategy of consistent, engaging content to an audience that was most likely to have the interest and disposable income to spend on tickets.
Tactics included a schedule of creative posts and images, the creation of target lists and engagement with journalists, news outlets and local events to increase both follower numbers and engagement rates.
For a final awareness boost, Cartwright created and managed a successful Facebook competition. With more than 45 entries and 1,627 post engagements for just £30 budget.
The story achieved more than 50 pieces of regional, national and international coverage – spanning print, online and broadcast.
Coverage highlights for the orchestra’s key sectors being The Times Arts supplement, The Week’s culture section, Classic FM and Radio 3.
Through this campaign, ticket sales surpassed 1,300 – filling the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham. The concert was also attended by the Daily Mail and the Nottingham Post.