Friday 12 July, 2024

Julie Zhu – PR and Marketing Strategist for the Arts


What is your specialty as a PR/Marketing professional in the arts?

I am a PR/Marketing Strategist with a special focus on the arts industry. I help artists, including fashion designers and jazz musicians, express their art stories and develop strong connections with their audience. As an art marketer, I create effective PR and marketing strategies for artists, from branding to on-site events and beyond, to grow their art making into a thriving career. For example, I was able to support Parisa Wang, an emerging accessory designer, in sharing her stories, finding her niche market, planning a successful NYFW event, and securing coverage on Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Marie Clarie and other major fashion publications within 6 months.

What shaped your career and artistic path?

I have always been active in the arts. I started playing piano when I was 5 years old, which made an impression on me at an early age. I knew that I wanted to get involved in the arts industry and work with artists and make their art careers sustainable. My own artistic background in music and art history gives me a unique perspective, and I have come to understand that artists see the world in their own unique way. As a creative professional, my work is very much artistic like the artists I work alongside with. I am responsible for conceptualizing, liaising, organizing, and planning the marketing and PR of a project or artist. This is an enormous responsibility and only the best are entrusted to do this.

What are some previous artists you have worked with?

I have worked with fashion designers, jazz musicians, actors, and producers. My most recent client is Parisa Wang, a luxury handbag designer. I directed all her marketing and PR strategy, from creatives to content and partnership.

One of my most rewarding experiences was creating a brand story to build a connection with audience and drive sales. My work resulted in landing a major interview feature at a top fashion magazine for Parisa Wang.   In today’s digital-driven society, content is created and shared every second. Businesses need to connect at a deep level with their audience to stand out. I was able to wrap a simple yet real brand story to engage with Parisa’s ideal audience and drive sales by 18%.

In addition, I am very proud to embrace sustainable values and make them part of Parisa’s brand culture and integrate them into marketing strategy and business model. I secured a partnership with Reformation, an LA-based eco-friendly label and the most wanted brand on Instagram, and sourced the most beautiful and high-quality recycled leather scraps that might otherwise be considered waste. I was able to share our collaboration story across digital channels and find interest among our consumers in a sustainable way of life and connect to our target market organically.

Besides brand story-telling, what are some other strategies for art marketing?

In my previous experience with the Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, I worked cross-functionally with development, marketing, creative, and education, and I coordinated year-end fundraising campaigns across digital channels. I customized compelling appeals to different audience groups, as well as supported creatives, social media content and live programs, managed high volume of incoming phone calls and emails, and planned five events from sponsorship to catering, which led to $70k in small gifts to the department.

Why do artists need a PR/Marketing professional?

Marketing has completely changed in recent years, and especially in the era of social media, audiences expect artists and brands to be authentic and personal. Artists are expected to tell their art stories and to understand and connect with audiences on a personal level. My role as an art marketer is to create that connection and to help artists to find their ideal audiences, share their stories, and converse with them. 

Share this Article