Reflection on Winter Quarter Learning Goals

I think I met all of my learning goals this quarter! Having to cover so many different types of marketing throughout the quarter through the essay, two marketing plans, and our guest speakers gave me a great overview of strategies and their effectiveness.

I learned about the components of a marketing plan, but also that it isn’t very useful without first coming up with a business or strategic plan so that goals can be integrated and all are clear on the mission of the organization. Having Revolution Design come in to speak gave me so much information about how to best use social media and analytic tools. Working in my small group for the OSLP marketing plan also taught me a lot of specifics around social media strategies.

I thought cause-related marketing was probably the most innovative marketing/fundraising tool that I encountered, but content marketing, event marketing, experience marketing, and emotional content are all important components of fundraising.

Mailing direct-marketing materials is still useful, and can at times help your organization get to donors who don’t want to dig through their crowded email in-box for your newsletters. However, email and social media is much more cost-effective and has the added option of interaction.

Content marketing through social media, as well as experience marketing seems to be most effective with Millennials. Perhaps this also has implications for fundraising from this generation, as that is a big issue for non-profits right now.

 

 

 

Winter Quarter Learning Goals:

  1. What is a marketing plan? I understand vaguely the purpose of one, but have no experience with the details.
  2. Better understand the best way to utilize social media for marketing arts organizations.
  3. Areas where innovative marketing and fundraising overlap?
  4. Email vs snail mail direct marketing techniques and their effectiveness.
  5. I have read that the millennial generation is loyal to causes and not organizations. How does that affect marketing strategies for non-profits and arts organizations?

Media Map: OSLP

 

Media Map Proposal: OSLP

 

Facebook

 

Benefits: Facebook is a great tool to reach a live-stream of participants and the public interested in your organization. It can also be used to quickly reach potential event attendees and gauge interest in programming or events. The platform allows multiple forms of content, including images, video, and text. There are opportunities to create organic reach without paying extra for advertising or preferred content.

 

Pitfalls: Your audience may not be active on Facebook, although this is an opportunity to reach new people. Posts can get drowned out by the vast amount of content popping up on people’s feed. Event attendance can be inaccurately reflected by interest on Facebook. Organizations need to be consistently active and create quality content in order to build an audience. All of this can require a considerable commitment of time and effort.

 

Use of channel

 

Facebook is a great place to feature content that you are also posting on other single-media channels. For example, links to Youtube videos, Instagram photos, and blog posts can all live on OSLP’s Facebook page. I would recommend using the site to post content with the purpose of building a greater audience and awareness of the brand (increasing likes or follows). If there is a budget for advertising or social media, I recommend using paid boosts for under-performing events or workshops. You can also link directly to your own site for sales.

 

The platform also allows for community engagement, and in fact organizations with a strong presence create content that people are actively commenting on and sharing. This is a great way to boost engagement without spending money, but is also the most difficult and time-consuming. Creating simple Facebook contests, posting thought-provoking articles or other content, or using the platform to share attention-grabbing (i.e. “viral”) content will help to increase the online presence of OSLP.

 

Instragram

 

Benefits: It’s a simple platform for images and minimal text. People can quickly and easily share and tag content using hashtags. Arts organizations are specifically in a good position with this platform since their work is very visual. Daily posting is not necessary.

 

Pitfalls: Need to produce quality images and image content to tell a story. Posts need to be consistent in quality and quantity. It will take time to build a following.

 

Use of channel

 

OSLP currently has an Instagram account that they are not using. I recommend posting images at least once per week of either artwork that has been created by their students, or preferable students in the act of creating. The organization can use images of the artist teachers to promote the appeal of working directly with professional artists – which may generate more interest in their classes. At special events, OSLP can encourage attendees to post their own images to Instagram with a hashtag created specifically for the event. It’s also a great way to post flyers, other reminders, or countdowns to upcoming workshops or events.

 

Youtube

 

Benefits: Youtube is a highly accessible platform for sharing video content. Users have access to comment or share, and videos hosted here can be shared via other social media sites. Youtube hosted videos will pop up under the videos tab in Google searches. It is not necessary to have an extremely active Youtube channel in order to effectively use the platform. The visual nature of the platform works well for arts organizations.

