Initially we worked on contacting media outside the arts from across Australia who had not heard of the Castlemaine State Festival, with most media not aware of Castlemaine itself. We did this by creating several pieces on the history of the festival, its success, the large numbers of attendees and the quality of the performances.
Over the course of three months we attracted interest from over 200 publications from a diverse range of media. Initially the Director, Martin Paten was the main spokesperson for the festival. As the media hype built up, each outlet wanted a range of different stories, that lead us to spread interviews amongst 40 different performers. This successfully distribute the news and awareness of the Festival to multiple audiences across the various genres represented in the program.
The publicity campaign was in full swing by early November 2016, with over 2,400 outlets contacted nationally and worldwide. By calling individual journalists on the phone and taking any opportunity to meet face-to-face, in both Melbourne and Sydney, we gained extensive media coverage. In applying our dynamic publicity campaign, we helped the Castlemaine State Festival stand out from the rest of the competition in the March festival circuit each year.
As we work under an umbrella of a digital marketing agency, we created some fantastic automated social media amplification tools, and an online social media hub for public contributions. We contacted Festival performers and artists with large social media presence to assist in promoting the festival. This helped raise the profile of the festival internationally without spending a single dollar.
In the months leading up to the Festival we created a twitter campaign, building the hype and linking to new blog articles on the Festival website.