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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Publicity Strategies

How does your community view your choir?
 Is it essential to the entertainment or educational life of your town, church or university?  
What have you done to makes your choir have value to the business community?
 I have been running a small but successful campaign for a couple years to get local businesses to see my program and public schools in general as opportunities, not just as big sucking holes that they throw tax money at.  My plan is simple.  I give free 1/2 page ads to local businesses (20 max) with an option to upgrade to a full page for a fee and an option to make a donation.  I have not gotten rich doing this but my last three concert program print costs have been paid for and I have received a small amount of revenue. More importantly, I am establishing a network of businesses that are now positively disposed toward my program and school.  
Share what you have done to promote your program.  How do you get the word out?
Replies (2): Threaded | Chronological
on December 9, 2012 12:32pm
Good to hear from you again. I like your ad idea.
Perhaps the quickest way to answer your questions would be to post our President/Board Chair's 2012 Report for The Nashville Singers. Inc.
President’s 2012 Report
Sloan Yarborough
, 2012 President/Board Chair
Presented to the singers at the annual membership meeting on December 6, 2012
Our 10-year strategic plan (from 2011 to 2010) is structured around many critical areas of strategic importance. This year's "state of the union" report is presented around activities and outcomes supporting these areas of strategic importance:  
Membership: Increase active membership, through continued high performance standards, and proactive recruitment and orientation efforts;
  • Growth: Membership increased by 21% with one of our 16 members on a leave of absence.     
  • Satisfaction: A member satisfaction survey was conducted with 92% participation. Highlights from the survey findings include: 100% of the members feel welcome in Nashville Singers. 50% view their membership in Nashville Singers as the highlight of their choral singing experience. 100% of the members enjoy weekly meetings. 100% of members feel the cost of annual dues is reasonable. 50% of members feel the number of new songs rolled out each year is just right. 42% of members want to learn more new songs per year. 75% of members indicate their spouse/partner/family is proud of their involvement in Nashville Singers. When asked of their intentions when it comes time to renew their dues, 92% of the members indicated they would definitely or likely by renewing their membership.    
  • Recognition: The annual awards banquet for 2011 was held in 2012. Two dozen members earned a combined 22 awards.  
Music: Maintain high performance standards (vocal and visual) through greater focus on outside coaching and regular use of audio video tools by all members;  
  • Youth Music Education: Five members of the Nashville Singers and artistic staffer Grace Thomson presented a master class on the "Art of Acappella Singing" at John Overton High School on January 24.  
  • Adult Music Education: Grace Thomson reset our riser configuration producing a bigger sound, and conducted private vocal instruction (PVI) sessions with 13 of our 15 members at NSI expense.      
  • General Music Education & Outreach: Acappella Academy was held on March 24 and attracted 27 participants, a 300% increase over the previous year. Self-assessment survey data from a sampling of 50% of attendees indicated skills of participants increased on average 33%.      
  • New Music: 10 new songs were introduced in 2012. Eight of those 10 were included on the annual concert.    
  • Committees: The new Music Evaluation Committee assisted Director of Music in coming up with lots of ideas for new songs. The new songs for 2013 will be announced at the December 20th meeting.       
  • Acquisitions: A new scrolling LED light was purchased to cue the singers on upcoming songs, pitches and the first words. The chorus was able to purchase four used Wenger choral risers, valued at $2000, for $100.  
Marketing: Increase awareness of the organization and its activities utilizing a mix of marketing, advertising, web development, and public relations strategies;  
  • Mailing List: The mailing list increased by 49% to almost 3000 contacts.    
  • Advertising: By the end of November, the Facebook advertising campaigns for Acappella Academy, Membership and SOH resulted in 2,613,644 Ad impressions. 778 visits to our website, 37 new Facebook fans, and a 0.030% click through ratio. $511.40 has been spent on Facebook this year with an average cost per click of $.66.     
  • Email Marketing: By the end of 2012, Nashville Singers will have published over 60 regular and special newsletters, at average of1344 newsletters per week or 69,877 newsletters for the year. We're averaging an 18% open rate and a 15% click rate. That means 242 of our newsletters are opened in any given week.    
