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Belfast Int Arts Festival 2020

In September 2020, JComms was briefed to develop a communications strategy to launch Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF) and to communicate the breadth of its programme of events, amplifying its reach through a targeted PR campaign focusing on media and audiences throughout the UK and Ireland, and further afield where applicable.


The campaign strategy to increase the profile of the BIAF, to build the BIAF brand, and to engage new and existing audiences, centred around building out a programme of proactive PR activity that capitalised on the unique access the festival has to a range of artists and voices.


To achieve this, JComms produced a steady flow of proactive news stories, press releases, interviews, features, and more from the date of the virtual programme launch until the festival concluded.


These events, discussions, talks, showcases, exhibitions, the creative minds behind them, and the partnerships/relationships the festival has forged would serve to demonstrate the breadth of offering and the festival’s position as one of the most influential arts festivals of its kind.


JComms drafted and issued press materials for the launch of the 2021 programme which was accompanied by a highly creative, elegant series of images featuring the festival’s Artist in Residence, Eileen McClory.


Further press releases were distributed for the festival officially opening (which as tailored for general release and for specific online theatre publications), the festival’s partnership with the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland highlighting the efforts to make the festival programme more accessible, and a post-festival press release about the success of the 2020 festival and its international reach


JComms produced content that was utilised for owned channels that amplified celebrations such as Book Week NI, Irish Book Week, and National Poetry Day. This content was also issued to local online media.


As well as proactive media relations activity, including pitching interviews and features with the festivals’ director and featured artists, JComms also drafted and implemented an influencer engagement strategy and brokered a media partnership with Belfast Live, which included both editorial amplified with social media posts and organic Instagram activity.


JComms also advised BIAF on reputation management, risk and crisis PR planning and drafted template responses for reactive media queries.

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