News November 15, 2006

Why are so few Irish arts organisations blogging?

Why are so few Irish arts organisations blogging? Apart from Film Base and some individual artists I can’t think of another Irish arts organisation that’s talking to its audience base via a blog. What better way to generate interest and an audience in a company’s work than to blog? Here are ten things I would like to see Irish arts organisations doing in the service of audience building and artist development
1. Release podcasts interviews with the cast or author of new plays
2. Release the soundtrack for a show as a download (the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in NYC did exactly this recently
3. Start a discussion about contemporary art in advance of exhibitions as a gateway for newcomers to the artform
4. Invite audience members to guest blog and review your work
5. Invite readers to create their own work – poetry, prose, photography in response to a new production or presentation
6. Allow audiences into the art making process with regular posts about the rehearsal process from the perspective of various members of the company e.g. designer and choreographer etc
7. Use blogs as archives so that audiences can check out the history of the company and its relationship with people who see the work
8. Create word of mouth on a performance by asking readers the only marketing question that matters “would you recommend this to a friend?”
9. Use the virtual space as a gallery or curatorial space for artists – giving readers a front row seat for the show
10. Ask readers how they want to engage with your work – online discussions with artists? Advance notice of booking options? Use the medium as an idea generation space

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  • Ken McGuire November 16, 2006 at 11:15 am

    You might be glad to hear that from the new year the theatre company of which I am a director, The Devious Theatre Company, are revamping our web presence (currently to incorporate regular blog updates on shows we’re developing for 2006, online benefits for blog readers and ‘myspace friends’ (such as reduced ticket prices for subscribers to feeds and blogs). We’re also going run a series of mini-podcasts on audio theatre (like radio plays for all the world).
    Why other theatre groups or larger organisations AREN’T doing it I’ll never know.

  • annette November 16, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Ken
    I’m delighted to hear that you’re doing that. I am mystified about why more people aren’t blogging…I have a couple of theories but I’d be run out of the country if I went public with them! I’ll look out for your site – well done!

  • ESV November 20, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    Annette, this is a superb post, and one which has needed to be written for some time. I’d like to respond in more depth on my blog, when I get a minute, but for now, just to say…you shouldn’t be giving this info away for free!

  • annette November 20, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks ESV but if my preliminary research is anything to go by there won’t be many arts organisations reading this to take advantage of the free content!