School of the Arts Publicity Office and Graphic Design
Studio Marks 30th Anniversary with New Location

 

  • phase forward poster
  • Doll House Small Poster
  • Dances Poster
  • New 2011 Kruschke Poster
  • Ingenuity Poster
  • Fool for Jazz Poster
  • 30years
  • hot passion
  • 1812
  • beehtoven
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Poster
  • bobby
  • Rent Poster
  • Season Poster
  • Pork Chop Hill Poster
  • comic
  • Beauty Rising Poster
  • Beatles Poster
  • Open Ears Poster
  • european
  • gold choir
  • grant levin
  • hiestand
  • jazz
  • jazz
  • lewis
  • milbauer
  • mykola
  • olde
  • putnam
  • shkoda
  • songs
  • trout
  • winslow
  • mozart
  • aspects
  • sarsaparilla

The School of the Arts (SOA) Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio has turned 30!

Starting out as one-man-operation in a tiny music rehearsal space, the School of the Arts (SOA) Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio recently moved to a new location, PAC 109, the former office suite for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts' Dean's Office.

“We are really happy with our new location." said longtime SOA publicist/art director/manager J. Paul DiMaggio. "It gives us much more space, and for the first time I am in the same office area as my graphic design and public relations students. I am anticipating much more mentoring opportunities."

The SOA Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio provides promotion, publicity and graphic design support for select College of Humanities and Fine Arts (HFA) departments and entities.

The SOA Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio has provided a real-world learning environment and lab for Department of Communication Arts and Sciences students. Many of DiMaggio’s former students have cited the experience they received working in the SOA Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio as the reason they were hired to “dream jobs” right out of college.

Over the years DiMaggio and his students have offered a number of services to HFA entities and departments, including creation and management of:

• Promotional posters, fliers, brochures, handbills and billboards

• Large and small postcard and brochure mailings

• Press releases and public service announcements, as well as student and faculty profiles

• Collateral materials for campuswide special events, like Chico Preview Day

• TV and radio spots

• Faculty and student video bios

• Event promotional videos

• Publicity and public relations photographs 

• Newspaper and magazine advertising

• A dynamic web presence through different types of social media posts and online advertising
• Programs for various events

• Printing services for Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) events

• Online calendar postings
• The SOA events webpage, as well as other webpages

• Press conferences and faculty/student interviews with local media

• And much more!

For a number of years, DiMaggio and his students provided graphic design support for Kaleidoscope (now Arts + Ideas), a yearly marketing and promotional arts publication distributed to the greater Chico urban area, as well as publicity support for the North State Symphony (formerly Chico Symphony), another entity within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. They also supported through publicity and graphic design Court Theatre, a longtime summer theatre program at Chico State. Until recently DiMaggio's office was responsible for all the publicity associated with the Book in Common event. Additionally, they have created the identity logo and designed posters, banners and other materials for SOTA Productions, a new music promotional lab within the Department of Music and Theatre. Recently they have taken on providing publicity services for CSU, Chico's Humanities Center.


 

SOA PR Student Anne StanleyAnne Stanley is one of hundreds of Chico State students who have gained real-world experience while working in the School of the Arts (SOA) Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio. A 2015 Public Relations graduate, Stanley's first job after college was at the prestigious Oakland, California-based Engage PR, where she has risen in a very short time to the position of associate account executive. Stanley credits the experience she received during the nearly two years she worked for the SOA Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio as a determining factor in getting hired.

October 2016 will mark 30 years since J. Paul DiMaggio started his position as publicist for School of the Arts and College of Humanities and Fine Arts events.

Hired part-time in 1986, DiMaggio remembers the position starting out as a one-person operation. He was responsible for writing press releases and public service announcements, taking photos and designing posters and programs. Seeing the value of what he could provide for the college, DiMaggio was given more hours and encouraged to expand his operation to include student interns, and later on, student employees.

“I am really proud of what we have created here—a real-world lab environment for graphic design and communication majors, and a level of publicity and graphic design services for HFA events and entities unheard of at other California State University arts and liberal studies colleges,” he said.

DiMaggio has worked in the graphic design and journalism fields since he was a sophomore in high school. He started out as a paste-up and layout artist for his school newspaper and also a stringer for the local daily, The Monterey Peninsula Herald.

While at Monterey Peninsula College, DiMaggio continued writing sports stories for the Herald. He also wrote and designed for the school newspaper, The El Yanqui, was the station manager of the campus radio station, KMCC, and produced and promoted on-campus events, including its first-ever Earth Day.

YOC Logo“It was at junior college that I really formed an appreciation for the arts," he said. "I worked on the campus newspaper with some theatre majors. They opened up a whole new world to me. I started going to theatre productions, dance performances and jazz concerts. Our college produced the musical ‘Hair’ and I must have seen it at least five times."

A self-proclaimed “creative,” DiMaggio took journalism, public relations and graphic design classes at CSU, Chico, and was the first intern to work for the Chico News & Review.

“I approached them and wanted to do both writing and design. They said I had to pick one or the other so I chose writing because I had lots of experience with page layout and design," he said.

While in college, DiMaggio spent his summers working as a graphic designer for McGraw-Hill Publications, where he helped create materials for the myriad student proficiency tests that high school, junior high school and elementary school students took at the time.

DiMaggio said the level of publicity SOA events receives has increased dramatically over the years.

“We aren’t just press releases and posters,” DiMaggio noted. “I've insisted we keep up with the new technological innovations in our field. I taught myself Flash and also web design. We have a big presence on social media and run huge publicity campaigns for our big events .

Last year DiMaggio and his students helped “The Addams Family” musical exceed its revenue projection by $16,000 on half the publicity budget it had for the previous spring musical, “The Will Rogers Follies.”

"Last year's musical was very interesting. Our demographic flipped-flopped. We targeted students and a younger demographic with our publicity, and they actually came to our event. Students came in droves to the performances, surpassing by large numbers our traditional spring musical audience—senior citizens."

For the musical, the SOA Publicity Office and Graphic Design Studio design, produced and printed (for the first time) a beautiful 12-page color program.

“The program was a lot of work, mostly because we were still learning how to run the copy machine that we had recently leased. Each program took a minute to print and be folded and stapled. We printed 3,000 and I remember spending nights and two weekends making sure they printed out correctly,” he recalled.

Nearing retirement age, DiMaggio has no plans to step down as HFA publicist in the near future.

“I love working with the students and learning new graphic design technologies and publicity techniques, as well as helping the students gain recognition and an audience for the events they participate in.”

In his spare time, DiMaggio creates award-winning digital artworks—his art can be seen at nine9nine9@deviantart.com—fights with the weeds in his yard and attends his teenage daughter’s volleyball games.