Intro: I’ve been an army of one, using all the tools in the PR and marketing toolbox to promote events like TWSSF, Slow Food Cycle, and specifically the WRWF, which will be the case study here, to explore the different tools that are available to armies of one, people with no budget, no resources, no people, to create buzz, get the word out, build brand or events.
Army of one crash course will give a quick and dirty overview of branding, strategic communications, social media, guerilla marketing. I ofered to share this with you guys because: 1. there are a stupid amount of opportunities for people who can write to offer services like this A lot of local businesses, events, non profits, are starting to use social media tools, are hearing they need to be there, but don’t have a high comfort or capabillty with creative writing. 2. Increasingly, to get published as a creative writer, publishers are looking for people not just with a ms or with talent but with a platform. 3. the WRWF is an awesome opp for exposure and relationship building within the literary and publishing worl, and there are opportunities for keen people to take an aspect of the festival’s promo and run with it – turn the army of one into a squad. 4. finally, what if sliding doors idea is true and you get one shot at being in the right place at the right time? Boy scout motto: be prepared?
What is the first question people ask when you tell them you are a writer? “Oh, what do you write?” Hate that question? Want to be like all those artists and musicians who say, oh, I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into a genre. I can write anything. But there’s stuff you don’t write – romance, science, crime, genre, non-fiction, etc. Give them a clue. Exercise: mindmap yourself, as a writer, as a professional. What are your strengths, your insights/beats, your publishing background/successes, your fascinations, who do you read, what do you read, what are your passions. Brainstorm. Then pare down to 3 words that are the DNA, the essence, the core that links all that together. (eg Leslie Anthony is writing books about his passions – herpetology/Snakebit, skiing/White Planet, canoetripping, wants to write about Ultimate. His take is the overriding DNA that drives his creative process is a fascination with obsessive passionate subcultures. I think what connects those passions is how people interact with extreme environments. And fringe cultures. So he could position himself as a environmental anthropologist.
Opp: 10th festival. WiR Sarah Selecky. Lit Grit = success comes from tenacity and creative community. Guest author Miriam Toews.Audience: Writers and aspiring writers. In Sea to Sky. And broader region. Workshop and festival attendees.Bizobj: Sell out. Fill residency. And have 10 people attend each seminar. Measured in ticket sales.Commnsobj: 1000 program downloads. FB fans grow to 250. Twitter buzz – grow klout and retweets. Web visits. Target group: Go every year. Good creative kickstart. Do I have something good enough? Is there anything new? I’m busy – I want to go, if I have time. Why go to Whistler instead of Banff, Sunshine Coast, Hawaii, Surrey, Van festival.Insights: hear about it predominantly thru Stella, local papers. Think it’s impressive quality. Good value. Creative/campaign: Feel a sense of urgency to take part. Don’t keep assuming this opp will always be there.One message: If you’re committed to your creative goals, you need to attend. If you’re not committed, you need to get committed and the best way to get that is to attend. Commitment is what counts.Support: “grit”, successes of all our guests and our past attendees.Response: Amp up your commitment to your own creative path. Sign on.
Great examples of writers using these tools: Tanya Davis’ spoken word video How to Be Alone. Sarah Selecky’senewsletter of short story writing tips and commandments, Whistler Select Writing Awards to target journalists connected to Whistler, Terry Fallis’ podcast of him reading his book.
Good examples: Allie Jenkinson, Danielle Laporte, Sarah Selecky, Annabel Lyon with The Golden Mean – you can see how disciplined she is. You don’t have to be out there all the time – it depends on your brand DNA. If it’s prolific or focussed, exuberant or spare…
Whistler Select Writing Awards – fit more our vision of ourselves than who we actually were.Postcard Jam, Haiku Idol – amazing success because we are practice-oriented. People want to be involved, want to write. Celebrity of guest authors – how important is that? We sell out Laurence Hill, Joseph Boyden, but mostly people want things that are more about them – so Michel Beaudry’s hands-on writing classes are more popular than an author talking about themselves.September: 30 day Blogger Challenge. Write every day for the month of September and publish it. Post it. Put it online. Or on a poster and pin it to a telephone pole, a noticeboard, the post office door. Take a photo.
