PR team: In-house
Campaign: Launch of Tate Modern
Timescale: May 2000
Budget: Approximately pounds 300,000
Tate Modern opened on 12 May 2000. It was the first national museum to
open in London in a century, and the first national museum for modern
art in London. Tate Modern is a Millennium Commission-funded
Tate's in-house team, which handled the launch, won the Not for Profit
award in the IPR Excellence Awards last month.
To double numbers and broaden the demographic profile of Tate visitors
(from around two million visitors a year). To clarify the roles of the
two London Tates and establish Tate Modern's reputation as a leading
international museum. To recognise Tate's responsibility to the
community, and present Tate Modern as value for money and a major
Strategy and Plan
It was essential to define Tate and establish the role and remit of its
four galleries. Before the team could launch Tate Modern, it needed to
relaunch the existing Tate Gallery in London as Tate Britain.
Working with PR consultancy Bolton & Quinn, the communications team
enlisted the support of high-profile endorsers and media.
Site tours of Bankside power station, and national and international
press announcements maintained interest.
To attract a wide audience, it was necessary to have support from TV,
the mid-market papers, and, crucially, the tabloids.
Channel 4 made a four-part documentary on the architecture and building
project and it was featured in four BBC2 art documentaries.
Special supplements were arranged in advance - including in The Observer
to launch Tate Britain; and an art supplement in Vogue.
To ensure the opening of Tate Modern established the gallery firmly in
the international art arena, the teams worked with PR agencies in France
and New York to achieve extensive coverage in the relevant world
Tate wanted to ensure that the local residents and community groups were
involved with and benefited from the new gallery. Tate appointed a
development officer to work closely with local residents and community
groups, and hosted a private view for local residents and press.
A range of promotions supported a wide-ranging advertising campaign.
They included special coffee cups for Coffee Republic; Wagamana
chopsticks promoting the Friends scheme; Tate Beer, and a Royal Mail
Artists helped launch Tate Britain and Tate Modern with
specially-commissioned work, such as a fanfare for the Queen's formal
opening of Tate Modern, composed by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and a front
cover for The Observer Life by Tracey Emin. The opening of Tate Modern
was marked by a laser show projected on to the facade.
Measurement and Evaluation
So far, four million visitors have been to Tate Modern alone - double
expectations. More than one million came in the first six weeks. The
website registers 24 million hits per month.
Thirteen tabloid articles reached around 32.5 million readers. Total
audience reach through national TV alone during April, May and June 2000
was around 126.7 million.
During 2000, Tate was one of the ten most talked-about brands, an
extraordinary achievement for a cultural organisation.