Archive for June, 2012

June 17, 2012

Sunday Roundup – June 17

It’s Sunday again.

A reminder that today is the Symposium featuring Edward Bond live and in person at Berkeley Street Theatre.

Another reminder that it’s Father’s Day – Happy Father’s Day to the Dads I know.

Last week – The Future of The Non-Profit Arts – check out the Mission Paradox blog and its Manifesto – or beginnings of one.

Update – lots going on last week with clients and I was thinking about my blog and what I do with it – I’ve spent some time pulling stats, looking at stats, shaking my head at stats and this week will let you know what posts all 2000+ of you seem to be most interested in, where you’re finding those posts, how you`re finding them and what you’re sharing.

Meantime I found this piece on BlogTO – I’m kind of pleased that there is enough theatre in Toronto in the summer to warrant an outdoor theatre preview. Take a look. It’s a great image too.

Later this week –  update on my stats analysis (but not too long because really – stats?), how Pinterest has it all figured out and how to actually make a decision.


June 15, 2012


No posts since Monday, mostly because I’ve been working on FB pages and WordPress sites for clients. And having meetings with new potential clients, and getting ready for Fringe, of course!

But I’m also analyzing my blog too – doing a full stats analysis to figure out who’s clicking on what and when and why, what’s working, what’s not and where to go from here. There will be results next week!

In the meantime:

Two new books on the Summer Reading page!

From the Vancouver Sun:  It’s Time to Recognize the Creative Sector as a Leading Economic Force

and from the Globe and Mail: We need artists to solve the challenges of this century

June 12, 2012

The Future of The Non-Profit Arts

If you aren’t already following the Mission Paradox blog, I highly recommend that you start. There’s a great series being unfolded on that site these days – The Future of The Non-Profit Arts.

From Part One

If you think about the structure of a typical arts org – Board, CEO, multiple (siloed) departments, a defined hierarchy – you can see the fingerprints of the Industrial Revolution all over the thing.  This was a necessary step.  The arts industry needed a sense of stability.  It needed organizations capable of creating art year after year.

It makes sense that people would assume that what created stability in so many other industries (hierarchy, systems, etc.) would do the same in our world.

They were right, for a very long time. Read more.

And now from Part Two

Organizational design is a set of decisions.  Some spoken.  Some unspoken.  They are a set of decisions about how information flows, how power is shared, how quickly change happens, or whether change happens at all.

If you change the decisions, you change the design.  

If you change the design, you change the outcomes. Read more.

It’s already a thought-provoking series – I’m interested to read the next instalment.

Reminder! The Edward Bond Festival starts today! Visit the website to find out what you should be going to – there are some amazing events happening!

June 10, 2012

Sunday Roundup – June 10

Still June, and it’s been a busy in and out-of-town week for my clients and for me.

I was at the OCAF Provincial Roundtable in Kingston this week – very cool being in a room of artists and arts organizations and listen to them talk about the issues, challenges and trends they are facing that are the same or different from the ones we face in a more urban setting.

And a reminder that the Edward Bond Festival starts this week – some really great readings, workshops, performances and discussions. Still a couple of spaces left for artists in the Ian Watson workshop – click here to get all registered up! And I’m really looking forward to the Symposium next weekend – you’ll want to get yourself a seat because Edward Bond himself is there, in conversation with Chris Cooper, Artistic Director of Big Brum Theatre.

I was also at a rehearsal for Bound to Create‘s Dirty Butterfly – working with them on this truly intense piece for the Fringe this year. Wander over to their Facebook page and take a look – we’ve just hit publish so stay tuned for more info!

Speaking of Fringe – it’s that time of year again – the Fringe Fundraiser! Join Fringe supporter David Mirvish for some Good Ol’ Honest Fun in support of the Toronto Fringe! Where? the Honest Ed’s Mens Wear Department, of course! When you get to the  Fringe website, click “Buy tickets and Donate” to purchase a ticket to our Rootin’ Tootin’ Fundraiser!

Here’s what else was going on:

Fringe Marketing – Meet Your Future – super excited to work with this fantastic group of up and coming entrepreneurs.

