About the Organization
Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) is a multidisciplinary art center and community gathering space in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North neighborhood. Founded in 1993 as a response to community concerns about growing racial tension between African American and Asian American communities, the organization’s mission is to advance racial equity and understanding. AAI activates artists, youth, and their communities through creative practice and dialogue grounded in the diverse Asian American experience, offering exhibitions, performances, artist residencies, and youth workshops.
In 2021, AAI was one of the recipients of the Re-imagining Recovery grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, designed to stabilize the future of the arts sector. The scenario planning work and results presented to AAI were integral to that grant. With this grant, AAI intends to develop a building-master-plan for its multi-tenant arts facility, reimagine its board structure, and develop a marketing plan, which is where Creative Repute came in.
About the Project
From late 2021 through mid-2022 David van der Leer (DVDL), Brittany Camprese of Vision Driven Consultants (VDC), and the Creative Repute team (CR) worked collaboratively to set Asian Arts Initiative (AAI) up for future success. Each team had its main area of specialty to focus on, and then we all convened monthly to share progress and exchange ideas. We also held monthly meetings with the AAI team to gather input and contributions to better shape our strategic plan. DVDL is an agency of cultural strategists working at the intersection of cultural analysis and human behavior. VDC supports the work of artists, community groups, and not-for-profit organizations by providing consulting, facilitation, and training services. CR’s mission is to deliver impactful solutions through a multidisciplinary approach to marketing.
For Unity x Initiative promotions, AAI had been reaching audiences on multiple touch points through social media and email. However, they needed a solid structure for posting. According to AAI’s strategist, Jino, “A lot of things have been last-minute and rushed. That can be good for creativity, but not necessarily for output”. AAI’s ultimate goals for its digital presence are to ensure people are hearing the stories that AAI is sharing about racial equity and social justice, build awareness, and satisfy grant requirements.
Creative Repute provided a detailed marketing report outlining plausible scenarios to serve as springboards for AAI to achieve its mission and future vision while growing sustainably. Our team reviewed AAI’s digital metrics in-depth, interviewed vital team members, and collected surveys to understand how AAI engages with its audience and identify critical improvement areas. We executed a marketing campaign featuring a zine catalog that AAI created to highlight the Unity at the Initiative Exhibition and its local impact.
Brittany from DVDL co-facilitated the Research and part of the initial Discovery phase with Co-Project Lead Jamila Medley, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). Together they interviewed AAI’s board and staff and transitioned that information over to Creative Repute’s team for the Marketing and Communications phase, where the Creative Repute Team dove deeper into analytics from AAI’s newsletters, website, and social media profiles to expand on the Discovery Process.
Creative Repute consulted each step of the way to ensure that our big questions were included in the project’s Research Phase. After the Research and Discovery phase was complete and the framework for the strategic plan was set, Creative Repute began working with a subset of the AAI board/staff to develop a marketing and communications strategy.
The strategic plan and stakeholder feedback gathered during the Research and Discovery phase informed the strategy. All consultants had access to review relevant organizational documents that could help their area of specialty. This included evaluation/assessment data, past strategic plans, visioning documents, program plans, floor plans, etc. Each consultant group held conversations with key organizational leaders and each other to clarify project goals, roles, processes, and anticipated timelines.
Our designers created a flyer advertising the “Unity at the Initiative!” Catalog. Inspiration was acquired from the website’s branding to further connect the branding from this campaign to the main AAI organization. The design was simplified to keep the focus on brand recognition and the call to action. The messaging of the flyer was meant to draw attention to the limited stock of catalogs for sale. The fonts chosen reflect the hand-written style used in murals and other community art forms. Splashes of color were used to call out the important sections on the flyer and make them stand out from the other pieces of copy. The flyer was used in print, email blasts, and social media to promote AAI. We used data from how effective this campaign was to provide AAI with a case study outlining the impact of the Marketing and Communications Strategy.
Creative Repute created a Marketing Strategy based on data and metrics to promote the sale of AAI’s Unity catalog that highlighted the Unity X Initiative exhibition. We focused our efforts on Instagram for the best reach and Mailchimp for the best click-through rate, engagement, and audience to ensure the greatest return on investment (ROI). The Unity catalog has several exciting features, including the fact that it would be for sale for a limited-time-only and the fact that it highlights queer and trans artists of color. We were eager to launch this campaign, knowing that the catalog would thrill and inspire all lucky enough to get a copy before it sold out!
Our team of strategists and consultants coached AAI towards committing to the operation of long-term, sustainable growth by collecting relevant, valuable data and building a robust marketing strategy that mirrors the results in our Case Study. We emphasized the value of establishing tangible marketing goals and taking the time to understand their audience in Philly and beyond. AAI’s Unity x Initiative publication was exceptionally well received. Our team was proud to work with AAI to help them reach their goals of sharing racial equity and social justice stories, building awareness, and satisfying grant requirements.