| Acer, one of two Philbrook garden cats.|
JEFF LAUTENBERGER/Tulsa World
A couple of weeks ago, when we kicked-off this project involving the cats, we knew it would get some attention. Animal stories have always been an easy pitch for the media. What we didn’t expect was how quickly this would occur. Within an hour of the first Facebook post, nearly every major media outlet in town, each one hoping to scoop the other, contacted us with heated interest. The local CBS affiliate was the first to arrive. Our local newspaper, the ABC affiliate and others soon followed. This was all accomplished without a traditional press release. No phone calls were made. No emails were sent. Citing the viral and word-of-mouth culture that social media feeds, one of the television reporters told us that he was standing in line at a local ice cream shop when someone said, “Did you hear that Philbrook put cameras on their cats?” Within days of the first footage being posted, we were getting comments from as far away as Minnesota and North Carolina. This “little” idea was getting big attention. But ultimately, this project isn’t about cats or cameras. We are still a museum dedicated to sharing the finest examples of visual art with the guests that take the time to come through our doors. That is our mission. But in this ever-changing world, we also have a responsibility to use every available means to stay connected on a human level to those who make what we do possible. Social media, at its most effective, has become an invaluable tool in this pursuit. Whether through Facebook, Twitter, or another application, we are casting a wide net, hoping that something will capture the imagination and attention of the public at large. For some it’s a painting, for others it’s our beautiful gardens. But sometimes, all it takes is a camera on a cat.