CLEVELAND: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is all shook up about its image.
CLEVELAND: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is all shook up about its
In a departure from its past marketing approach, the museum is planning
to hire major PR help - including an outside agency - in order to raise
its profile within the music industry and the local community.
The hall of fame’s director of communications has left and will not
immediately be replaced, according to VP of planning and development
Rather, the museum will wait until it hires outside PR counsel before
deciding where a PR director and other internal staffers will fit within
its communications hierarchy. In the interim, day-to-day PR
responsibilities are being handled by the marketing department.
Purdy said around 25 PR agencies have already contacted the museum about
the prospective assignment. ’We need to appeal to potential sponsors and
donors,’ she said, adding that the twin focuses of the music industry
and the local community could lead to the HOF working with two
The museum has several key sponsors (including Levi’s and Pepsi), and
Purdy believes their presence has left the Cleveland business community
with the impression that the hall doesn’t need more corporate support -
a perception Purdy hopes to change with a business-oriented PR
At the same time, the music business considers the museum a commercial
attraction rather than a serious institution devoted to music study and
preservation, so a separate PR campaign could validate its presence in
the eyes of the artistic community.
Purdy plans to move quickly to find PR help. She expects responses to
her RFP within two weeks and hopes to have PR help in place for several
key events this year, including a new fashion exhibit in May and the
museum’s fifth anniversary in September. She declined comment on how
much the museum hopes to spend on PR, but said she is looking for paid
help rather than pro bono support.
Ron Watt, a Cleveland PR veteran who sold his firm last year to
Fleishman-Hillard, thinks the museum’s PR efforts should originate at
home. ’I think they’re losing a lot of people right here,’ he said.
’They’ve got to put the money in and do it right.’
The five-year-old institution started out with a great deal of hoopla
and sky-high attendance, but has now leveled off at 500,000 visitors per