 

Pitfalls: Video quality must look professional. Content needs to be well crafted to get the message across in the short amount of time that people will actually spend watching the video.

 

Use of channel

 

OSLP can benefit greatly by using video to tell the stories of their students and organizations. Once they have more video content, they can also use the footage to create content for donor events and other donor cultivation opportunities. They should create a series of short videos highlighting specific students who have benefitted from the program. Features focusing on the artist teachers could be a great promotion tool, as well.

 

Google My Business

 

Benefits: It’s free way to advertise your business on the world’s most popular search engine. Use it to advertise basic business info, images of facilities, and location information.

 

Pitfalls: There is a public review component that may require monitoring. May need quality images of the facilities if they do not already exist.

 

Use of channel: OSLP does not currently come up in a search for “Art Classes Eugene”. Searches for “OSLP Arts and Culture” reveals that it does show up as a business on Google, but with many important details missing. Starting an account and updating the organization’s information is an extremely easy way to allow more people access to the basics of OSLP, including website link and images of the facilities. Staff will want to set reminders to check for reviews periodically.

 

Winter Term Learning Goals

  1. What is a marketing plan? I understand vaguely the purpose of one, but have no experience with the details.
  2. Better understand the best way to utilize social media for marketing arts organizations.
  3. Areas where innovative marketing and fundraising overlap?
  4. Email vs snail mail direct marketing techniques and their effectiveness.
  5. I have read that the millennial generation is loyal to causes and not organizations. How does that affect marketing strategies for non-profits and arts organizations?

Reflections on Learning Goals

My learning goals for this quarter were:

Be able to create professional-looking marketing materials.

Learn best practices for graphic design across media covered in class.

Learn the basics of InDesign well enough that I can teach someone else how to use it.

Get a better grasp on what marketing or design issues are specific to arts organizations.

I’m not really sure if this will be covered in class, but I’d like to keep it in mind:

Better understand how various social media, web apps, and design software can interact to create dynamic content.

I don’t think I hit all these goals completely, but some of these issues will be covered in the next course. I was happy with the way my graphic standards turned out; the only thing I would change is calibrating by laptop monitor, where I did most of my work, and doing several test prints of color before finalizing the logo. Unfortunately, I had some technical issues with Adobe and I really didn’t have a lot of options to work on the color at the printers in the time I had allotted myself for the project. But, I definitely learned that ideally, one would spend more time between the printer and the monitor to make sure the color is correct.

I learned a lot about design basics, things I surprisingly didn’t know before or hadn’t remembered. I had hoped to come away with a little more confidence about how files should be formatted and transferred for various outputs. I think I mostly understood it in the end, but I’m still not 100% sure. There are so many output variables it is really difficult to understand what they all mean and I think a lot of the students working in the print labs at school didn’t really seem to know either 🙂

I do know InDesign well enough to show someone else how to use it, so that goal is accomplished. I am hoping to be able to help a friend of mine with this over the break.

Two of my learning goals weren’t touched on too much, but I hope we get into them in the next term: learning more about marketing for arts organizations, and creating dynamic web content.

Looking forward to more marketing in the Winter!

 

Lexicon Post #8

  1. Kerning
  2. Emphasis
  3. Descender
  4. Visual Impact

Kerning is the space between letters. This is a helpful technique when you have two letters that seem to be disproportionately far apart, as will happen when certain letters are next to each each other. For example, A and V can be adjusted so that the top left corner of the V enters into the top right corner of the imaginary box surrounding the A. This will make the lettering appear to be more evenly distributed.

Emphasis is the method used to create a focal point in design.  Good design involves making decisions regarding which elements will be emphasized over others. Contrast creates emphasis and can be achieved by adjusting color, size, orientation, stroke weight, opacity, texture, style, etc.

The part of a letter that falls below the baseline (the line the text sits on) is a descender. You must be aware of descenders when designing with multiple lines of text – it can look awkward if descenders are too close to letters in the line below. You could also use the interplay of descenders and capital letters as a design element.

