CAPC whittles down this year's funding requests

Friday, February 1, 2013

Take $20,000 and divide it like a pizza at a frat party, and what have you got? In the case of the City Advertising and Promotion Commission, what you have is a long list of marketing support requests for festivals, but only half the money you need to meet them.

Nonetheless the CAPC tackled this list at its Jan. 28 meeting, and in the end it managed to meet most if not all requests one way or another.

First they welcomed two newly appointed commissioners, Terry McClung, who also sits on City Council and Robert Schmidt, owner of Lookout Lodge.

Jacqueline Wolven of the Eureka Springs Downtown Network appeared to make a request for a line item in the CAPC budget. "There is some concern that [too much emphasis] is placed on weekend events," Wolven said. "But our businesses can't live on weekends alone. That goes from lodging all the way to the little shops. Eureka must provide experiences that are memorable seven days a week, and we are willing to take that on."

Wolven added she knew a line item in the budget was "a lot to ask for," but added, "I also understand we serve a function, and we're good at what we do, and we're asking for form a partnership with you. This is our fifth year. We know what it costs to do things."

The ESDN asked for funding for three sets of events: Spring Break, Independence Day and Christmas.

How they decide who gets what

There are several criteria in how the CAPC decides who to fund for marketing support and how much they get. For one thing, the money they offer must be used to advertise. Radio, TV, newspapers and mailings all qualify. Further, at least 50 percent of the advertising funds must be spent on promotion that will reach people at least an hour away. The CAPC's mission is to bring people in.

Typically the CAPC tries to fund new events, helping them in their first three years, after which it is hoped they can make it on their own.

Although most requests did not get fully met, it was typically requests that asked for funding for programming or other non-advertising money that were whittled down.

This year

Commissioners declined a few requests because nothing in the request met their criteria. Any event which offers prize money is off limits, for example. Further, each entity requesting money is supposed to do a 50/50 match for the money they receive. In other words, for every dollar CAPC gives for promotion, the entity must also spend a dollar. However, despite these restrictions, most got something.

* Commissioners approved $4,250 for the ESDN for all three festivals.

* They approved advertising help for the Fleur Delicious event, though no separate funding.

* Funds were approved for Carbon Studio Creations for printing maps.

* Alanon was approved $100 for postage.

* Carving in the Ozarks received $1,290 for its festival.

* The Eureka Springs Preservation Society, which was representedby President Dee Bright, received $2,000, with which it will promote three events: its Society Tea, its Grand Illuminations project and the 31st annual Tour of Homes.

* Studio 8 Creations was approved for $700 for advertising.

* Springtime in the Ozarks was awarded $2,700.

* The spring and fall craft shows at Pine Mountain Village were awarded a total of $800 for both festivals.

* Voices from the Silent City was awarded $1,500.

* The Food and Wine Festival was given $1,000.

* The Carroll County Music Group, which puts on an annual Auditorium show including appearance by Ozarks Choral, received $300.

* Books in Bloom received $800.

Director's report

In his report, Director Mike Maloney mentioned recent research into how much free advertising Eureka Springs has received over the past year through stories in the media. According to Maloney, if you take all the positive stories about Eureka and calculate what that is worth in advertising, Eureka received "just shy of $450,000 in free advertising. A lot of bang for the buck."

One example was a recent news story on 40/29 covering the Turpentine Creek rescue of over 30 big cats. "My quick calculation showed that was worth approximately $6,000," Maloney said. "Every person who watched that story saw they were bringing those cats to Eureka Springs."

Maloney said Eureka Springs now has an officially licensed TV station. KXNW, channel 34, is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated station. "Although the tower is in Garfield, the licensee is Eureka Springs," Maloney said. "They have been in contact with us about local programming. On the antenna, it's channel 34, or on cable, channel 14."

In his report on the CAPC's media schedule, Maloney said the CAPC had marketed aggressively on cable TV in February, hitting Kansas City, Tulsa, Springfield, Mo., and Northwest Arkansas. "We're talking about 600 to 1000 prime time spots," Maloney said. "The best we can get."

He said they also take a full back page in CitiScapes magazine, as well as an ad in Arkansas Times for the Chocolate Festival as well as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "That covers all dailies and weeklies in the NWA Corridor," Maloney said. "Plus a new billboard location in Bentonville, on I-540."

They also have three slots on TV station AETN during "Masterpiece Theater," "Antiques Roadshow BBC," and "Market Warriors."

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