ChiArts with Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Facing a clear lack of diversity in Chicago’s professional music scene, leaders of the city’s arts community discovered that it was the largest in the country without a public arts high school.
Using the Chicago Public Schools’ Renaissance 2010 initiative as a vehicle, the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) was born and has since become an incubator for talent as diverse as the city. The school combines a four-year college preparatory curriculum with intensive training in four arts areas—dance, music, theatre and visual arts.
As a brand new school with tremendous promise, ChiArts needs to build awareness among potential community partners, applicants and other stakeholders critical to its long-term success.
Hill+Knowlton Strategies has teamed up with ChiArts to help champion the school’s finest assets—its students, teachers and administration—and demonstrate the need for a large and sustained base of support throughout Chicago.
Working with José Ochoa, ChiArts’ Executive and Artistic Director, and Terry Milsap, Principal and Chief Academic Officer, H+K undertook a comprehensive assessment of the school’s media relationships, capabilities and exposure, as well as the reach of its online presence.
H+K has begun carrying out a strategy to help ChiArts achieve its goal: increasing public awareness through generated media coverage, sharing best practices, trumpeting the school’s successes online and supporting the broader goals of recruitment and fundraising.
H+K now reports directly to ChiArts during its regular board meetings, working in tandem with the board to help shape the school’s communications goals in real time.
H+K has developed a thorough, ongoing local media effort with special emphasis on traditional and new media reporters and coordinated several significant interviews– with WKKC-FM radio, and True Star Magazine, a publication written by teens for teens, with a circulation of 150,000 in ChiArts’ surrounding areas.
Still in its early stages, H+K looks forward to building the relationship with a school that has one of the most unique and talented student bodies in the nation.