Follow Friday: TD Garden

Director of communications Tricia McCorkle talks hockey, Hyperlapse, and more.

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Photo by Meredith Foley for Boston Magazine

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Of Boston’s big four sports teams, TD Garden serves as home to two of them—the Celtics and the Bruins, who kick off a fresh season next week. The venue also hosts special programming ranging from concerts, to the circus, to Comics Come Home XX with Denis Leary and Jimmy Fallon this coming November.

Here, TD Garden’s director of communications Tricia McCorkle talks about the return of hockey season, favorite behind-the-scenes moments, and her new favorite social media tool: Hyperlapse.

How many people run TD Garden’s various social media accounts? How long have you been doing this?

Our social media accounts are mainly run by the Communications Dept of me and my PR colleague Courtney Mercier. Our entire office is very social savvy—everyone helps on great content and fun giveaways.

We started the TD Garden accounts in 1999, and continue to rank high for most socially active arenas in the country by Venues Today. We’ve worked hard to provide compelling, engaging, fun, behind-the-scenes content for our fans and guests, so we’re very proud of that ranking, and we’re thrilled when people tell us that someone they know won one of our “TD Garden All-Access Pass” giveaways!

(An All-Access Pass that is running right now—tickets to #NHLBruins opening night!)

Our newest channel is our TD Garden Business Network that leverages the power of LinkedIn to help business leaders in Boston digitally connect with each other and grow their business. It’s geared toward our Premium Club members, corporate partners, and select senior business executives in the Greater Boston Area. Executives can find us on LinkedIn to request access as well as follow the business channel on Twitter at @TDGardenBiz.

In three words, describe the voice and tone of TD Garden’s social media.

Fun, entertaining, informative.

TD Garden hosts all sorts of events, from Bruins games to Celtics games to concerts. Do you change your voice and tone for each of these?

Not really—we are very lucky to be in the entertainment business, the business of fun, so we have the same tone across all events. We do try to keep the audience in mind, and we know the Fleetwood Mac crowd is not tweeting as much as the Katy Perry and Justin Bieber crowd.

Which events are the most fun for you to post about personally?

Concerts are always the most fun—you never know what you’ll get to see backstage. For the past two years, we’ve been giving away “TD Garden All-Access Passes” to our social followers to every concert. A lot of the winners get to do a meet-and-greet with the performer, and thus we get to come along! We get to post photos of Elton John, Justin Timberlake, and Bruce Springsteen before they hit the stage, and our followers get to see what they were up to.

Huge #EltonJohn fans #NHLBruins Dan Paille & his wife Dana got to meet the legend before his show at #TDGarden tonight!

Are Bruins fans, Celtics fans, or concertgoers the most active tweeters?

They are all different. Concerts are very unique. Shows like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have young fans who are very active on twitter. The Bruins and Celtics crowds are similar, but it’s definitely a younger demo.

TD Garden is such a large venue, what happens when the home team loses, or an artist is running super-late and people start complaining on Twitter?

We try to communicate as much as we can, when doors open, who the opening act will be, etc. But a lot of it is based upon what information a promoter will allow.

Anything special planned for the Bruins season starting up?

We are psyched to get started this year. Delaware North Companies and the Jacobs Family, owners of the TD Garden, invested more than $70 million in renovations. Fans will see and feel it the moment they walk in the door. We are most excited about the digital boards throughout the concourse that will show the conversations that are happening on social channels. For example, when you are at a Bruins game, add #NHLBruins to all your tweets, Instagrams, Vines, etc. You’ll then see your tweet appear on the HDX during the game breaks, or on the TVs in the concourse—everyone is connected!

We have lots of great giveaways coming up too, so stay tuned!

Which social media account is the strongest channel for TD Garden? If you had to pick, which one is the “must-follow”?

They are all must-follow! We try to do unique content for each channel. Instagram has been fun to be able to post a quick sound bite from the best song at a concert. Twitter, we are able to show off a lot more photos from behind the scenes at all events. But all of our social channels are the first to announce when a show is coming to town, when tickets are on sale, and sometimes when the best seats are released.

What’s the weirdest, most surprising, or most outspoken feedback you’ve gotten via social media?

It’s really fun for us to engage with the performers when they get to the TD Garden. Last summer Kip Moore tweeted that he was psyched to visit the home of Larry Bird. We tweeted back that a “33” jersey was on its way. He retweeted that and wore the Celtics jersey on stage later that night.

When the Rolling Stones are in town and retweet a photo we sent them to their 1 million-plus followers, it can really make your day.

#MoveslikeJagr? Mick Jagger sends some good luck to the #Boston #Bruins from#TDGarden! #becauseitsthecup #Stones50

Since you’ve been with TD Garden, what has been your personal favorite story to share on social media?

The Boston Strong concert was one of the best events to share on social media. There were so many celebrities, athletes, and musicians backstage who were all there for the right reasons and eager to lend their likeness and support to the One Fund cause. We had some great photos and content from back of house.

A few months later, Celeste Corcoran, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, came in for a Michael Buble concert. We were able to bring her and her girl friends backstage to meet him. She’s amazing herself, and Michael Buble couldn’t have been nicer or more genuine. She shared her story with him, we took some great photos of them all backstage, and later at the show he dedicated a song to her and Boston Strong. It’s times like that where we get to be the reporter and share these moments with everyone that are truly the best part of the job and make social media so exciting.

Before tonight’s show #MichaelBuble met Celeste Corcoran & friends. Celeste, in blue, a double leg amputee from the #Boston marathon bombing, is the epitome of #BostonStrong! A pleasure to meet you. #MBWorldTour

And finally, tell me more about your Hyperlapses.

Hyperlapse by Instagram is my new favorite app! We’ve been touring the ongoing renovations at TD Garden, and you can speed up the video to show people a little bit of everything. Follow us!

 

Responses have been edited and condensed.