University of North Carolina School of the Arts Seeks PR Firm For Nutcracker

University of North Carolina School of the Arts Seeks PR Firm For Nutcracker

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is seeking proposals for a vendor to provide Public Relations services for its annual production of The Nutcracker. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) annual production of The Nutcracker has been a staple of the holidays in the Winston-Salem area since the late 1960s. The Nutcracker has been performed downtown at the Roger L. Stevens Center every holiday season since the Stevens Center’s opening in 1983, bringing thousands of children and adults downtown each year to enjoy one of Winston-Salem’s most beloved holiday traditions.

 In summer 2009, UNCSA announced that the Winston-Salem Symphony would no longer serve as the orchestra for The Nutcracker. Instead, student musicians from the School of Music at UNCSA (many of whom performed with the Winston-Salem Symphony during The Nutcracker in past years) entirely comprised the orchestra for the 2009 production, as they will continue to in future productions. The UNCSA production features the largest orchestra of any Nutcracker in the Triad as well as the only production in this region to attract guest artist of international recognition.

 This year’s Nutcracker will be performed from December 9-December 18 for a total of ten public performances. As in past years, UNCSA plans to engage two national-caliber guest dancers for The Nutcracker, with the current strategy to bring in a pair of guests for two performances. As an example, last year’s production featured San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancers Sofiane Sylve and Tiit Helimets.

This year, the goal is to develop new audiences from a wider geographical range, to sell more tickets earlier and to sell-out more performances. This work will require a thorough understanding of UNCSA, the Stevens Center, the production history of UNCSA’s The Nutcracker and some knowledge of other production of the Nutcracker, particularly those who could be construed as competitors (Carolina Ballet or Asheville Ballet, for instance). The successful bidder will present careful consideration of competing events, targeted audiences and deliver a marketing strategy to achieve sales success for both productions.

The following activities are expected:

  • Create, design and write copy for all marketing and advertising materials including poster, flyer, postcards, print ad, digital for online marketing and
  • Handle media relations both in the Triad as well as statewide including media visits, writing and distributing various press releases, handling media interviews, attending and coordinating local television interviews and remote
  • Secure, plan and execute all grassroots marketing activities including interactive marketing at the Stevens Center (including box office opening event scheduled for October 1), various public speaking engagements (i.e. Rotary, etc.) and presence at community events and other venues to promote The
  • Manage The Nutcracker program turnkey including graphic design, coordination of production, and selling of advertising space. Sale of program ads should include contacting all preview sponsors from the 2015 Nutcracker production as well as an additional 50 new prospects. The awarded vendor may elect to hire a third party to sell program advertising, subject to approval by UNCSA.
  • Work with Visit Winston-Salem, Downtown Partnership, and Winston-Salem Arts Council as well as area hotels and other businesses on collaborative marketing for these
  • Create and execute a strategy to work with other community organizations to promote and sell tickets to The Nutcracker.
  • Develop and implement a paid advertising plan. Media placement cost must be billed as net and cannot be grossed/marked
  • Execute effective trade deals to maximize advertising/ media Seek and secure in-kind contributions.
  • Partner with UNCSA Chief Marketing Officer and Office of Advancement to develop pitches to corporate sponsor prospects to support The

Proposals are due by August 29th to carnesa@uncsa.edu

Major PR firms in North Carolina include French-West-Vaughan and Fleishman Hilliard.

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