DISTINGUISHING A CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR LOCALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY

A comprehensive communications campaign for Frieze New York 2017—engaging international media and Frieze’s diverse constituents of established and emerging galleries, private and institutional collectors, scholars, and arts enthusiasts.

March 2016
New York, NY
Approach

R+A worked with Frieze and our partner agency in London to shape a communications campaign that resulted in substantive coverage throughout the months leading up to Frieze New York 2017 that asserted the fair’s distinguishing attributes and strengths among the growing field of international art fairs.

Beginning in November 2016, our team refined Frieze Fairs’ organizational messages and developed key talking points for the sixth edition of Frieze New York—underscoring the fair’s growing strength in 20th-century art, the expansion of the celebrated special section Spotlight, and its established position as a catalyst and integral component of the cultural landscape of New York City and the Americas more broadly. 

Following the long-lead announcement of the fair’s exhibitors and new programs in January 2017, R+A arranged a series of one-on-one meetings for Frieze leadership with priority writers and editors in New York to support the development of feature print coverage timed to the fair’s May opening. Another series of one-on-one interviews also followed the short-lead press breakfast in early April and ran through to the fair’s opening, contributing to a diverse range of stories that reflected the fair’s broad priorities and initiatives, from Frieze’s partnership with Americans for the Arts in support of its campaign to #SavetheNEA, to its collaboration with the Getty and NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts to organize a symposium on new exhibitions and scholarship dedicated to Latin American art and artists, to the launch of the inaugural Brooklyn Museum acquisition fund. Ahead of the short-lead press breakfast as well as each media interview, R+A carefully prepared briefing documents for Frieze leadership with tailored talking points on fair highlights that were most relevant and engaging to respective media outlets and their audiences.

During the run of the fair, R+A implemented strategies to streamline the management of communication needs onsite. Advance planning and preparation with Frieze leadership, staff, and the exhibitors contributed to efficient and effective handling of all onsite communications activities, including gathering significant updates from exhibitors in real time; coordinating and staffing interviews with the fair directors, curators, and artists; and developing and distributing releases and alerts to media, with breaking news throughout the fair.

Results

Coverage of FNY17 appeared in a wide range of media outlets, including international and national dailies, major art and design trades, lifestyle, travel and consumer-interest publications, and online news sources and blogs.

Through proactive and strategic outreach, the campaign expanded the scope of media coverage across a wider range of outlets than in previous years and deepened media’s engagement and recognition of the fair in priority markets, including the regional tri-state area, the West Coast, and Latin America. There was a marked increase in the quality and quantity of coverage from high priority regional news and luxury lifestyle publications, such as New York Magazine, New Yorker, Time Out New York, and Modern Luxury; as well as in priority luxury travel and lifestyle outlets, such as Conde Nast Traveler, Departures, C Magazine, Vogue, Vogue Mexico and Latin America, and Vogue Brasil.

In total, the campaign garnered over 175 news items in outlets across the Americas—totaling approximately 1.49 billion impressions, including over 1.48 billion online views and more than 12.1 million print impressions with an approximate combined ad equivalency rate of $11.76 million USD.

Project Timeline
  • November – December 2016: Information gathering on fair exhibitors and program highlights. Development of fair’s key messages.
  • January 2017: Announcement of Frieze New York 2017 exhibitors and dates, followed by a series of media meetings for Frieze Fairs leadership.
  • February 2017: Announcement of the Frieze Projects program for 2017.
  • April 2017: Press breakfast in New York to share new details and information about Frieze New York, coinciding with an international press release distribution.
  • May 4: VIP Preview Day for Frieze New York.
  • May 5 – 7: Frieze New York Open to Public
  • May 9: Distribution of final fair press release summarizing highlights of Frieze New York 2017.
Client Relationship
Services Provided For Project
Communications + Media Relations
Analysis + Strategic Planning
Marketing Strategy
Executive Counsel + Management Consulting
Brand Positioning + Constituency Development
Social Media + Online Strategy