Often we see quotations about learning from mistakes. How about learning from successes? That’s what Ad Hockers did this morning as we chatted about the incredible past weekend filled with music, visual art, laughter, camaraderie and real experiences. Warm thanks to each and every person who participated, helped, attended, or in some way spread the word.
Perhaps you were able groove at the 2nd Annual Jazz Walk, waffle at Våffeldagen, or sing along at “Messiah” — or take part in any number of receptions and celebrations on March 23, 24 and 25. What dynamics seemed to bring out the best?
• Participation. Whenever we make room for guests and residents to be more than observers, we succeed. Joining voices. Hamming it up. Laying hands on a project or purpose. We all hunger for a chance to create with others or create a personal experience.
• Communication. Sharing by social media and word of mouth continues to help us build and reinforce the notion that Lindsborg and Bethany College continue to try new things while still remaining well linked to heritage. Still, *all efforts* to share, explain and give context pay dividends. We may have heard it all before, but many have not.
• Awareness of all ages. Whether someone is a long-time Bethany College alum or a young person who is trying to find some distraction/fun while accompanying adults, it’s important to see experiences from the point of view of all age ranges. Kids at the front, coloring, during the performance at the J.O. Sundstrom? Help for seniors to get to and front their seats at the Messiah sing along? Yes, please.
• Visuals — now more than ever. Strong symbols, playful business window decor, colorful flowers, video in social media and on websites, and so much more. Don’t count on anyone to read the words (including this newsletter). Show 'em.
• Personal touches. Dr. Mark Lucas was part emcee/part conductor, setting a tone of ease and meaning at Sunday’s sing along, we agreed. BC alum Brandon Draper and his Little Big Band made it personal for us — and band members marveled in return. “These small town gigs,” one band member said. “They just take care of you.”
If you have any additional observations about lessons from the past weekend, do share them, pls.
Advertising can be expensive. Small organizations or individuals often can’t afford broad advertising reaches. That’s why there is stiff competition for what is called earned media. This is free editorial coverage that results from effective “pitches" to editors. Pitches are ideas, tastes, sounds, and experiences provided to editors to entice their interest in writing or photographing what you are doing. If you can get a mention or a story in a broad-reaching publication or broadcast, the value can be many thousands of dollars and have a long half-life of effectiveness.
Lindsborg is among several Kansas cities traveling to make pitches next week to editors headquartered in New York. Lindsborg CVB director Holly Lofton will be our representative. Because of her past experiences with pitches to national editors, Holly was able to create a truly one-of-a-kind pitch for Lindsborg she is calling “So Swede.” Editors will pop open a small paint can full of Lindsborg items (a small hand-painted canvas by Carla Wilson on wood easel, two samples of Blacksmith Roastery coffee) and look through an accompanying paint chip booklet full of Lindsborg photographs and short narratives. At Lindsborg’s booth, editors will be invited to snack dala horse chocolates, be invited to paint on canvass boards on which a Lindsborg artist already has sketched out a distinctive scene, walk on a “rug” that is a canvas painting spatter catcher, and see the multi-colored cans stacked on Scandinavian-inspired shelving. A huge “So Swede” traveling banner will back the scene.
The Ad Hoc Roundtable’s “Let’s Get Out There” fund (fueled by those who are able to pledge $30 a month for social media and advertising) was able to partner with the City of Lindsborg to make this memorable pitch package possible. As Holly said this morning, Lindsborg won’t be able to make this kind of pitch every year, so we have to make this one count.