The Doras,  Show Trailers,  Facebook Pages and More

(do not) Click All The Likes

I’ve been mulling a bit lately on the purpose of this blog. It originally started as a simple traffic driver for a new website, a way to bump the site up in the Google listings and keep the content fresh. It’s just over a year later, traffic is good, tweets and retweets and reposts happen.  Even more importantly to me, people talk to me about it in person.

Many people say they like it, many people don’t even know it exists.  Some say it’s a  professional  blog, some say it’s only personal.

(Of course not to forget there are tons of blogs out there that people like or don’t like, know exist or have never heard of, heck there are people out there who I’ve never heard of or who have never heard of me. Always the danger of solipsism in a blog, I suppose. Life is always bigger than you think).

I like writing it, it’s become a way to see for myself what’s going on, what’s important in our arts and culture community, do a bit of client promo, and cheer on causes like the library and ArtsVote.

I think I will do some tweaking this month – not a website redesign or anything, but look over my stats, and see where it stands as a useful tool. I might be asking some of the folks I know about their blogs, where they stand in the blog world, and the wheres and the whys of it all. Stay tuned. (Not breathlessly, it’s going to take a little while. Please go about your business.)

Love this.

Enjoy your Sunday!

June 7, 2012

(do not) Click ALL the Likes!

Part of my business involves social media, creating Facebook pages, twitter feeds, websites and the like for clients.

What always interests me is how to make sure clients don’t think I will be finding all the fans and followers for the page. So far, none of my clients have thought that was part of the deal, but what will  the answer be for those who think that’s how it works?

Why not?

Because it’s not my page. It’s their page. I might invite a few very targeted people to like or follow , but only if I know they will be genuinely interested in the content.

Don’t get me wrong, the ones that are doable include – other related organizations, folks who are already connected, sure no problem. But liking for the sake of liking?

What happens when I ask all my friends, fans, followers to “like” the client’s page, and then my contract ends? A few things:

1) you’ve got a heck of a lot of followers that aren’t necessarily interested in your project. They liked it because I suggested it. You’ve got quantity but not necessarily quality.

2) my reputation is shot. We’ve all had Facebook “friends” we never hear from unless they are inviting us to like yet another page or attend yet another event.  It doesn’t seem to matter if I’d care to like or attend, or even if I’d be interested, it’s all about inviting as many people as possible. Uh-uh. Bad marketing.

I ask folks to like things if I genuinely think they’d be interested without my recommendation, or if they are somehow already connected – it isn’t hard, this Six Degrees of the Arts Community.  It’s  quality control. It’s knowing your audience.

Remember folks – although Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are just another tool in your box of marketing tricks, next to the posters and the press release and just behind the stack of flyers – they’re different. Know your audience. Get to know them better through your pages and tweets. In turn, they’ll know and get to know you, and become a truly amazing part of your marketing team.

It’s a team effort, this marketing thing. It’s not about me swooping in. It’s about figuring out what works best for you, for your event or company and who you are trying to talk with in the first place. It’s about real followers and fans, and I think most importantly, you knowing how to do this yourself when we’re done working together. And doing it well. When all is said and done I want your fans and followers there because they know and like you, know and like your work, and are genuinely engaged.

A one-off event is one thing, but a longer term, bigger picture strategy is completely different. If you’re trying to maintain a presence for your work in the social media and marketing world, especially in the in-between times, drop me a line –  we should chat.

June 6, 2012

The Doras, Show Trailers, Facebook Pages and the Library

Complete list of Dora Mavor Moore nominations here! It’s been a solid year of theatre – congratulations to all!

This is awesome.

Get your show trailer on Praxis.

Also awesome (from Mashable) – Facebook Finally Lets Page Admins Schedule Posts, Have Different Roles.
Now don’t get carried away with the scheduling and the walking away – it is not a Showtime Rotisserie where you’re gonna set it and forget it. Facebook pages require interaction, back and forth, question and answer, call and response – it’s a dialogue, right? I’m all for scheduling some posts, but not all of them. I did try it out last week, it did post on the correct date, but not at the right time. Which I knew because I was paying attention. Off you go – give it a shot with a completely unimportant update nad start playing around from there.

Have something on hold at the library? Do not forget to pick it up or they’ll charge you a dollar, it’s a new thing – the unpicked up hold fine.  The library has a whole slew of new ways to manage your holds and get them on time, though.
Can’t believe they’re charging you a dollar? I can. It’s another one of those crazy things I love about the library – the hold system.