Army of One presents Integrated PR for Writers
Wayne Grady + Merilyn Simonds: Writers in Residence 2009<br />Brian Brett: Writer in Residence 2010<br />National book launch 2010: leslie Anthony’s White Planet<br />Guest author: Lawrence Hill<br />army of one presentsIntegrated PR for Writers<br />A Case Study of the Whistler Readers and Writers Festival<br />
Presentation Overview<br />Step 1: Know your BIG story – Branding 101<br />Step 2: Identify the opportunity and messaging – StratComm101<br />Step 3: Be familiar with the tools – Social Media 101<br />Step 4: Develop and implement tactics – Guerilla marketing and PR 101<br />Conclusion: Make something amazing. Experiment. Get your words out there.<br />
Step One: Know your DNA.(Branding 101)What is your BIG story or position? What do you want to own or be identified for?<br /> “Brands exist as a means of communicating what to expect from a product or service.” Richard Branson<br />A reflection of what you’re fundamentally interested in<br />Where you’re at, rather than an idealised version of yourself – something you can deliver on<br />Bigger than your current project, enduring over body of work<br />Be graspable, help define you<br />Eg:<br />Sarah Selecky, short story craftswoman/master<br />Miranda July, eclectic creative talent with mixed media applications<br />Doug Coupland, commentator on popculture and our Zeitgeist<br />Sara Leach: KidLit expert<br />
Case study: WRWFDNA of the Whistler Writers Fest<br />Craft-oriented. Inclusive. Intimate.<br />Other words are a better reflection of where we want to be, or are more specific to the story of this year’s event: <br />committed, tenacious, supportive, professional, door-opening, community-oriented, relevant, connected<br />For specific purposes – ie applying for grants, lobbying RMOW etc, focus on different attributes, that grow out of those core values:<br />Ie The real currency of Whistler is story. WRWF contributes to that, because it is connected, credible, acclaimed, and growing.<br />
A: The currency of Whistler is STORY<br />From apres sessions recounting the glory of a ski day, to the timeless tales of the land shared at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, to the global resonance of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, to the for-better-or-worse instant reach through social media, the currency that flows through Whistler and ripples beyond the boundaries of the resort, that provides value to the visitor and resident alike, is story. <br />
How the Whistler Readers & Writers Festival contributes:<br />Connected<br />Credible<br />Acclaimed<br />Growing<br />Joseph Boyden and Shelagh Rogers sell out the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre as guests of the Whistler Writers Festival, Feb 2009<br />“Writers’ festivals and writer-in-residence programs are absolutely essential for keeping Canadians connected, reviving writers and the audiences, and for fostering local culture and identity.” <br />Brian Brett, 2010 Whistler Writer-in-Residence and winner of the 2009 Writers’ Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize<br />
Connected:<br /><ul><li>Partnered with the Vancouver International Readers & Writers Festival : “the best of the largest festivals in Canada” Noah Richler
Now part of the fall national literary festival circuit that sees authors travel to Kingston, Toronto, Ottawa, Banff, Calgary, Whistler, and Vancouver
Allied with partners at all levels of Canada’s cultural infrastructure, including the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, and Whistler Arts Council, as well as publishers, media, and literary magazines </li></ul>Moleskine notebooks: Sponsor the 2009 Festival. Sponsors and patrons from the 2010 Festival<br />
Acclaimed:<br />“Good people, good discussion, plenty of viewpoints. It doesn’t get much better than that.” Winner of the BC National Non-Fiction Award, Russell Wangersky<br />“I liked the venues, the weather, the scenery, the mountains, the gorgeous hotel. I liked the drive up to Whistler, the drive down, the ferry to and from the North Shore, the small white jug I bought in the village for half price (!!), the exact size and shape I have been seeking for years. In other words I liked the entire experience.” poet Patricia Young<br />“First class. I would hold it up with any festival I’ve been too.” author Nancy Lee<br />“Rejuvenated my desire to write” : 2010 Festival participant<br />
Credible:<br /><ul><li>Host to 50+ Canadian authors, who have performed, read or instructed in Whistler since 2001, including: Caroline Adderson, Leslie Anthony, James Barber, Maude Barlow, Paulette Bourgeois, Amanda Boyden, Joseph Boyden, Brian Brett, Kevin Chong, Ivan Coyote, William Deverell, Candas Jane Dorsey, Jen Farrell Mark Forsythe, Stephen Galloway, Bill Gaston, Wayne Grady, Lee Henderson, Mel Hurtig, Brian Kaufman, Ross Laird, Nancy Lee, Jen Sook Fong Lee, Annabel Lyon, Elizabeth Lyon, Carrie Mac, Charles Montgomery, Lisa Moore, Claire Mulligan, Susan Musgrave, Stephen Osborne, Kathy Page, Kate Pullinger, Eden Robinson, Shelagh Rogers, LaishaRosnau, Mary Schendlinger, MerilynSimonds, Michael V. Smith, Timothy Taylor, Michael Tippert, John Vaillant, Russell Wangersky, Howard White, Michael Winter, Patricia Young, & Terence Young.</li></li></ul><li>Growing:<br />
