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Course Work

JCOM 2160 – Intro to online journalism

Colored can

Colored shamrock

Kissing my girlfriend

Deer in Japan

Deer in Japan

JCOM 3300 – Strategic methods in PR research

Public Relations Audit

Caine School of the Arts

February 24, 2010

JCOM 3300

Cassandra Waite

cassandrakw@gmail.com

Jeff Skidmore

jd.skidmore@gmail.com

Kade Delis

k.del@aggiemail.usu.edu

Introduction

Our group examined the Caine School of the Arts to gather information on the organization’s mission statement and goals, organizational structure, previous advertising strategies, budget, costs for events, results of previous surveys, and how people view the organization. Our objective is to help gather information that will aid the other groups in our overall goal of increasing event attendance while strengthening the Caine School of the Arts presence in the community.

The Caine School of the Arts is a program in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Utah State University. It was founded in 2005 by Stan Albrecht, who was the Dean of the College of HASS prior to becoming president of USU. The school offers several different programs ranging from theatre arts to English. With so many departments and programs, marketing and communication is vital to the success of the organization.

Public Perception

Mission Statement and Goals

“The Caine School of the Arts is a collaborative community, representing the collective talents and voices in the arts at Utah State University. Believing in the unique power of the arts to celebrate, illuminate, transform, and inspire the human spirit, the Caine School fo the Arts seeks to make the arts more visible, more innovative, and more fully integrated into the intellectual and cultural life of the university and the communities it serves.

Utah State University’s Caine School of the Arts represents the broadest interpretation of the “arts”: art as personal expression, art for art’s sake, art as communication, art as an important social and political force, art for personal enjoyment, and art as a contribution to what it means to be both an individual and a part of the larger cultures that connect us.”

– Caine School of the Arts Mission Statement

The Caine School of the Arts mission statement is posted on their website and it specifically mentions that it serves the university and the community. For our purposes, we focused on the community aspect. Their mission statement also says that the arts can be used for personal expression, art’s sake, communication, a social and political force, personal enjoyment and a contribution to culture.

The organization also has a yearly slogan which is “discover yourself again with the arts of 2010.” This slogan is posted on their website, but few people know about it. We were unable to find clear goals for the Caine School of the Arts, but on their website hidden under ‘a brief history of the Caine School of the Arts’ it mentioned that the school’s activities “are consonant with the goals of the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation to support visiting artists, provide scholarship support to students, and enhance community outreach and partnerships in the arts.” Director of the marketing department, Jarrod Larsen, stated that his main goal was to “increase event attendance while strengthening presence in the community.”

Internal Environment

Organizational Structure of the Caine School of the Arts

“The Caine School of the Arts is a division of the College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. A steering committee comprised of the department heads of Art, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, Music, and Theatre Arts, as well as the director of the Nora Eccles Museum of Art, coordinates collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives and governs and directs programs and events. The School’s Program Coordinator assists with the execution of the steering committee’s plans. The Caine School of the Arts Development Officer works with the dean and steering committee members to advance the school’s development goals.”

    • – Organizational Structure according to the Caine School of the Arts website

The Caine School of the Arts includes seven different departments and programs including: Art, English, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Music, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art and Theatre Arts. On some parts of the website we found that Utah Public Radio is also included in the Caine School of the Arts. There is not currently a dean for the school of the arts. Beginning July 1, 2010 the Caine School of the Arts is scheduled to become the Caine College of the Arts, and by then there should officially be a dean in charge of everything that goes on in the college barring any setbacks.

Although the website explains that the program coordinator and the development officer work to advance the goals of the school, there is currently no one holding these positions. There is no hierarchy to the school of the arts current organizational structure; rather it is a horizontal management structure. Each program or department has one person in charge but there isn’t anyone to coordinate between the seven of them. The horizontal management structure could be hurting the internal communication that could help the marketing department.

The marketing department includes the employees in the main office with Jarrod Larsen as the director. (See chart on the right.) We met with Courtney Lewis and Cami Carlson to find out more about the internal communication in the main office. They felt that the communication was good, but the meetings were usually spontaneous. Larsen did not have regularly scheduled meetings and sometimes they could be up to three hours long with no structure. Lewis and Carlson attend regularly scheduled meetings to go over events and scheduling but Okelberry and Larsen do not attend these meetings. The only meeting that is scheduled is one held on Monday’s with Larsen, Okelberry, and Craig Jessop (Head of the Music Department), but this meeting does not include any other department heads. Patrick Williams is in charge of public relations for the College of HASS. Williams also handles the Utah State University events calendar for which he works closely with the Caine School of the Arts to make sure events are updated regularly.

Lewis mentioned to us that music and theatre are the main departments that regularly coordinate with the marketing department. The English department has asked the marketing department not to do advertising for their events, but they might be moved to another college after July 1st due to budget cuts from USU. There is never a meeting held with all of the departments to coordinate advertising or events, some of the departments may not even know that there is an advertising department whose job it is to help them.