“I want to read this book. But it’s at a library all the way across town.”

“Oh. Which one? Let us know and we’ll send someone to pick it up and bring it somewhere closer to you so you can read it. And we’ll email or call you to let you know it’s here. “

“But wait – how much will it cost me to do that?”

“Oh, it’s free. But you have to pick it up on time.”

Considering the base rate for any package delivered by cab in this city is ten bucks…

Happy Wednesday!

June 5, 2012

Fringe Marketing? Meet Your Future

Fringe is in a few weeks! Have you made some choices yet? Go to the spanky fun new website and pick some shows!
I may have mentioned The 100 in previous posts, but – they’ve launched. They’re real now – they aren’t just hopes and dreams and google application docs – they’re – a force.
Fun fact: am doing a marketing workshop panel for this force in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait.
The 100 is just that – 100 young theatre lovers aged 17-24 who will be part of a  12 day immersive theatre entrepreneur bootcamp at the Fringe Festival.

The Members of the 100, get behind-the-scenes access and a free VIP pass to Toronto’s largest theatre festival.

They get on the ground immersion while producing street theatre and guerrilla marketing that they will have creative control over.

They will be launched into the middle of the action and given hands-on experience working alongside Fringe staff and networking with top indie theatre artists and mentors from the ‘biz’.

More info on the Praxis blog from their fearless leader Pip – Five Reasons You Wish You Could Be In My Youth outreach Program. My favourite part?
As the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Toronto Fringe Festival, I am finally achieving a Fringe Dream five years in the making: I get to hang out at the Fringe Club all day long while people come visit me in my clubhouse, The 100 Salon. No, seriously, I have a salon

I think I know where I will be when I’m not in a show.

Look at these people. Look closely. Yes, they are chewing on my business cards. This is the future (the very near, in just over a month future) of Fringe marketing.

I can’t wait.

June 3, 2012

Sunday Roundup – June 3

It’s June. JUNE!

I’ll Take Director Fury’s Advice – when technology fails you, do not fail yourself.

Scriptease and Edward Bond and Artists – in which National Theatre of the World continues to be amazing, and an opportunity for my performer-director friends

Rainy Day Post – just that.

Pleased to let you know I’ll be working with Shannon Litzenberger on her new dance piece HOMEbody as well as with  Bound To Create on their Fringe production  of Dirty Butterfly.

The Edward Bond Festival is coming up soon! June 12 -20 all over Toronto – check their website for information!

Proud is still going strong, we’ve got an amazing team assembled so far and we’ll be announcing casting in the next couple of weeks.

And speaking of Fringe you MUST go check out their new website! Clean, organized and oh-so searchable, it is a Virgo dream come true. I’m going to choose my shows this afternoon – it’s coming up!

Couple more additions to the Summer Reading post as well.

Happy Sunday!

June 1, 2012

Rainy Day Post

It’s finally raining! My garden will be pleased.

The other night I was trying to figure out how to make an excel column “sticky” so it wouldn’t move when I scrolled down the page. I asked my Facebook friends – it’s called “freeze panes” and it’s under View in Microsoft Excel 2010.
I’m not really a fan of the new Microsoft layout. I can’t seem to – FIND – things.

While I was looking for freeze panes info (and how to convert table to text) I also found this article which I thought was funny and true – for everyone admin-ing in the rain today – 10 Things I can never find in Word 2007.

In social media news, an article from a colleague – Facebook Finally Lets Page Admins Schedule Posts, Have Different Roles. I tried it – it works. There’s a little set up involved (but when isn’t there in life?) but it does work.

This is NOT to say you’re going to schedule all your posts and then just LEAVE. You’re not going to do that because what if a post gets a response that requires a response? What if the post  – doesn’t? What if the post screws up? Remember Director Fury’s Advice – be the person behind the tech, not just the tech.

Finally – I’ve mentioned I’m working with Sheep No Wool Theatre Company – they’re putting on the Edward Bond Festival in less than two weeks. Great interview here from The Way I See It theatre blog – have a read!

Happy Friday – oh – if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, catch Stockholm at the Tarragon Extra Space before it closes. Some really nice stuff on that stage.

%d bloggers like this: