Trudel | MacPherson Profile Template
As part of our continuing How Strong Is Your Social Net? research project we are gathering mini-case studies about arts and culture social media experiments that “get it right” and analyzing projects that didn’t work but provided opportunities to learn. Please share your thoughts about what’s working and what you’ve learned along the way.
We invite you to contribute to the art field’s knowledge bank by telling us about significant ways your organization has implemented online strategies and how social media is helping you accomplish organizational goals, solve problems and engage with audiences in new and powerful ways. We’d also like to hear about unexpected challenges during implementation – especially when they led to improvements and insights.
Share your story — tell us about your best/worst experiences with Social Media and Digital Communications.
Please Leave a Reply below and include in your “comment” these elements:
- a one-line headline encapsulating your program or experience;
- a brief description of the issue or challenge that your organization was trying to solve;
- highlights of implementing the solution; and
- what were the results, learnings and landmines?
Trudel | MacPherson principals, Mary Trudel and Rory MacPherson, kicked off the New Year with a presentation at the prestigious Association of Performing Arts Presenters annual conference in New York City on January 14. Building on our landmark 2011 study, How Strong Is Your Social Net? we focused on effective uses of online communications and social media in the areas of marketing, fundraising and constituency engagement.
Joined by Stephen Litner, Director of Digital Media at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), we reviewed effective practices from presenters across the country and engaged attendees with strategic questions about channel selection, balancing engagement with promotion, translating content to new mediums and building short and long term fan and financial support. Review the full presentation which can be downloaded here.
Fundraising Strategies: Making Social Media Mission Critical
Professional Development Workshop at the Performing Arts Exchange 2012 Miami, Florida
Trudel | MacPherson principals, Rory MacPherson and Mary Trudel headlined at South Arts’ annual booking conference for East Coast presenters. Drawing on data from our national How Strong Is Your Social Net national survey, and hundreds of practitioner interviews, we explored best practices in using social media to generate contributed income. Skills and tactics highlighted ranged from crowd-funding to donor cultivation to sponsorship trades and eyeball farming.
The PowerPoint presentation of our workshop is available here. A few highlights:
Nationally only 5% of arts groups report use of social media has delivered mission critical or major results. 70% of survey respondents report achieving either good or some results but a significant percentage – 24% — report no results.
Our workshop highlighted the importance of treating fundraising as part of a continuum of audience engagement. Noting that “You can’t ask someone to marry you on the first date,” Mary described a cultivation approach which rewards and engages prospects at every level of interest. Major donors expect tangible rewards and recognition such as building naming rights and personal attention. We suggested that every level of engagement requires a “What’s in it for me?” response. Prospects, casual donors, subscribers, regular attendees and increasingly loyal donors can be cultivated by creative use of access and prominence, moving audiences to become fans, donors and evangelists for your organization.
We discussed effective use of social media is building engagement on steroids! The best organizations understand that their greatest assets are — to use a Facebook word – their friend relationships with audiences, visitors, fans and patrons. These groups can be mobilized to help but you CANNOT make those friends in a crisis.
Friends are made on the frontlines through individual experiences that bring fans closer or push them away. We’ve reviewed 8 important elements of effective engagement which can solidify engagement and make social media mission critical for your fundraising:
1. It’s Not One Size Fits All
2. Make it Personal + Concrete + Time Sensitive
3. Connect with Values and Value Connections
4. Listen and Respond
5. Cultivate Productive Partnerships
6. Eyeball Farming Only Works with Friends
7. Measure What Matters
8. Involve the Whole Organization
We’d love to hear about your experiences making social media mission critical in fundraising. Do be in touch.
Trudel | MacPherson Principals Mary and Rory Lead Workshop at NJ Thrive Arts Conference 2012
Photo credit: Laura Pedrick Photography
Hosted by Art Pride New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the conference brought together more than 100 New Jersey arts organizations from all across the state. The conference theme reflected the importance of seamlessly integrating marketing, development and advocacy into all aspects of daily business. T|M was invited to review findings from our national How Strong Is Your Social Net? Research project and compare responses from the more than 35 NJ arts groups who took the survey with national data. We also moderated an interactive workshop designed to improve and integrate organizations’ communications strategies and audience engagement plans.
As reported in the the Montana Arts Council’s (MAC) March newsletter, the Trudel | MacPherson/Sen Associates team will be presenting results of its How Strong Is Your Social Net? 2011 landmark study of arts organizations’ usage and perceptions of digital and social media. Montana organizations comprise a large portion of the study and data on how those groups’ social media practices differ from national trends will be featured in the presentation. More than 35 Montana groups have signed on for the webinar which will feature case studies of successful practices as well as interesting national insights about social media adoption and efficacy.
T|M principals Rory and Mary presented the results of our How Strong Is Your Social Net? at a February 29th meeting being organized by the Arts Council of New Orleans and the University of New Orleans.
In order to have the greatest relevance for the representatives of arts organizations who attend, we re-opened the online survey and make it available to groups in the greater New Orleans area. More than two dozen groups took the survey and we analyzed these results to draw comparisons to our national findings at the meeting.
Louisville, KY- As part of the 2011 NAMP Conference that will be held November 12-15 at the Marriott Louisville Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky, Trudel | MacPherson Arts Consulting will release the results of the firm’s groundbreaking 2011 survey, How Strong is Your Social Net? in a 9:00 AM session on Monday, November 14th. The study is the first comprehensive national effort to measure arts organizations’ usage and perceptions of digital and social media. With digital communications and social media changing the experience of the arts and redefining what it means to engage audiences, NAMP is highlighting the How Strong Is Your Social Net? session as part of its Winning Audiences conference theme.
Rory MacPherson and Tom Kaiden
T | M principals, Rory MacPherson and Mary Trudel, presented a preview of the national How Strong Is Your Social Net? survey of arts organizations’ digital communications practices and perceptions at the Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) 2011 Conference. Introduced by Cinda Holt, Business Development Specialist at the Montana Arts Council, the presenters were joined by Tom Kaiden, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, to report on results and discuss interesting trends.
Rory MacPherson, Mary Trudel, Cinda Holt and Arlynn Fishbaugh
The presentation probed how groups can better communicate authentically with patrons and fans and create communities of interest. Tom discussed how the Alliance is supporting arts groups’ audience building efforts via social media. Cinda and colleague, Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council discussed Montana arts groups’ technology constraints and struggles with social media and highlighted the growing use of mobile technology throughout the state to connect with younger arts enthusiasts.