Monday, January 28, 2008

We're here...wait, where is here?

It has been a grueling month, and many apologies to those of you who read regularly, however Arena Stage has now officially relocated to its temporary offices in Arlington, VA and the groundbreaking for the Mead Center for American Theater is being held this Wednesday. I think I am finally starting to get a little comfortable, and am ready to start writing again. Thank God I finally figured out how to use our new phone system.

Many of you are probably wondering how our PURL (personalized URL) campaign went. I will go into more details in a later post, but the PURLs worked out great. Each of our subscribers were given a personalized website that they logged into which provided them step-by-step directions from their house to the new theatre, restaurant discounts, interactive seating map showing them the location of their new seats, and other important information. Our subscribers really loved it. However, I do have one word of caution: it seems the rather new technology doesn't seem to play well with Macintosh computers. I am happy to report that we have had less than 1/2 of 1 percent of our subscribers ask for a refund, and that the last two weeks have had the highest grossing sales so far in our fiscal year.

The real story of today's post comes from my friends at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (specifically Lory Bowman, Director of Marketing and Brad Graham, Public Relations Manager). I have known Lory for several years, and recently had the pleasure of meeting Brad Graham when I spoke at an event for the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. Every now and then I take a look at their website to see what they are up to, and this last time I found something really interesting. We all know that word of mouth marketing gets exponentially better if you provide your advocates the right tools to spread the word. Well at the Rep, they have a page that allows you to spread the word about a particular production via Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo!, Google, and email all with just the simple click of your mouse. Check it out here:

I promptly emailed Lory and told her that I thought the idea was genius, and asked if I could copy it. Here is our version:

Thank you to Lory, Brad and the Rep for establishing the page. I am very grateful for the wonderful relationships that I have developed as I have traveled around, and this instance has reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." -- Isaac Newton, 1676