San Diego may not be the first place you think there would be a world-class art museum, yet there it is. The San Diego Museum of Art has anchored Balboa Park, the city’s crown jewel, since it first opened in 1926. Over the last century, the Museum has created a significant position for itself with locals and visitors alike, drawing guests interested in its collection of more than 20,000 pieces of art from around the world. As museums strive to increase their exposure among an increasingly tech-heavy and screen-focused population, SDMA needed to communicate its relevance and the need to gather together in real life to consider the role art plays in our own lives as well as the communities in which we interact. No small feat, considering San Diego is home to many, many attractions that draw the limited time and attention of our residents and visitors.
Art takes many forms, including digital, and our public relations team brainstormed creative ways to bring that art to the masses – within San Diego and beyond. San Diego attracts more than 28 million visitors per year, and Balboa Park grabs a lion’s share of those visitors, totaling more than 20 million. To encourage them to put the Museum on their must-visit list, our PR efforts focused on two things: publicizing the blockbuster exhibitions traveling to San Diego Museum of Art from impressive museums across the globe; and celebrating the Museum’s vast permanent collection housed in its cavernous San Diego vaults.
We did this by crafting creative pitch letters to select media around the world, carefully targeting story ideas to editors at news outlets who would be interested in the Museum’s latest art installations. At least 500 media contacts were reached with various news opportunities, in the form of pitch letters, news advisories, press releases, individual outreach and even messaging through social media networks.
Organizing communications about dozens of exhibitions, events, openings, educational forums, tours and more, the 62ABOVE team fielded hundreds of global media connections. The specific message goal in each story placement was to encourage visitation, with guests enjoying San Diego Museum of Art live and in person.
Results have been impressive: