An Affair of the Heart of Tulsa

Heart of Tulsa, Tulsa’s largest arts and crafts show, has been enjoying a positive reception in the Tulsa community since 1995 and has grown into a tradition among many mothers, daughters and now granddaughters.

The two shows, held annually in July and November, attract more than 20,000 visitors each and over 400 exhibitors, but there is room for growth. The owners decided it was time to tap into a younger audience and called on Kazoo to help them reach their target demographic.

Kazoo created a show survey distributed to the target demographic in the Tulsa area and found that 87 percent of respondents had heard of the show, but only 30 percent had attended with the remaining 57 percent citing “lack of appeal” as the reason for never attending a show previously. However, 92 percent of respondents said they were interested in attending a show that featured clothing, accessories, art, gourmet foods, unique gifts and handmade items from small boutiques across the country. The research revealed a misconception by the target demographic about the actual nature and format of the show.

Kazoo immediately created awareness of the show through social media and began updating the marketing and advertisements associated with the show to include a new website, television spot and ad campaign featuring real vendors, products and images from the show. Unique, popular and atypical “arts and crafts” vendors were also identified and highlighted on local news and radio stations. The public relations result was a combined 20 percent increase at the 2011 shows and the highest recorded attendance ever on a Saturday at the November 2011 show.

Heart of Tulsa has retained Kazoo to continue the new marketing and public relations campaign through a revamped advertising buy and the addition of unique elements to the shows.

 

Tulsa International Mayfest

The executive director of Tulsa International Mayfest contacted Kazoo in early 2013 to discuss potential services.  After approval from the board of directors of Mayfest, the end result was a simple media relations contract between the two parties.  The executive director possesses a background in public relations, but no spare time to properly pitch and follow up with local media.  Kazoo worked with Mayfest representatives and the executive director to create a media relations plan designed to engage local media with an end objective of increasing Mayfest attendees.  Additional objectives included increasing food and beverage sales as well as vendor (artist) sales due to heavy traffic.  Kazoo's tactics included booking various artists on various local stations as well as featuring artists, food vendors and musicians in print and broadcast stories.  Additionally, Kazoo worked to identify interesting angles to create media interest across multiple platforms.   While attendance is impossible to track at this free street festival, Mayfest was pleased with the media relations results the initial year of the partnership and renewed the contract.  Additionally, objectives were met as the results indicated sales increases in art and food in 2013.


The Rose District

Broken Arrow, Okla., is home to more than 100,000 people and is the fourth largest city in Oklahoma. It is a suburb located to the east of Tulsa and loses more than $1 billion annually in sales tax revenue to neighboring cities. City leaders developed a tax-increment-financing district to help revitalize a dying downtown and recoup some of the lost sales tax revenue by creating public/private partnerships and retaining Kazoo to implement an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign.

Kazoo was charged with developing an identity and brand for Broken Arrow’s downtown, which had just been rezoned and renamed The Rose District, while the city was revitalizing the area through a $4 million streetscaping. The campaign to promote the Rose District included several components including market research to understand the current perception of downtown, creation and implementation of marketing and communication tools, and the promotion of the district through mainstream media. Kazoo helped the EDC create unique events like a development familiarization tour targeting entrepreneurs and developers to educate them on incentives and opportunities for locating a business downtown.

The results were fast and dramatic. Year over year numbers showed sales tax collection was up 33 percent from December 2012 to December 2013, which included at least six months of continuous street construction. When Kazoo was retained occupancy downtown was about 70 percent full leaving several vacant spaces cultivating the image of a dying downtown. By December 2013, occupancy was more than 90 percent including 10 new businesses and two new developments creating more real estate. In fiscal year 2014, The City of Broken Arrow collected more than double the amount in new sales tax generated from the Rose District/downtown area than was collected in FY 2012. Additionally, new property tax collected increased by 120 percent from FY 2013 to FY 2014.

 

The Center at Sparrow Hawk Mountain

In 2012, Sancta Sophia Seminary in Tahlequah, Okla., was forced to close its doors due to declining enrollment. Unsatisfied with the idea of the property and facilities going unused, the board of directors voted in early 2014 to open it to the general public and retained Kazoo to help them rebrand and promote the new use of space. With the onsite facilities and location in the Ozark Mountains, the greatest opportunity was seen in a mountain retreat and conference center.

Kazoo conducted extensive market and industry research to determine the center's place in the market, selling points and greatest opportunities while conjunctively creating a name, brand and suite of marketing tools including a website for the new center. Kazoo identified the greatest immediate market opportunity for the newly named Center at Sparrow Hawk Mountain to be as a wedding and event venue for an underserved Tahlequah market. Kazoo has assisted in creating wedding-specific collateral pieces for the Center, which is now aggressively marketing to brides-to-be, as well as helping the Center to identify and create events and opportunities to bring the general public to the property.

Results are not yet available as the project is still in progress.