Visual impact is the overall impression that an artwork or design (anything visual) makes on the viewer. An image that has great visual impact will use design or other visual elements in a way that draws the eye and has some sort of mood, style, or message that can be conveyed through those visual elements.

Case Study: ArtCity Eugene

ArtCity is a brand-new organization working to find its footing. Their mission is to create “opportunities for artists of all disciplines to interact with creative peers, inspire professional growth, collaborate, engage the public, and participate in Eugene’s burgeoning creative community,” (http://www.ArtCityeugene.com/).

ArtCity strives to be an anchor institution in Eugene that will activate a more sustainable arts community. It is clear they are trying to make resources available that are conducive to a strong arts scene that will have reverberations in Eugene and beyond to up and down the West Coast. Their main areas of focus are culture, economy, and community. They would like to obtain a building space where they could house artists studios, but they also want to focus on professional development for artists, creating more economic opportunities in the arts, and grow the arts in Eugene as a resource for all.

Case Study Analysis Part I – Environmental Scan

I. Economic Scan

One major factor, and one of the founding principles of the organizations, is the lack of a sustainable cultural economy for artists in Eugene. The Arts and Economic Prosperity 4 Study, conducted by the Americans for the Arts in partnership with local organizations, says that the arts are a $45.6 million industry in Eugene and have created the equivalent of 1,739 full time jobs. That’s less than 1% of the population working in the arts, compared with San Francisco’s population of artists, which is 4.3% of their workforce (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/06/29/five-facts-about-professional-artists-in-the-united-states/).

It would certainly be helpful to have more data here, and I think conducting a survey of artists in the area could be helpful in choosing a direction for the organization. Asking those who consider themselves artists questions about their income, desired career outcomes, and needs would be an excellent resource. ArtCity currently has a link on their website to a survey for artists.

According to the US Census, at 24%, Eugene has a higher poverty rate than the national and state average, which is closer to 14% (http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml?src=bkmk). As the Oregonian pointed out in 2013, student populations skew the poverty rates (http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2013/07/college_students_living_off_ca.html), but these numbers will still affect the ability of residents to pay for leisure activities and ability to participate in the arts.

The current real estate market is also a huge, and related, consideration. The housing market has gotten more expensive over the last couple of years, and the average price for a home in Lane County hit a record high in June. Charly Swing, Executive Director, has also talked about the effect of the marijuana industry on the availability of affordable warehouse space.

Currently, ArtCity does not have a budget or sustainable source of income. They are striving to be a for-profit cooperative and some typical non-profit fundraising methods may not be open to them because of this, but this does not preclude them from applying for funding for specific initiatives. They currently get funds from events like Drink and Draw, which is a monthly life drawing session that ArtCity puts on at Sam Bond’s East; participants pay $10 to attend and the fees go to the models, guest artists, and to ArtCity.

They are working towards an investor model for funding their major projects (e.g. a creative space or studios for artists). Online fundraising sites, such as GoFundMe, have also been taken into consideration. In addition, they can use events, workshops, or studios spaces to collect fees for services.

II. Demographic Scan

The organization will act as a hub of sorts: a place where artists can work and access resources, and where patrons and the community can interact with art and artists. The audience includes artists, patrons, and general community members. They also want to attract more artists and arts professionals to Eugene.

Charly Swing has mentioned that the participants at the Drink and Draw events have not necessarily been the organization’s targeted demographic – i.e. not artists. The demographic target of the organization seems to be more profession based than anything else. Getting artists involved and asking them what they need to succeed may help the organization reach their target audience.

III. Cultural Scan

What is the general culture of the organization and board?

The organization and board of ArtCity is made up of artists, a real estate professional, teachers, nonprofit and arts professionals. There are also several non-board advisors and volunteers that come from the arts and University of Oregon student community.

What local cultural elements or social values encourage participation?

