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How to spread the word?

            Last Friday the streets of downtown came alive with arts and music during a successful first ArtWalk Jasper event. There was a big crowd having fun, listening to the bands, strolling around Main Street to see visual artists inside businesses.

            Artists seemed happy. Businesses reported strong sales. Organizers seemed happy. The crowd appeared to enjoy the event. 

            Among the people who weren’t so happy were the ones who lamented online they would have gone had they known it was taking place – and we, in all seriousness, want to know how to reach this group?

            The ArtWalk Jasper event chair happens to be on our staff and kept an eye on feedback on social media over the weekend. As with so many other events and special offers over the years, several people said they didn’t know ArtWalk was happening. It’s never good to read too much into tone with social media comments. But it seemed a couple of people had sincere posts to the effect of  – wow, wish I’d known…. this was taking place.

            The frustration for organizers of any event, and this newspaper, is literally,  what more can we possibly do to reach you?

            For the last several weeks – just like in previous incidences over the years – the event was promoted widely in this publication, widely on social media, and widely in other newspapers and media outlets in the county. Posters and maps were up in Main Street businesses. Signs, both flashing and non-flashing, were placed along Main Street.

            In print, social media, web, physical signs, radio it was out there to the extent  the ArtWalk ad budget allowed and the goodwill of media owners who extended with free coverage. And do note, this isn’t a case of a newspaper complaining that print subscriptions were down or bemoaning people wanting news online. ArtWalk was promoted across every medium the organizers had available and that includes online and social media. Short of putting up a billboard on the highway or flying a biplane overhead pulling a big fat banner, ArtWalk did everything feasible to see that word was out.

            In any publicity campaign there is always a point of over-saturation, where the target audience’s eyes glaze over – as in political ads on television right now. So, in all sincerity and seriousness, what are we and others overlooking? And we realize, by the fact that you are reading this, you are a newspaper reader, someone who takes an interest in your community, cares what is going on and will take the time to gather knowledge that will benefit you.

            Living in a democracy carries a responsibility to stay informed, to seek out the information you need on matters both big (information on candidates) and small (this event might be fun for my family).

            Again, the irony of this editorial is that the people we want to reach are probably not reading this, but we appreciate constructive criticism and feedback. Send feedback to the editor at  

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