Ever wondered what it’s like behind the curtain? Though every day is different, Manager of Marketing Ashley Birdsell Lewis takes us behind the scenes to learn what a typical Wednesday looks like in her shoes. Whether it’s putting new shows on sale, creating an ad, pitching a story to the press, or even just chatting with upcoming artists, there’s never a dull moment when marketing our world-class live events.
8am: I arrive at the WFMD 930 offices for our weekly guest spot on Bob Miller’s morning show. Every Wednesday morning, I get to pretend I’m a local radio personality. It’s always fun to tell listeners about what events are coming up at the Weinberg… plus, some early morning banter with Bob always wakes me up!
8:45am: I arrive at the Weinberg Center and start my morning routine, the highlight of which is of course coffee. I feel so lucky to work in such a beautiful, historic building! Our Box Office Manager Jef always arrives before anyone else, so we chat for a few minutes about how ticket sales are going for this weekend’s shows.
9:15am: After I’m done checking my email, I check our social media channels for any notifications, comments, or messages. It’s great seeing positive feedback on our Facebook page, geo-tagged images from patron’s visits, or even excited 140-character tweets! Generating conversation is a highlight of my job as Manager of Marketing.
9:30am: I delve into today’s big project: research and prepping for next season’s announcement and on-sale! Though we won’t announce our 2017-2018 season until the first week of August, now is the time for me to begin thinking about the campaign launch. I spend the next few hours creating a timeline and to-do list, researching possible brochure sizes and designs, and gathering assets (photos, videos, and bios) for next season’s artists. The brochure will need to go to print a full three weeks before it’s due to hit mailboxes, so this impacts my timeline significantly. Planning for the new season is one of my favorite parts of my job, as I get to combine both creative and strategic lines of thinking… plus, I always enjoy working on something fresh and new.
12:30pm: Lunchtime! If I haven’t packed something, I’ll generally head to Crabapple’s for a sandwich or Rex’s for a salad. Usually I’m joined by our Manager of Development, Rebecca. It’s always nice to get out of the office and stroll through downtown Frederick, especially now that spring has decided to make an appearance.
1pm: It’s time to head to our monthly Frederick Speaker Series meeting, where we’ll discuss this year’s record-breaking season, and potential speakers for 2018. We always strive to present a balanced lineup, with speakers covering a wide range of interests and timely topics. It seems early to be talking about next season, but speakers’ schedules often book up months in advance! I jot down some notes about how we can best relay the Speaker Series announcement into our Weinberg season announcement.
3pm: I arrive back at the office and catch up on any emails I missed while I was at the meeting. I have a reply from the Quebe Sisters’ agent, who’s helping me arrange a pre-show video shoot with Music and Arts, as well as a day-of Instagram takeover. That means we’ll give them the password to our account and have them post on behalf of the Weinberg before, during, and after their performance. I always enjoy finding new and interesting ways to give audiences a behind-the-scenes scoop.
4pm: Rebecca and I take our daily tea break! It’s quick stop at Voila to grab my favorite – Chocolate Strawberry iced tea. We’re here so often that Mary Jean, Alex, and their whole team know our names.
4:30pm: Our digital advertising representative calls me to discuss the metrics from our most recent campaign. We’ve recently expanded this segment of our marketing plan to great success, and it’s so gratifying to hear about our efforts working as promised! I like to think of marketing as connecting the right audience member with the right show, rather than forcing a hard sell. Our rep agrees, and we make a few notes to better optimize the next digital campaign.
5pm: Tonight’s artist is sound-checking on stage, so I wrap up what I’m doing at my desk and head upstairs for a few minutes to watch. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of live music. After getting permission from their manager, I take a few photos and videos to post on our social media channels and blog. And with that, I head home for some gym time, dinner, Netflix, and crocheting before doing the whole thing again tomorrow!
See you at the theater!