You've heard and/or said it a million times - Rome wasn't built in a day. Alright, got it, but that always leads me to ask how long did it actually take to build an epic empire?
According to the highest viewed response on Quora:
"So far it's taken approximately 1,009,491 days to build Rome. This is based on the traditional founding of the city (21 April 753 BCE), but we should also consider that the city has been sacked and rebuilt several times."
I did the math, that's about 276 years. So 3 months of not sending out e-blasts isn’t too bad (right?). The PA Wilds Artisan Trail support team has been busy building the epic empire that is the Artisan Trail. With multiple Trail projects in progress
we, I, got wrapped up in the longer vision and was neglectful in communicating our progress, thus resulting in a lapse of our regularly scheduled week e-blasts.
The good news is that starting today, we are back on track with our weekly blasts, so your email inboxes won’t feel quite so lonely on Thursday afternoons.
Here’s a quick summary of main activities to get you caught up on the past 3 months:
External Branding Strategy: In October we hired the design firm SWELL to lead us through a re-design of the Trail’s brand identity and to plan a strategy for a roll out of the brand. The research process included an open survey to our members regarding use of the current brand, a mini-tour of the PA Wilds with stops at Trail sites and an open forum with SWELL and Trail members to discuss the brand and how it works (or doesn’t) across multiple platforms and businesses. This has been an in-depth and revealing process and we’re getting close to a reveal. On February 9 SWELL will pitch the brand identity and a selection of proposed branding assets to members of the PA Wilds Artisan Trail Advisory and PA Wilds Center boards. After this meeting SWELL will finalize the strategy and by March we will start rolling out the brand elements. Part of the strategy will be a digital tool kit that will make it easy for members of the Trail to access the digital assets at any time by logging into a members only section of pawildsartisans.com. This is an exciting time for the Trail and we look forward to being able to share the brand strategy with you. But for now it’s still under wraps in the final stages of development.
Membership Renewals: Yep Membership renewals started November 1, 2015, so we’ve been reaching out to Artisans and businesses who are not current in their dues. It’s not terribly exciting but it’s part of our job. Not sure if your dues are current? Log into your profile and check the tab titled “Invoices and Payments” if there’s a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark showing then you have an open invoice for membership. No worries, you can settle up quickly by paying online with a credit card or send a check payable to the PA Wilds Artisan Trail, 237 Main St. Ridgway, PA 15853.
Buyers Guide: The team has been working to prepare the Buyers Guide, which is tied directly to updating member profiles with current information and images as well as members being current with dues. It is our intention to make a well designed and useful guide. And with the re-branding strategy underway it has been decided that it’s in the best interest of the Trail to not publish a guide this year and to postpone launching the guide until January 2017. This gives staff more time to work with members in updating their profiles to look their best, to guarantee that members are current with dues and also make sure the look of the guide is consistent with and wrapped in the Artisan Trail brand. So sit tight folks – the Buyers Guide will happen – just not quite yet. In the meantime please log in and make sure your profile and photo albums of work are current. You can learn more about updating your profile here (it is relatively painless and invaluable to your success in Trail promotions).
Staffing changes: The staff at the Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA) is the core of the Trail support team. At the end of October 2015 two of ECCOTA's staff members, Ashley Denio and Kathy Stinchcomb left the organization to pursue other opportunities. This left the support team a little light in staffing to say the least. As of January 12, 2016 Sara Frank has stepped on as the new Community Outreach and Gallery Coordinator at ECCOTA, she is also the person behind communications via the Trail's main support email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't already met Sara hopefully you'll get a chance to meet her soon. We're glad to have Sara join the team, she brings a ton of great experience in arts, communication and marketing along with a love for the Wilds to her position.
I think that sums up the past 3 months pretty closely. 2015 ended in a flurry of activities and 2016 promises to be an exciting and busy year for the Trail. Many thanks for your membership and we look forward to sharing and growing opportunities you!