The way to Carnegie Hall, as the old joke goes, is “practice.” For the winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
, the route to Carnegie Hall in 2013 was excellence. The staff of Scholastic Inc.
and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers faced the opposite challenge: bringing Carnegie Hall to an Internet audience for its 90th anniversary live webcast. Like the young artists and writers, their efforts also won an award—first prize for Best Podcast or Videocast in PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards.
Founded in 1923, the 2012-13 program year marked the program’s 90th anniversary. Over the past 15 years, it has become a tradition for the program to culminate in a national celebration that includes an awards ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall.
The main goal of webcasting the Carnegie Hall event called for a communications plan that was thoughtfully designed and well-executed to ensure large numbers of interested viewers were aware of the event. Fortunately, Scholastic (in collaboration with the Alliance) has extensive experience in creating webcasts. The two groups worked together to create an engaging home page for the webcast that featured a special pre-event video welcome message from the Alliance executive director; a series of “Hi my name is” videos from students; a live Twitter feed to generate buzz; and social media links.
Their work (supplemented by support from celebrity guests Sarah Jessica Parker and Zac Posen) drew an estimated 25,000 viewers to the live webcast, plus an estimated additional 25,000 viewers via replays as of early June 2013. News about the live webcast reached approximately 319,500 people on Facebook, 116,000 people on Twitter, and 1,485 people on Instagram.
Hard work paid off for the students as well as Scholastic staff members Kyle Good, Billy DiMichele, Cathy Lasiewicz, Roman Feeser, Anne Sparkman, Colin Poellet, Yanique Hart, Joseph Argabrite, Lia Zneimer, Megan Kaessaefer, and Erin Davis; and Virginia McEnerney, Dominic Matar, Kat Hendrix, and Jonathan Ettinger from the Alliance.
To see the webcast in full, click here.
Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here.