I led a workshop yesterday on marketing/PR/social media, for a very specific group of arts administrators. Smart, savvy folks that I’ve either worked with or will be working with in the future. On one hand it was great not to go to a go-to Powerpoint presentation that starts with “what is Twitter?” – on the other hand – what was I going to talk about?
And then it occurred to me that one of the most lacking resource in our world (well, everyone’s, I suppose) is time. Time to get things done, time to sort things out, and something that gets sadly left behind is time to spend with your peers and just talk about what we’re doing – what’s working, what’s not, how did you do this, here’s how we did that. Sometimes it happens one on one, sometimes over a beer after an opening night,
And so we did. I asked everyone to write down three things about marketing/PR/social media that they had questions about, or wanted to talk about. And we spent five hours doing just that – not listening to a presentation, or holding questions til the end, but talking. Getting ideas, getting advice, making suggestions. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, and everyone seemed to get something out of it. For companies without dedicated marketing staff, or publicist for shows only, these type of conversations do get understandably left behind in favour of payroll, budgets or contracts.
We don’t have the luxury to do this nearly often enough. Even when we’re talking, it’s email or a scheduled meeting about one thing. If art communicates something, then that’s exactly what we did yesterday.
Big thanks to Sue from Modern Times for asking me to present to this fantastic group of folks, and to Rupal and big thanks to the OAC for funding it. And thanks to the participants for making time and really engaging. I think it was both time and money well spent. I’m looking forward to working with these folks again in many capacities – despite the shouts of laughter when I asked if anyone had caught a certain article in the Economist. Here you go.