Lessons for PR Agencies on taking live events viral

We love seeing great art installations, and wanted to take the time to recommend the In America: Remember flags exhibit on the National Mall. Developed by Suzanne Firstenberg, this exhibit honors the 650,000 Americans that have died from COVID-19. 

Some great lessons can be learned from the concept and execution of this exhibit, and wanted to share some great key learnings for our Agency and Corporate clients as they concept and plan their own mobile media tours, exhibits, and touring events.


Start small, and evaluate:

Suzanne Firstenberg started with an installation at RFK stadium and 200,000 flags. The idea took off and the new exhibit on the National Mall is 640,000+ and covers acres. While this is a tragic reason to expand the art installation, it is a great lesson in starting with a smaller proof of concept, and then expanding in the future.


Simplicity and Scale:

This exhibit is not terribly expensive to execute. It is developed with simple white survey flags. More than 600,000 of them over acres on the National Mall. The simplicity and scale of this art installation gives it the gravitas to make it a show stopper. And this scale makes for a great photo. This is evident from images from the ground level of viewers, the aerial shots from the lifts, or the drone shots in the air.


Social Shareability

Most agency clients are looking for their events to be shared socially. This is a Master Class on how to make your message explode on social media. WIth the simplicity and scale mentioned above, this prints very well on camera. It is also a VERY simple message that helps the public visualize the scale of 640,000 deaths. Humans are very bad at estimating the scale of large numbers and this message is crystal clear and demonstrates it perfectly. 


Press Attention:

Agency clients are always looking for the magic bullet for the press to take interest in their PR Stunt, media tour, or live event.  The press has certainly amplified this exhibit. All the reasons mentioned above make for fantastic art. This really helps with the visual medium for outlets. It also makes a tough concept very easy to understand. But most importantly, there is no corporate agenda here. They are not selling anything and it is not commercial. This is the main challenge for corporate mobile media tours, events and exhibits that have an agenda. Where we come in at Decibel is how to craft these events to thread the needle for clients into a meaningful and impactful exhibit without too heavy handed corporate messaging.

All in all, this exhibit is a great opportunity to learn these techniques and apply them to your own Agency events, PR Stunts and marketing tours. And on a personal level, it’s worth a visit on its own as well.