The Caine School of the Arts recently received money to build a café  in the Fine Arts Building, which some feel may help the departments get to know and communicate with each other. Due to this miscommunication between departments, Lewis has used the term “frazzled” to describe the situation in the Caine School of the Arts. There are many changes taking place and people in the school don’t really know what is going on or who is in charge.

Previous and Current Marketing Strategies

The target audience is different based on the event, but the Caine School of the Arts wishes to attract more people in the community and not just students. Currently most of the advertising being done is online. The Caine School of the Arts has a website, a Facebook group, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter, an e-mail newsletter, and they also have a few websites that they can post advertisements to. Websites that they can advertise on (but they are behind on keeping them updated) include: USU Events Calendar, Cache Valley Center for the Arts, Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, Cache Valley Website, Cache Chamber of Commerce, Utah Public Radio, Utah.com, Now Playing Utah, Logan Library, Zvents.com, When.com, Cache Valley Info, KSM Guitar website and Spingo.com.

The weakness of the online advertising is that the only people that are in the groups or receiving the e-mail are people that signed up; the majority of the target audience is being missed because they are not going to the websites or following the groups.

In addition to their online advertising, they have used postcards, playing cards/programs, door hanger coupons, and limited Utah Public Radio advertising. As Interns for the marketing department, Lewis and Carlson have been working on e-mailing high school teachers in Cache Valley letting them know about plays their students might be interested in. For example, they e-mailed high school English teachers about an upcoming Shakespeare play and many teachers responded that they would be interested in having their students attend. For advertising children’s plays, they make a coloring book packet to give to the kids. In the summer, seniors from around the United States stay in Logan and participate in the Summer Citizens Program and they each receive a schedule for Caine School of the Arts events (mainly they attend the Old Lyric Repertory Company plays).

There are many types of advertising that the marketing department for the Caine School of the Arts has not tried. Possible advertising could include: mailings or Valpak coupons, mainstream radio, posters throughout the community and grocery stores, billboards, flyers, television commercials, and continue to send out door hangers which have proven to be a good approach.

Budget and Shows

The Caine School of the Arts receives $60,000 from Utah State University for marketing purposes. Other marketing money comes from the profit made on outside events. An example of that is Scrubs show called the Blanks that they are currently thinking of bringing in. They would need 10-15,000 people to attend in order to make $15,000. If they were able to make money off of the Scrubs show then they could bring in another big show.

Companies, Churches, and other groups are able to rent any of the Caine School of the Arts venues. The marketing department is in the process of making a pamphlet to hand out to companies about booking venues. Each show brought in is custom quoted. Huge events are usually scheduled one year in advance and smaller events must be scheduled one month in advance. Most of the money made at events comes from admission paid by community members. Students are usually either free or given a discount so they don’t make very much money off of them. Women over the age of 50 are also main event attendees. Attendance at events largely depends on the time of year and the genre of the event, but time of day can also affect who attends. For some elderly people that live more than a few minutes away, driving can be hard at night and in the winter. According to the results of a past survey done, other reasons for not attending events include: not knowing about the event in time, parking problems on campus, cost of tickets and the location.

Past Surveys and Interviews

In the past and for all future surveys, the Caine School of the Arts pays to use a website called SurveyMonkey.com. Over 3,600 people completed a marketing survey that has helped give us an idea about the types of advertising that the school should be doing. The main way that people hear about events is through word of mouth. Based on surveys and interviews conducted, it seems that most people just don’t know about the Caine School of the Arts. According to the marketing survey, besides online advertising, people like to see posters, newspaper advertisements, and hear radio ads. Currently the Caine School of the Arts is just focusing on online advertising.

Our group also talked to students that are in the Caine School of the Arts programs to get an internal perspective on events. We talked with people in programs such as Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and Graphic Design did not even know what the Caine School of the Arts was. Another common theme we noticed when talking to students was that they felt the budget cuts affect the quality of the arts programs and events. Most of the people we talked to didn’t know that the Caine School of the Arts had Facebook pages or a Twitter.

One student involved in the Theatre department mentioned that sometimes the plays they do are inappropriate for all audiences and that a rating system might help. The student said that they have even seen people stand up and walk out of events they didn’t like. If someone attends an event and doesn’t enjoy it, then word of mouth will not be effective and they won’t want to attend future events. We found out that the marketing department and the students in the programs have some say in what performances they do, but the final say is up to the directors and teachers. They can’t always put on performances that people want to see, sometimes they have to do performances in order to teach the students.

External Environment

Conclusions and Recommendations

As a group we noticed that the Caine School of the Arts is going through a lot of changes and communication is a big issue that seems to be affecting their event attendance. If the communication within an organization is not working then it is not going to work within the community. We feel like the Caine School of the Arts might be able to increase their event attendance and strengthen their presence in the community if they focused on better communication within their organization and tried new advertising techniques.

The Caine School of the Arts has weaknesses; they don’t have unity within the school, different programs have conflicting goals or no goals at all, and budget cuts are affecting what events they can do. The Caine School of the Arts also has strengths like multiple venues and a limited competition. The Ellen Eccles Theatre and the Utah Festival Opera are the main competition in the Cache Valley area. The industry stakeholder analysis group will be going into more detail on the external environment within the community.

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