San Francisco Symphony

Project Description

Challenge
Landis Communications Inc. has a long standing history with the San Francisco Symphony on a variety of communications and awareness initiatives, including the launch of the Symphony’s Web site for children SFSKids.com in 2002. The Symphony then asked LCI to launch Keeping Score: MTT on Music, the Symphony’s new $25 million multi-year, multi-media project aimed at providing audiences of today with a connection to classical music, with a pilot airing initially on PBS affiliate stations nationwide. The primary goal was to position Keeping Score as a new venture to educate audiences about classical music. LCI’s challenge was to obtain national and regional media coverage – beyond the entertainment pages – in targeted markets throughout the U.S. and even in the markets where Keeping Score was not carried. Only two of the components of Keeping Score, the television show and Web site, launched in June 2004. The other components, such as an education campaign, ongoing televisions shows and radio series, are still in the pipeline for late 2005 or early 2006. There had to be clarification with the media that the program contained other components yet to come, but was still worthy of attention in its first phase.

Strategy
LCI leveraged the multiple components of the project – television series, Web site, radio series, DVDs and educational curriculum – to secure media interest. In addition, LCI chose a strategy of “putting a face” on the initiative and highlighted the role of Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the producers involved in both the telecast and new Internet site. LCI sought out new media targets such as television and Internet reporters, wire services, national radio and features and entertainment reporters, many of which were previously untapped by the Symphony.

LCI crafted and distributed an Op-Ed by MTT to top tier national and regional targets and circulated a NAPS release to secondary and tertiary markets.

Results
The San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score project exceeded all expectations. To date, LCI secured more than 135 media placements with gross impressions totaling more than 300 million. Through LCI’s efforts, stories were secured in all target media outlets and in all target markets. In addition, 96 percent of critics responded favorably to the program and more than 1 million viewers tuned in to watch the national telecast.

Media placements included (among others): TV Guide, Associated Press, TV Week, New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, Arizona Republic, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Newsday, San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee. San Diego Union Tribune, Christian Science Monitor.

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