  • Public Relations: Nine press releases were distributed to the media related new board appointments, Acappella Academy, the Titanic appearance, grant winners, scholarship winner, new appointments to the advisory board and three releases about the Season of Harmony annual concert. That combined with releases by others about Nashville Sings led to a record 52 Nashville Singers mentions in print and online media, including The Tennessean, Williamson Herald, The Hendersonville Star, Family Practitioner, Nashville Business Journal, ChoralNet website, Fox 17, Allevents, and  In addition, news about our grant awards was on every school website in MNPS.    
  • Web Development: The Nashville Singers website has expanded from 50 to 55 pages over the last 12 months. In 2010, our website was averaging 333 visitors per month. In 2011, web traffic increased to 463 visitors per month. Web traffic in 2012 is now averaging 674 visits per month.  Eddie Holt (lead of Lunch Break) added e-commerce capabilities to our site, allowing visitors to purchase our CD using their credit card or PayPal. On November 18, we launched a Nashville Singers website optimized for mobile users. In the first 11 months of the year, the website was updated the 216 times. A complete redesign was completed earlier in the year. 
Program Development: Develop fundable outreach programs that support the mission and vision of the organization; 
The funding Nashville Singers raises throughout the year goes to support six ongoing programs. Some are fully funded. Some are underfunded. All programs support our mission and include budget, monitoring, outcomes, category and population(s) served. These programs include: 
  1. Adult Music Education Program (year round)
  2. Acappella Academy - free singing lessons program (serving adults and youth)
  3. Youth Programs - Middle School and High School Master Classes    
  4. Season of Harmony Fall/Holiday Concert Program    
  5. Music Archiving/Recording Program   
  6. Music Education Grant & Scholarship Program
Financial Development: Build the framework to achieve long-term financial stability by establishing cost efficiencies, ensuring an effective investment program, and developing new funding sources.   
  • Donations: A full 100% of our governing board and 6% of our advisory board members have donated to Nashville Singers in 2012. Not counting end of year giving in December of this year, individual donations for 2012 have reached $2068.37, an increase of 257% over 2011.     
  • Events: Net profit from our annual concert increased by 5% over 2011 to $5292.  
  • Silent Auction: Profits from 2012 are $1,330.00, 15% greater than 2011  
  • Best Practices: Updates were made to the Nashville Singers GivingMatters and Guidestar profiles.     
  • Grants: Six grant proposals yielded one professional development grant from the Center for Nonprofit Management, through a partnership with the Frist Foundation.     
  • Merchandising: Cuts from the Nashville Singers release "The Journey Begins" became available on iTunes, Emusic, GooglePlay, IODA, TuneGenie, Amazon, Amazon UK, Ebay's Digital Music Center, MOG, Amplified, CD Universe on March 17. A new credit card reader from was secured to efficiently handle credit card transactions for CD purchases, concert tickets, dues and silent auction purchases. Two new items were added to our inventory, including an I Love NSI T-shirt, and Black Tie Blend Coffee. Our CD is now in the Barbershop Harmony Society's printed Harmony Marketplace Catalog, distributed to 25,000 homes in the last month.  
  • Budget: The budget grew by 40% from 2011 to 2012 to a record $20,000.
Outreach:  Complete a mix of gratis and paid performances within the community, partnering with a local schools district group and a representative from another arts organization;  
  • Since the beginning of 2012, Nashville Singers has presented 11 free performances in the community, impacting a combined 1580 people in four counties. This is double the number of people impacted by our performances compared to 2011   
Staff & Leadership Development: Fill vacancies in board and staff positions, begin utilizing one or more college interns, and focus resources to provide educational opportunities to help the board and staff become more effective in their positions;  
  • Professional Development: Not counting a class scheduled later in December, our Executive Director has attended 73 hours of professional development classes and seminars from the Center for Nonprofit Management, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Guidestar, and Constant Contact.    
  • Governance: The board met 13 times in the first 11 months, including three meetings with the Advisory Board. A conflict of interest form was signed by all board members. The board giving policy and form was presented to new board members. The board began using Dropbox to share official documents. The board approved a Corporate Credit Card policy recommended by the Executive Director. Meeting attendance of our governing board is 85%.  A Gift and Donor Policy was approved.  The strategic plan was updated in April, July, September and November. The Executive Director created a 10-year projection of income and expenses to accompany the plan.    
  • Committees: A Season of Harmony venue search task force and a Music Evaluation Committee were created.      
