ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Symphony, in the midst of a dollars 100 million fund-raising campaign, is searching for a new PR director to keep the organization in the media spotlight.
ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Symphony, in the midst of a dollars 100
million fund-raising campaign, is searching for a new PR director to
keep the organization in the media spotlight.
The new PR director will be charged with continuing a major media
relations push that has seen the symphony’s endowment campaign covered
by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Business Journal and The
Riverfront Times. A major component of the job will be ’maintaining the
media’s trust and confidence. They’ve been fair and accurate in coverage
of our fund-raising plans,’ said present PR director Susan Sherman, who
is leaving the organization on Wednesday for family reasons.
The change in PR directors comes at a critical time for the St. Louis
Symphony, regarded as one of the country’s finest. The organization,
which also runs a 4,000-student music school and a major community
outreach program sponsoring more than 400 events a year, is facing a
dollars 3.5 million budget deficit this year.
The symphony’s existing endowment stands at dollars 28 million, with a
goal of raising dollars 100 million in new funds by 2005. The
organization has already nabbed a dollars 2.5 million challenge grant
from the Ford Foundation - a development that garnered front-page
coverage in the Post-Dispatch earlier this month - and its chairwoman,
Virginia Weldon, grabbed headlines by personally donating dollars 1
million to the campaign.
While the symphony has received pro bono PR help from Fleishman-Hillard
and Shandwick, it does not have an agency of record and has not
seriously considered hiring one, Sherman said. The marketing
department’s annual PR budget is roughly dollars 360,000 and the
director position is slated to pay dollars 55,000.
The symphony is looking for someone with experience in the arts world as
well as media-relations savvy. But Sherman suggested that candidates
with corporate or agency experience might be considered if they can
demonstrate ’a sensitivity to the organization and its key