Archive for August, 2010

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My First Radio Experience

August 27, 2010

A guest blog by Marketing & PR Intern Whitney Zrebiec

It’s simple, every college student has to start at the bottom and work their way up. I am just getting my feet wet in the world or PR and Marketing, and it is safe to say it is a very tough industry. Over the past few months I have been interning for the State Theatre in PR and marketing and also at a radio station in their promotions department; these are both unpaid internships, and for the radio station it requires a good amount of traveling up and down the Garden State Parkway on a weekly basis. However, despite all of that I can say it is one of the best experiences I have ever had.

I have seen the ins and outs of how promoting a radio station really works, we are given responsibilities to make sure everything goes smoothly, and it really makes you feel like you are making a difference. From live broadcasts, to appearances at carnivals, baseball games, and fairs, the detail that goes into every event is extraordinary.

Many people are very skeptical when I discuss all of my unpaid jobs for the summer, but they simply just don’t understand. I mean what type of job allows you to spend the day at the Jersey shore, interacting and playing games with everyone on the boardwalk? What type of job allows you to spend the day at Six Flags: Great Adventure to see well known radio hosts broadcast their show? I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many, I’ve found something worth trying to persue in the future.

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We’re Back & Cooler Than Ever

August 23, 2010

In less than one month, the State Theatre re-opens its doors to audiences for the first time since late July. After a summer of renovations for our new heating/air conditioning system, we will be back and better than ever! And for those of you who have been away, we have added a whole bunch of shows to our 2010-11 line-up, including comedians Ron White (3/3/11) and Gabriel Iglesias (1/20/11); contemporary Christian group, MercyMe (10/14/10); and former Styx front man Dennis DeYoung with a concert featuring the music of Styx (3/5/10).

Our latest brochure hits mailboxes right after labor day and will include a complete list of shows up until this point. To make sure you get one, give us a call, we’ll mail you a copy (732-246-7469). Until then, check us out online: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/eventstickets/calendarevents/

See you in September!

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The Crossing – A Concert Choir with a Twist

August 19, 2010

A guest blog by Marketing & PR Intern Joanna

For many people, listening to a choir concert might not sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon. However, The Crossing is attempting to change the way people think about choirs. Founded in 2005, the choir is unique because they sing newly composed and modern music. The Philadelphia Inquirer has called them “Philadelphia’s Best Chorus,” and said “most of the music presented by Donald Nally’s choir, The Crossing, lies outside describable musical contexts”. This is what makes the choir so exciting.

This summer, during their “Month of Moderns” concert series, the choir presented three premieres on words of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Phillip Levine: Statement to the Court by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang; The Memory of Rain by Lansing McLoskey; and Breath by Paul Fowler. I was struck by how well The Crossing crafted a start to finish experience for the audience member. The concert program included some of the most unique program notes I have encountered, and I enjoyed being guided by them. I especially liked the special note for each piece, explaining how the choir came to find it. Following the concert, the entire audience was invited to an elegant, free reception that featured the opportunity to mingle with the choir members and fellow concert goers. This provided a lovely bookend to the beautiful music that came before.

Surprisingly, The Crossing’s administration, marketing, and outreach services are entirely donated. This allows them to focus all of their funds on creating and maintaining an excellent artistic product. However, as you can imagine, it provides unique challenges to the organization and requires innovation and creativity in order to succeed. It was inspiring to see how much they have already been able accomplish. One of their marketing tactics that impressed me was being given a free CD of tracks and clips from previous concerts as a gesture of goodwill for joining the choir’s mailing list. They simply asked that after listening (or importing the tracks into iTunes!) I pass the CD onto someone who is unfamiliar with The Crossing.