Eugene is a city that loves the arts. Events and organizations include first Friday Arts Walk, the Shedd, Hult Center for the Arts, Lane County Arts Council, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, City of Eugene Public Art Program, Clay Space, Eugene Maker Space, the Maker Hub at the Eugene Public Library, Maude Kerns Art Center, various art galleries, and many others. There are lots of opportunities for partnerships, but there are also several things missing. There is no major contemporary visual arts organization in the area. There are no live/work spaces for artists.

What leisure trends influence the organization?

Arts participation in the U.S. has been decreasing for decades. The increased availability of the Internet and personal computing means that people do not have to leave the house to access a range of entertainment options.  This influences the way that people consume arts products. A strong online presence and engaging with social media will increase the visibility of the organization and if ArtCity can offer some resources via their website, they can capture those people who prefer that delivery system.

What popular culture elements influence the artistic offerings of the organization?

The organization will want to pay attention to popular culture in order to respond to any issues or trends in their programming. The biggest influence may just be conflicting events: any arts organization should pay attention to large nearby events that may draw some of the same audience that they would like to attract.

How has the organization responded to the technology culture?

ArtCity’s main presence is through it’s website. It has used the platform to promote information about the organization, including mission, program areas, and board of directors. They also use it to promote their online survey for artists. Future aspirations include creating a platform where people can learn about artists in the area, and find out about local cultural programming. Just as ArtCity wants to be a hub for the arts, it makes sense that they would also want their website to serve as a hub for all things art.

IV. Other Environmental Elements

The political future of the United States is uncertain at the moment, though the federal government is likely to become more conservative as far as arts funding is concerned, considering the recent presidential and congressional elections. Many people are scared, worried, and upset right now. They may look to the arts as a way to process, or may stay home in an effort to avoid politics altogether. All things being uncertain, arts organizations will need to have contingency plans to deal with various scenarios in this climate, but should all be willing and able to step up to provide a resource in a difficult time.

Case Study Analysis Part II – SWOC Analysis

SWOC analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, challenges) of the organization’s cultural product, pricing strategies, product access (place), and promotional efforts:

Cultural Product(s)

Strengths: Ideas and passion! ArtCity has so many great ideas for initiatives, and they are figuring out where to start and what they can offer at this point in time.

Weaknesses: Not enough offerings, but I know they are still getting going.

Opportunities: The more services they offer and events they put on, the more their visibility will increase. Finding more organizations to partner with and a strategy in place outlining what the organization has to offer in these partnerships is a great opportunity to increase capacity and visibility.

Challenges: Funding: this is a major challenge and could be hampered by not having non-profit status.

Product Access

Strengths: There aren’t a lot of products to access so far. Choosing Sam Bond’s as a venue is a good choice because it’s a popular local spot that people already enjoy going to. Choosing this location also serves to bring art and artmaking to a nontraditional location.

Weaknesses: Although choosing alternative venues for art activities is a great opportunity to get art out into the community, the organization will benefit from having a home base or location to draw people in to their other activities and mission.

Opportunities: ArtCity can possibly draw people into the event who may just happen to be at the brew pub. It’s also a good opportunity to provide artists who participate as musicians or event hosts some income.

Challenges: The audience participating may not wind up being people who already consider themselves artists just because of the nature of the Drink and Draw event. In general, as ArtCity’s main goal is to create a thriving and sustainable arts community, they will need to decide which resources they can bring that are different from what other organizations are offering. Finding out exactly which gaps exist and designing programming to fill those gaps is their major overall challenge, along with funding.

Promotional Efforts

Strengths: The website is easy to navigate. ArtCity is active on Facebook and posts articles of interest, which I think convey the overall attitude and aspirations of the organization. ArtCity has also done a great job of getting UO students involved.

Weaknesses: The news and events haven’t been updated on the website since June. There aren’t a lot of updates about what ArtCity has been up to.

Opportunities: Use social media as a platform to encourage survey participation. Use either the website or Facebook to keep people updated on what is going on with the organization.

Challenges: Putting out enough online content to generate and hold interest without confusing the public with the changes the organization goes through as it finds its identity is a challenge. Creating the online arts hub that they have talked is a worthy goal, but the challenge will be the amount of time and resources this will require. This could be a great place to involve more students in creating content and managing the website.

