As everyone who reads ARTSblog should know by now, the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study (AEP IV) was released yesterday at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio.
With 182 participating communities and more than 150,000 audience-intercept surveys, this economic impact study of the arts is the largest and most comprehensive ever conducted. As the study launched before 800 attendees and countless others who saw the announcement live on the web, there was a collective sigh of relief at Americans for Arts.
The story we had held on to for more than six weeks was finally able to fly free.
Embargoed press releases. Pre-written tweets and Facebook updates. Scripted talking points. There were a dozen different ways that the big story of the $135 billion impact of the arts in our country could have been “spoiled” early.
Multiply those communications tools by the number of participating organizations and other partners and members of the press who had this information for the last few weeks and it’s nearly a miracle that barely anyone spilled the beans.
When we released the previous study (AEP III) at the 2007 Annual Convention, social media wasn’t the cultural and communication force it is now. Twitter wasn’t even a year old. And while Facebook was a staple at universities and colleges, its use by nonprofits wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as today. Very simply: in 2007 it was easier to keep a secret. Read the rest of this entry »