Somewhat of a techie…

This blog was posted by Natalie Gowing on May 29, 2015 as part of the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy. You can find out more about the project here.

When I joined Activate Performing Arts just over 3 years ago, as their first Marketing and Communications Manager employed as part of their core team, the organisation wasn’t producing any consistent programme of social media activity as we didn’t have accounts across the main channels. The organisation had been successful in other communication channels such as e-news and printed news, but there was an acknowledgement that social media was an area for development. Online content was hosted on two entirely separate websites and there was no robust central resource that housed contacts and history. There was no platform to receive online donations and no way of tracking and nurturing our wonderful volunteer base.

I’m happy to say that all that has changed now. With great contractors and a team that is willing to change, we have transformed the operational model in 3 years, no mean feat, considering I am part-time!

However, being somewhat of a techie I’m always looking for the next best thing that can bring us closer to our audience and make communications with them as efficient as possible. This led me to embark on our next project – an app for qualitative feedback during our biennial outdoor festival, Inside Out Dorset.

I realised very quickly that the development of the app will take much longer than my time as a Fellow with the Digital Marketing Academy and decided to re-think which project I could use as a test case. We are still progressing with development of the app but it won’t be ready until next year.

So, what next for the DMA? Well, we also realised that the problem with a biennial festival is that you could lose touch with an awesome group of volunteers built during the festival year and wondered if we could change this.

During my time with the DMA I’ll be exploring the launch of a digital solution to recruit, nurture and deploy volunteers for the 2016 festival. I have to say its early days, both with the DMA and with the design of the project but so far I am reaping the benefits of meeting with my mentor, Katie Moffat and the online webinars.

I’m also excited at the prospect of adopting the agile method of working and testing the theory that we can increase the number of volunteers that register to help us and extend our relationship with them.

Join me for my next blog or sign up here for news from Activate.

Natalie Gowing

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