Marketing Procedures Guideline
The Arts Council of Boston College believes that the arts have the unique ability to teach and communicate in ways that other intellectual activities cannot. This is why our mission is to encourage advocacy, enhancement and visibility for the arts. Thus, as stated in our mission statement, we work to improve opportunities for BC artists and to foster artistic and personal growth for all artists on campus. We accomplish these goals through advocating for the arts, as well as taking on larger tasks in the interests of the BC art community that could not be tackled by single departments or individuals.
As can be seen in our organization’s mission statement, we also aim to,
“Increase the prominence of the arts at Boston College, both on and off campus. This is achieved through social media, online and email marketing, print marketing, meeting with administrators and community-based arts events.”
Despite consistent turnover of an already short-staff, every member of the Arts Council takes this mission very seriously and strives to promote all arts events and opportunities, both on and off campus, in whatever appropriate avenues we can manage.
—What We Do—
Arts Calendar and the University Events Calendar
Every semester we produce an Arts Calendar that features arts-related events on campus. This does not include independent student group events—it is strictly for professionally led programs. In order to feature events in this Calendar, every department/organization must submit these events (deadlines are emailed with plenty of advanced notice) with full details and a brief, 40 or fewer word description. Photo submissions are encouraged as well, but as the arts on campus continue to grow there increasingly becomes less space for photographs in the printed calendar.
- Events submitted to the Arts Council are further uploaded onto Boston College’s University Event Calendar that receives ample traffic on a daily basis from members both within and without the BC community.
Email Marketing: Arts Spotlight and Eyes on Art
Arts Spotlight: This email is a formal email designed to complement the Arts Calendar. It sends out on the first of every month and includes all of the events featured in the Arts Calendar for the present month in a column on the left. Every event listed links to the University Event Calendar. Events that are not submitted on time for the printed calendar can still be included in this email, as well as on the University Event Calendar, which can be updated at any point.
- This email reaches a large audience: besides on-campus departments and faculty/staff, it additionally sends out to the lists “General Interest” (mainly off-campus subscribers) and “Boston Concierges” (hotel concierges in the Boston area that are willing to pass on information to tourists)
- Every month we feature 2-4 events that vary in genre depending on the schedule of each month’s events. Though what is featured here is up to our discretion, in order to cater to the needs of our audience we follow a basic set of guidelines in choosing what to feature:
- Popular events to always include: Theatre productions, Lowell Humanities lectures, McMullen Museum openings, Christmas Concerts, and BC bOp!’s Robsham Concert.
- We do not feature afternoon events, as the email’s primary audience is off-campus
Eyes on Art: This is a weekly email sent out to students only. As such it is much less formal and catered towards the student audience. We gauge our success in this campaign by the percentage of open emails and clicked links. When choosing events to feature here, we tend to promote student organizations, as they are not included in the calendar or Arts Spotlight. Knowing the primary audience is students as well, we tend to promote events that are relatively “low-key,” that is, easily accessible and easy to fit into already packed schedules.
The BC Arts Council has a thriving social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. In order to be featured on these pages, every organization must send us the event they would like us to market, as well as an accompanying image (preferably one with information already on it) and any other details they would like us to include. As the Arts Council is a unified marketing entity, we reserve the right to cut and edit accompanying descriptions to fit our voice and style, but are more than willing to use whatever is sent to us as long as it is appropriate.
- In addition to the above-mentioned sites, we also have an active blog, the BC Arts Insider (bcartsinsider.wordpress.com). We are open and willing to include any events on this page. However, if you would like us to feature an event, you must contact us at least two weeks in advance so that we can make sure to find a staff member that can attend the event. We cannot ensure that each request will be fulfilled, but we will do our best with the time given.
—What We Do Not Do—
The BC Arts Council Website is reserved for the needs of the Arts Council alone. We ourselves create shows (e.g. Week of Dance), events (e.g. Career Night), and of course the Arts Festival that features the entire BC arts community and miscellaneous exhibitions. Our website is the only avenue reserved specifically for our own events. Thus, we do not include events from the Arts Calendar on our site—it would not be an adequate use of our staff’s limited time and it would hinder our ability to market our own events.
- This being said, on our Arts Calendar the website we promote is bc.edu/arts. This website is distinct from the Arts Council page—it is the hub for all arts-related department sites and it is maintained by the university. From this page every individual arts-related department is linked in the top left, and each department is responsible for maintaining their own home sites. We expect that each program or department lists their own events on their own website.
Departmental BC Marketing
We have limited access to reaching specific listservs and departments. Thus, while we can occasionally solicit help from administrative assistants in spreading the word about specific, significant achievements, we do not market through each department on campus. Our email marketing campaigns are strictly Arts Spotlight and Eyes on Art and the occasional University Arts Network newsletter- reserved only for large announcements, calls or news.
We do not give special privileges or grant extra promotion to any student groups, academic departments, or specific genres. It is up to each department and organization to productively reach out to us in a consistent and timely manner in order to be featured.
It is up to each department to contact us with specific requests for marketing outside of the Arts Spotlight emails. We request that all departments thus
- Contact us in a timely manner with marketing materials they would like us to use in marketing specific events.
- Send us complete, detailed listings.
- Understand that we are constantly short-staffed, experience almost a complete staff turnover every academic year, and rely primarily on student workers with limited hours.
- Understand that despite these limitations we continue to be a coherent organization with one Voice, and thus our own writing and marketing style and set of procedures.
- Respect that we are an organization that not only works to market existing art departments, organizations, and groups on campus, but also promotes the arts via our own campaigns, exhibitions, events, and shows.