Case Study: Indian Summer Festival
The inaugural Indian Summer Festival brought the best of India to Vancouver from July 7 to 17, 2011, in celebration of Vancouver’s 125th anniversary and the official ‘Year of India in Canada.’ The festival of arts & ideas showcased top contemporary and classical Indian talent across music, dance, literature, film, visual arts, yoga and cuisine – pairing some of India’s internationally renowned artists and performers with local Vancouver counterparts.
Taking place at SFU Woodward’s, the 10 days of exciting programming, 20+ events, workshops and more, featured such cultural luminaries as author Yann Martel, chef Vikram Vij, Bollywood film star Tabu, esteemed journalist Tarun Tejpal, and violin virtuoso Dr. L Subramaniam, among many others.
Laura Murray Public Relations were hired to provide all media relations efforts for the festival and to secure mass levels of public awareness during the critical first year. The massive scope of the festival called for a public relations campaign of equal scale, which was kicked off with a media advisory and press conference announcing the full festival line-up and the top talent participating from India and Canada. Following on this, listings were created and submitted for each of the festival’s more than 20 events, securing early placement across a wide variety of print, online, TV and radio outlets.
The bulk of the campaign consisted of a comprehensive pitching effort, where journalists were approached with story angles on individual artists and events within the festival. The story ideas were received extremely well and interviews were coordinated for all participating artists and authors, earning an impressive volume of coverage in local, regional and national media outlets. In addition, the Laura Murray Public Relations team were on hand at festival events and opening receptions to manage the media desk and coordinate reviewer and camera attendance.
The festival’s inaugural year was a tremendous success, largely due to the huge levels of public awareness generated through the far reaching media relations and marketing campaign. Coverage highlights included: multiple section covers with the Vancouver Sun and Province, TV interviews on Global Morning, Global Weekend, CTV, CBC, OMNI, Studio 4 with Fanny Kiefer, Urban Rush, and City TV’s Breakfast Television, coupled with great coverage in the Globe and Mail, Georgia Straight, Surrey Now, North Shore News, Vancouver Courier, 24 Hours, and Metro. The LMPR team also garnered excellent multicultural media – stories were seen and heard on OMNI, RJ 1200, Radio India, RedFM, South Asian Woman Magazine, Fairchild TV, Indo-Canadian Voice, The Source, among others. In addition to excellent box office turn outs, the media relations campaign was lauded by the participating artists, several of whom indicated that the number of interviews and articles exceeded anything in their past experience.
This degree of success helped establish Indian Summer as a Vancouver cultural institution, laying a firm foundation for the festival’s highly anticipated annual return!
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