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Tessitura Conference Blog = Day 4

August 12, 2010

By Dan Grossman, Vice President of Marketing

Day 4 (Wednesday 8/11/10 – 8am): WOW! The past day and a half have been a whirlwind. Sessions have been VERY informative. The trends in mobile and social networking are eye opening to say the least. POP put out a mobile ticketing platform that delivers tickets as a barcode to mobile iPhones. Also, folks are now implementing text to donate campaigns, which are pretty successful. Selling tickets on Facebook is not far off (Disney is already doing it) and businesses are now allowing customers to log into their site via Facebook through Open Graph (FB CONNECT) which opens up a ton of connectivity and communication on the host website using Facebook technology. I also learned a lot about TravelZoo, dynamic pricing models, real-time data initiatives, shared services, tracking marketing efforts, and ROI in fundraising to name a few. We have also been having lots of social activities. We went to the Kennedy Center, the largest Performing Arts Center in the world under one roof (AMAZING) and a Nationals baseball game. Both events were loads of fun. Well, I am off to more sessions and networking. Bye for now…

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Tessitura Conference Blog = Day 1 and 2

August 10, 2010

By Dan Grossman, Vice President of Marketing
(background note: Tessitura is the State Theatre’s Ticketing Software, there are 324 other organizations who also use Tessitura, including Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Day 1 (Sunday 8/8/10 – 2pm): I woke up at 6am to the wonderful sounds of my 2 year-old daughter saying, “Daddy, I feel sick.” This actually means, “I’m ready to play.” I had a nice morning with my wife and two kids, who kindly dropped me off at the Trenton, NJ, train station. I got on the train and I joined Leah Anglum (Development Associate) and Don McKim (Ticket Office Manager) on our journey to DC. We went through Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Baltimore, MD; and finally Washington DC. We hopped in a cab and feared for our lives for about 15 minutes until we arrived safely at the Gaylord National Hotel. As I was in line to check in, I saw a nice gentleman who works at the hotel. We got to chatting and it turns out that we went to the same high school and I graduated with his sister. Well, lucky me. I got upgraded to a three room corner suite on the 19th floor. AWESOME. We went over to the conference area to check in and bumped into Joe Rodriguez (Staff Accountant) and a few people from the Network that we see every year. Now I am going to unpack, unwind and get ready for a night of networking with fellow Tessiturians. This is going to be one great conference!

Day 2 (Monday 8/9/10 – 8am): Let the networking begin! Last night we gathered together as a large group to kick off the conference at the NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKING AT THE POTOMAC. We represent groups from all of the world—Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, and U.S.A. Don Youngberg, the VP and MC of Tessitura calls it the United Nations of Tessitura. We kicked the event off in one big room and then we split into Block Parties. Block Party 1 was by organization type (performing arts centers) and Block Party 2 was by job type (Marketing). So, we ate and got to meet some cool people who all share similar trials and tribulations. Then, we all got back together at the end to wrap up and hear the Tessitura Chorus unveil the new network mission. After the dinner it was off to the huge atrium at the Gaylord Hotel for drinks and more networking. I conversed with my co-workers and Claire from Tampa Bay Florida (who uses Tessitura as a registrar software for a conservatory), Jeremy from San Francisco (who is a union Box Office Manager with the Symphony out there), and a half dozen other people from around the Globe. Well, today should be great! I’m off to two sessions about social media and Tessitura 360 in the morning and then will hit a reporting class in the afternoon. Finally, we will have a big dinner at the Kennedy Center – I am really looking forward to visiting that venue for the first time.

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My Day at NJN

August 2, 2010

 One of the huge perks of my job as VP of Marketing at the State Theatre is live TV appearances. As someone who once aspired to be an actor (until I realized I did not have the guts to go through with it), I sincerely love appearing on pledge drives at NJN. So far, I have worked on pledge drives for Carol Burnett, Richard Nader’s Doo Wop, Anuna, Loretta Laroche, Benise, and most recently Ethan Bortnick. This not only gives me the opportunity to re-live my childhood fantasy of being on television, but, more importantly, NJN provides a platform for me to boast about the State Theatre and our programs. I talk about the history of the building, the excitement in the City of New Brunswick, and the fantastic programs we host for our audiences.

Additionally, I get to work directly with some really great people, both famous and not so famous. The staff at NJN, and my point person Donna Richards, are so professional and slick—from the production team to the membership team and everyone in between. Just yesterday I met a 9-year-old piano prodigy, Ethan Bortnick, and his father Gene. Ethan is incredibly humble, likable, and talented. He’s so well-spoken and is truly a 9-year-old. He is an inspiration to all young children that you are never too young to throw yourself into your passion. All-in-all, the State Theatre / NJN partnership is a win-win for us all. They raise money and we sell tickets! I hope that we continue working together for many years to come.

—Daniel Grossman, Vice President for Marketing