  • Reserve Fund: A separate bank account was opened to manage reserve funding. 10% of all revenues earned are deposited into this reserve fund.   
Alliances, Partnerships, and Sponsorships: Form relationships with educational institutions, other music associations, businesses, and other entities. Create strategic alliances to maximize our influence and efforts to sustain, build awareness for, and strengthen our organization.  Secure sponsorships to increase non-dues revenue;  
  • Activities: The Executive Director held participated in 65 networking meetings with leaders of other Middle Tennessee organizations to explore collaborative opportunities on events and/or programs. Two of our members represented Nashville Singers at a Volunteer State Community College career fair. At the recommendation of one of our advisory board members (Don Hart), Todd created a private Facebook group for members of the Advisory Board to share information and ideas.    
  • Outcomes: a new advisory board member, silent auction donations, a community outreach/youth music education event at Antioch HS.  Our Executive Director recruited an additional 12 advisory board members. Meeting attendance of our advisory board is 75%. After a recommendation by Executive Director, the board approved presenting an annual (where a worthy candidate has been identified) "Arts Advocate of the Year" award named in honor Carol Crittenden for her tireless services and support of the arts in Middle Tennessee. Agreements were reached with Ventress Design Works to handle creation of a reusable SOH logo and concert posters and fliers. Playground Studios agreed to provide free studio time for recording the upcoming Christmas CD project. Shane Williams agreed to provide help with video shooting and editing.   
Audience Development: Increase the audience impacted by our music;  
  • Total audience: Our estimated total audience in 2012 from 15 appearances completed to date increased to 6467 people. This represents a 62.5% increase over 2011, and does not include the performance scheduled at LP Field on December 31st.    
  • Season of Harmony: Paid attendance at our annual concert increased by almost 100 people, a 33% increase over 2011.     
  • Highlights: a performance for 4,000 people on April 14 at the Titanic - Pigeon Forge Attraction in Sevier County, and for 250+ music educators at the Tennessee Arts Academy on July 12th.
Philanthropy: Achieve budget to facilitate the donation of $50,000 through our Music Makes a Difference grant program and the Educator of the Future college scholarship program by December 31, 2020;  
  • Grants: The board reviewed seven applications for the 2012 Music Makes a Difference Grant. NSI staff visited with music educators at the top three finalist schools. Two $500 grants were awarded to Oliver Middle School and Lakeview Design Center.     
  • Scholarship: The board reviewed three applications for the 2012 Educator of the Future scholarship.A $1000 college scholarship was awarded to McGavock HS graduate Michael Collins.     
  • Increases: We increased our philanthropic giving by 400% over 2011.
Diversity: Achieve greater diversity in members, leaders, and audiences;    
  • Through out continued outreach activities and music education programs and funding targeting, we continue to diversify our audiences.   
  • We remained focused on further diversification of our membership and leadership.
Awards: Earn awards for philanthropy, organizational management, outstanding recordings and for excellence in choral competition;  
  • The Executive Director represented Nashville Singers at the Salute to Excellence awards ceremony hosted by The Center for Nonprofit Management at the Renaissance Hotel, and was awarded a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership at this event.   
Opportunities for Improvement:
  • Advertising Sales: $1250.00 lower in 2012 than 2011
  • Performance Fees: $687.00 lower in 2012 than 2011
  • Increased diversity of our membership and leadership
I hope you find this response helpful.
Executive Director
Director of Music
Nashville Singers, Inc.
615-852-SING (7464) office
615-669-TODD (8633) cell
615-523-TODD (8633) fax
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to support music education in our schools and the community.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 9, 2012 9:30pm
Quick for you maybe!  Hi Todd.  I was just wearing my Nashville Singers t-shirt a couple days ago.  Holy cow you are an active, well thought-out organization!  62% increase in audience and 33% increase in paid admissions in this economy is more than tremendous. That is a scary loss of ad revenue.  Is it economic issues, did a major contributer back out?
I was looking through communities and saw this one with a lot of members, a topic I am passionate about and little activity.  Come on everyone. I challenge you to be active here.  Share your ideas and successes.  A comment from you can make a huge differecnce for someone else.  We are all in this profession because we care about and believe in the power of singing together.  
Let's work together as a community to improve the choral footprint!
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