Media advisory: National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) 2011 Conference to host release of results from landmark national survey on November 14

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.

The team that developed and fielded the survey, Mary Trudel, Rory MacPherson, and digital media strategist Jai Sen of Sen Associates, will present findings and insights from data collected from over 1,600 respondents in nearly 850 towns, cities, and parts of major metro areas around the country over a ten-month period.

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.

About a recent showcase of the research findings, Ben Cameron, Program Director, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation said, “We were pleased to host a preview presentation of the Trudel | MacPherson survey findings at our annual national conversations meeting of the CEO’s of arts service organizations we support and we all found the information extremely valuable to our future planning. It’s essential for arts leaders to understand the current state of field practice and arts organizations’ perceptions of the effectiveness of their digital and social media initiatives, insights that this breakthrough analysis provides.”

In their NAMP presentation, the researchers will provide examples of successful practices, describe the state of measurement solutions and social media policy adoption, and examine arts organizations’ perceptions and concerns regarding messaging alignment, resource allocation, and drawbacks of adopting online and social communications. The data will be organized according to the budget size of the organizations, geographic region, arts discipline and usage of communications channels and platforms.

Sara Billmann, Director of Marketing & Communications at the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will join the researchers on the panel to provide insights from her organization’s experience and respond to the research findings from a practitioner’s point of view. About the study Billmann said: “This is very timely research on a topic of great interest to arts professionals. Understanding how other arts groups manage their time, deploy their resources and measure the results of their online efforts helps all of us be more effective in creating and evaluating the effectiveness of our communications efforts.”

In order to capture a national baseline of data, Trudel | MacPherson worked with 47 convening organizations around the country, including membership associations and regional, state and local arts agencies. The researchers have presented previews of national findings to participating organizations, conducted webinars comparing and contrasting cohort results with national trends, and have offered workshops geared toward increasing participants’ awareness of best practices and positive trends in digital and social media usage and measurement.

Responses to the survey have revealed a number of surprises, showing heightened levels of confidence around digital and social media on the part of the respondents, as well as a clear picture of areas in which organizations around the country area still struggling.

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