Illinois Community College Seeking PR Firm

Illinois Community College Seeking PR Firm

College of DuPage, Illinois Community College is requesting proposals from qualified marketing and PR firms for the the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) The McAninch Arts Center (MAC) houses three performance spaces: 800-seat Belushi Performance Hall, 200-seat Playhouse Theatre and 60+ seat Studio Theatre. It is home to two resident professional ensembles: Buffalo Theatre Ensemble and New Philharmonic; gallery space for professional, faculty and student exhibits and supports productions for COD College Dance, Music and Theater Departments. In an average week, the MAC hosts 5.1 public performances, 1.6 arts programs, 2.2 rental events, 10.25 rehearsals and one non-art College Department use, totaling more than 200 performances of plays, concerts, lectures and art exhibits per season.


  1. Agency must be specialists in performing arts center/live entertainment marketing with a minimum of five years’ experience. Provide examples of past experience in creating comprehensive entertainment/art season brochure with more than 20 productions, including integrated subscription campaigns.
  2. Agency must prove established relationships with Arts critics, Visual Art critics, Entertainment editors, Radio and TV producers and Online bloggers. Demonstrate relevant knowledge and experience in the Chicago Western suburbs. Demonstrate relationship with local and regional media outlets.
  3. Provide detailed samples of the most significant projects completed in the past two years that are similar to the services and scope requested and the related outcomes of those projects.
  4. Fully integrated agency with in-house Managers dedicated to the MAC account who specialize in (please notate in proposal each staff member who will be assigned):
    • MAC account coordination, budget development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing plan including advertising, publicity, promotion, email, website, digital and social media
    • Media placement and coordinate ad design and invoices
    • Public Relations – pitching interviews to critics, media and broadcast including handling talent for morning show press days; all print, radio and television media relations; writing and distribution of press releases and event copy; submission to event calendar listings; coordination of media events
    • Social and Digital Media – placement, analysis of best target sites/locations and effectiveness of plan
    • Website – annually populate with season events, manage and update event pages as needed
    • Grassroots marketing – support targeted events with unique promotions including but not limited to flyers, posters, list trades, program stuffers, etc.
  5. Collateral and brochure coordination
  6. Marketing analysis and audience surveys
  7. Crisis management and press support for any issues that may arise.



  1. Oversee all aspects of marketing for the MAC Touring, Buffalo Theatre, National Theatre Live and New Philharmonic Performances.
  2. Create and implement individual show marketing campaigns including promotions, special offers and third party tie-ins.
  3. Develop targeted direct mail initiatives for individual shows as sales warrant and budget permits.
  4. Recommend and implement promotional activities as appropriate (i.e. partnerships with area restaurants, businesses and retail outlets).
  5. Develop targeted zip code analysis of MAC ticket buyers, review and seek out existing audience demographic data as available to create targeted databases.
  6. Research and recommend ways for expanding the reach of the marketing materials, such as zip code saturation, mailing list trades/rentals, email list purchases, exchanges and publication inserts, among others.
  7. Advertising
  8. Develop and implement a season-long advertising schedule including broadcast, print, digital (including but not limited to Google and Facebook) and out-of-home media.
  9. Seek and negotiate media partnerships/sponsorships.
  10. Design and execute a retargeting campaign through Google including embedding a code in the MAC website, as well as, Facebook pages, others as appropriate.
  11. Write copy, reserve ad space, submit artwork, oversee designer and forward necessary paperwork to the MAC for direct payment.
  12. Place and negotiate all advertising buys, including cable, print, digital radio, outdoor.

Public Relations

  1. Oversee all aspects of publicity for the MAC Touring performances, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble productions, National Theatre Live Series, New Philharmonic performances, (10) College Productions and (4) Cleve Carney Gallery Openings.
  2. Maintain a customized media database to include local arts, entertainment and lifestyle journalists, feature reporters, columnists, bloggers and family editors from print, broadcast, internet and niche media outlets.
  3. Write and distribute press materials, including biographies, event releases, pitch letters, fact sheets, media advisories and the like.
  4. Pitch feature stories, live television and radio appearances, interview and column items.
  5. Submit press materials to long lead outlets three months in advance of each event, and follow up to pitch coverage, feature stories, photo placements or listings.
  6. Submit production information for consideration for season, fall and/or holiday preview sections.
  7. Secure listings and editorial on websites, blogs and online newsletters/eblasts, etc.
  8. Coordinate and oversee execution of press events, public appearances, broadcast shoots and photo opportunities.
  9. Staff performances with important media attendance.
  10. Distribute photos and videos.
  11. Work with television reporters to include footage of productions in “Weekend Picks” round-ups.
  12. Provide spokespeople with written talking points and interview confirmations.
  13. Draft and distribute event invitations, track responses and follow up to encourage attendance at performances.
  14. Provide weekly updates on all events in progress and include tear sheets whenever possible.
  15. Compile a final publicity report within eight weeks following the final performance of the season.

Digital Communications & Website

  1. Develop and implement a targeted season-long digital communications plan to include email, season campaign, Facebook and Twitter strategies, blog content and website messaging.
  2. Create and implement a social networking/communications strategy that is integrated across all platforms (Facebook, Twitter and blog) yet still employs the appropriate tone for each unique platform.
  3. Update and maintain a Facebook page and other digital platforms and create strategy content for building followers and Facebook fans.
  4. Create Facebook contests using a third party application on Facebook to manage contests and work with the programmer to create contest landing pages.
  5. Create, populate and maintain events pages for the website
  6. Design and strategize revolving sliders for home page
  7. Provide breaking news and last minute changes for weather or artist changes


  1. Develop and implement gorilla marketing efforts, including but not limited to fliers, posters for specific targeted groups with unique promotions
  2. Coordinate trades with organizations for show promotion utilizing program stuffers, eblasts, lists, table toppers, check stuffers, etc.
  3. Monitor grassroots effectiveness and provide recommendations for future opportunities.

Due Date: 4/20/17


Strong PR firms in Illinois include Zeno Group & Edelman PR.

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