25 March 2008

Media gets more social in Lexington

There's a nice piece by Scott Clark in Business Lexington this week about Rupp Arena's move into social media recently:
Rupp Arena and Lexington Center are at the crossroads of fans, record labels, sports promotion, and live concert companies — each requiring excellent service. As the music industry shifts towards higher-end live shows and advanced merchandising, Rupp will be in a very important position, with much responsibility.

As a part of understanding the needs of visitors, Rupp Arena has wisely decided to enter the bear-it-all, unpredictable world of Internet social media early. Starting with a Weblog and Twitter network presence, they have started to embrace authentic, participatory media as a way to get closer to fans. The possible impact of social network participation goes well beyond newsletters and newspaper ads, and Rupp’s exploring the edges.
Sheila Kenny manages Rupp Arena's communications and she's doing this the right way - she took the time necessary to understand how social media works and she used it to fit a strategic need - connecting and integrating more with the people who frequent Rupp and Lexington Center - and then used only the tools that addressed that strategic need. She's using a blog to give people a behind-the-scenes look at concerts and events.

More importantly, she's demonstrating her understanding that Rupp Arena isn't just a concert venue, it's a community center. She's posting pictures of local fans attending a very important community event - recent high school basketball tournament. She's also using a Twitter feed to promote the blog and engage in conversations, giving users another opportunity to give feedback and support.

Kudos to Sheila and Paul Hooper, a critical member of her team!

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