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Behind the curtain: marketing Imagine RIT Events, PR musings

Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival returns to wow Rochester for a second year on May 2. More than 400 examples of RIT student, faculty and staff innovation and creativity will be on display. Visitors will check out cutting-edge technology, groundbreaking research and world-class artistry through a series of interactive exhibits, demonstrations and performances.

At this point, I could repeat that “pitch” in my sleep.

As part of the Imagine RIT Public Relations and Marketing Committee, I’ve worked with Chief Communications Officer Bob Finnerty and University News Director Paul Stella to craft the messaging for the festival. It has been a challenging task (you try summing up this expansive festival in a few sentences…not easy!) but it has also been a blast.

Jeff Arbegast, University Publications’ art director, and I worked together to build our print advertising campaign. The process began in the fall, really cranked up in January and ended last week when we purchased a last-second ad in a weekly newspaper geared toward the African American community—an ad that Jeff and I had exactly one hour to produce.

We created ‘Save the Date’ cards, direct mail pieces, newspaper ads, Internet banner ads, HTML emails, advertorial content and a billboard. Team our work with the television and radio campaign that Paul and Steve Czompo spearheaded, our media relations efforts and countless other committee initiatives, and we hope to have executed a campaign that brings close to 30,000 people to campus on Saturday.

Things are oddly quiet right now. From a marketing perspective, the die has been cast. Now we wait to see who shows up. Early indications (although purely anecdotal) are positive. Friends and family have told many of us that they hear about the festival everywhere. My brother told me that he and my sister in-law are coming because they saw the T.V. commercial and the festival “looked really cool.” Lets hope thousands others felt similarly.

Okay, I know I said that the marketing efforts have concluded—but I can’t help making this last request. Make sure you come to the Imagine RIT Festival May 2. And be sure to bring a friend!

Shameless, but hopefully effective.

  1. Jenn Hinton
    May 01

    Well done John! Hope to see you tomorrow! Make sure you take some time off next week!

  2. Bob Finnerty
    May 01

    What will John think of next?

    Thanks partner

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