Mission and Goals<br />The mission of the Whistler Writers & Readers Festival is to leverage the allure of the resort of Whistler, and the role of mountains as a place of creative inspiration, to draw the best Canadian authors and workshop leaders to town, and to be a catalyst for up-and-coming writers to develop their craft, market-orient their work, and connect with leaders in the industry for encouragement, craft-development and professional opportunities.<br />The Festival’s goals are to :<br />Create a community of writers<br />Develop an interdisciplinary exploration of the creative process, the power of language and storytelling<br />Incubate talent with professional development opportunities in Whistler<br />Promote Whistler as a centre for artistic excellence and creative retreat<br />
Step 2: Identify the opportunity and the specific messaging of a campaign (StratComm 101)<br />What is the opportunity the campaign will address?<br />To whom are we talking?<br />What are the business objectives?<br />What are the communications objectives?<br />What does the target group think and feel about the client?<br />What insight do we have about the primary target group?<br />What do we want to the target group to think and feel after being exposed to the creative?<br />What one message do we want to ensure the target group gets?<br />What support do we have for that premise?<br />What is the desired response?<br />
Lit Grit. 10 Years and still kicking.<br />"Sometimes a slog can be beautiful." <br /> Grit is tough because you don't get the psychic payoffs that come with an exciting discovery or a shift in direction. You rarely get big wins to celebrate. In fact, you may never truly win. You will never have a web page that loads instantaneously or a state with no smokers. All you can do is shave a few seconds off a load time or persuade a few more rural school districts to join your campaign. And that slow, inch-by-inch progress? It's called winning.<br />
Step 3: Be familiar with the toolsSocial Media 101<br />Hooks you cast to lure people in:<br />Facebook status updates<br />Twitter feed<br />Blog posts, supported by FB and twitter updates<br />Flickr<br />Youtube/Vimeo/Slideshare<br />Press releases, e-newsletters<br />Traditional collateral – brochures, rack cards, postcards, posters, programs<br />Contests/giveaways<br />Podcasts<br />Anchors: <br />where you drive people, the virtual home for your online brand identify – <br /><ul><li>Website
Use LinkedIn for professional networking – you can integrate it to your twitter feed and blog, so updates will appear on your LinkedIn profile<br />
Facebook: The widest penetration with more than 540 million users. Biggest demographic user groups are ages 25-34 and 45-54. <br />Women 57%, men 43%.<br />
Facebook 101:<br />You need to create a personal account (a facebook Profile), before you can create a Page for your business/enterprise. If you have privacy concerns, you can restrict your privacy settings, and you don’t have to fill in all the fields.<br />For your enterprise, you should create a Page. Pages, as distinct from Profiles, are designed for businesses, and offer marketing insights, the ability to share administration rights with other staff members who might also post.<br />Open comments. But allocate time to moderate and delete anything inappropriate.<br />Launch with engaging content, and solicit your friends and fans to “like” the page, in order to get established and get a high enough score that your content will be shared.<br />Once you’re established, post every other day. Note that content is more likely to be engaged with when it’s posted in the morning before work hours and on weekends.<br />For more info, download a free e-book. <br />
Twitter:<br />A microblogging site that allows users to send 140 character ‘tweets’ or updates<br />Lowest barrier to entry. Lowest cost to play.<br />The best combo of LinkedIn and Facebook’s attributes (networking, status updates, word of mouth potential), without the privacy concerns<br />Ideal when supported by a website/home page.<br />
Navigating twitter:<br />Customise the look of your page under Settings :<br />with an avatar photo and bio under Profile, <br />With skin/photo under Design, change background image, tile background<br />Reciprocity is the unwritten law of twitter. Follow someone, they follow you back. If someone retweets your content, you return the favour.<br />It’s very easy to get started finding followers, because everyone else’s network is open.<br />BUT before you start following people, post 4-6 interesting tweets, and make sure your page looks ready.<br />
A blog (web-log) is a dynamic website<br /> Twitter works best if it drives to a home page. If you don’t have a website, you can get a free one using blog hosting platforms like wordpress, blogspot or tumblr. Quality of content here is critical, but each plays to different strengths. Tumblr is great is you want to post photos and links and could be well suited to a specific project, almost as your own storyboard. Blogspotor wordpress supports behind the scenes storytelling.<br />
Step 4: Develop campaign specific tactics that meet the opportunity<br />What’s the opportunity? A new book? An event? An award? Something that is boosting your profile? <br />WRWF: 10 year anniversary. A story of grit.<br />Tactics: Writing contest? Postcard Jam? Blogathon – sign on to post one day a month on your blog? Peek inside the notebooks of guest authors? 5 things you should know about guest author? Word-keys? Book by dates: discount or bonus for booking several programs? Write on back of toilet doors? Zine? Stickers? Exclusive VIP dinner opportunity? (Do they fit against your brand DNA?) Burton’s twitter novel?<br />
Next steps:<br />Experiment.<br />Go make something amazing.<br />Get messy.<br />Put your words out there.<br />Adopt a WRWF stream.<br />