Lexicon Post #7

Intellectual Property is any creative product: a piece of writing, musical recording or score, invention, design, etc. Its use may be protected under the law through copyright, trademark, or patents. Intellectual property rights have been a huge point of contention in the Internet age as people have more access to illegal downloads and online streams of music, films, television shows, and other materials.

Minimalist design may look easy but is difficult to pull off. Being able to distill all the elements of what you are trying to communicate into a simple design without a lot of clutter requires creativity and inventiveness.

Transmedia tells a story or offers information on a topic across multiple media offerings. It allows consumers to have multiple experiences with a brand, providing the ability to engage with consumers and give them a more complex understanding of a story, brand, or organization.

Affiliation refers to your social media networks. Through the social media platform, you are associated with or connected with a group of people that you may or may actually know. Is it the same as belonging to a club in real life? The difference that I see is there is a collective body of ideas and text that is shared within the group, and people who have never met you in real life may read the very personal content that people are now comfortable with sharing online.

Lexicon Post #6

  1. Social Proprioception is an awareness of what others are thinking, feeling, and doing without direct communication. I think the most apt example is scrolling through Facebook or other social media to read posts but not engage. You definitely get a sense of the collective mood, but can also find out what your friends and family are up to without a direct phone call or conversation. There is definitely an element of voyuerism in this type of passive scrolling.n
  2. Dissonance will happen when beliefs, values, and experiences do not allign – the opposite of harmony. It doesn’t equate with a value judgement, but it can be jarring to feel so out of sync with those around you. At the same time, dissonance is what allows for a diversity of view points and can make life interesting.
  3. A Feedback Loop consists of different elements that continuously influence one another. For example, when a customer has a good experience with your product, they will tell other people about this experience. Those new customers will already be primed to accept the experience you have to offer and therefore also have a good experience and tell even more people about your product.
  4. Compression. I am still not an expert on file or image compression, but I do know that files often must be compressed to send via email. You may also want to compress files for web viewing, since you do not need the same dpi on the web as you would need for print in order to get the same quality of image.
  5. Graphic Standards are essential to brand management and a strong marketing plan. They create a system for consistent branding and graphic elements in all organizational output.

PLE

yarn

I think of my personal learning environment as a process that starts with a question or idea, goes through a gathering or resource phase, and then results in creation, synthesis, or further inspiration and questioning. I illustrated this process through the phases of a knitting project: a tangle of yarn that is organized into different balls of yarn and then woven together to create something new.

My learning environment is activated by a question, idea, or source of inspiration. This part might be messy or intangible, but it is the spark that gets me started and leads to learning.

The next step is to start organizing my resources that can speak to this spark of a question. These resources are what actually make up my personal learning environment, and can be organized into four different categories.

Like many people, I usually start my inquiries online through a Google search; online newspapers, magazines, or blogs; or even online maps and dictionaries. Available online resources are so vast, this part of the process is usually about seeking out direction or perhaps big picture ideas. Of course, I also use online resources to seek out other types of resources and how to access them. It’s where I go to answer questions like, “What time does the library close today?” or “Are there any classes offered in my area that will help me understand this issue?”

I also use my internal resources. These would be things I have already learned or experienced and the knowledge I personally have. It also includes resources in my home that I do not have to go outside to seek, such as my personal library, music collection, magazines, and my own journals or notes.

Externally, I use various institutions as resources. This would include the library, museums, book stores, schools, organizations, and community groups. These are places I can go to expand my access to sources of information and enrich my learning.

Lastly, I have a network of people that I can look to for information. This could include my personal network and the collective knowledge and experiences of the people I know. It can also include people outside of my personal network that I can attempt to reach out to.

When I attempt to answer a question or solve a problem, these are the resources I can turn to to seek information or points of view. In synthesizing or connecting data, it is important to pay attention to what information is complimentary and what is contradictory to what I already thought or believed. Often it is the contradictory information that is most important because it helps you to question what you intuitively believe to be correct. It’s also important to consider the values imbedded in my resources. Do they reinforce my personal belief system or do they go against it? Have a gone beyond my personal comfort zone and sought out other points of view?