Welcome to the 21st Century

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Anyone up for some irony today? Good, because here it is. A one Mr. Greg Sandow recently posted an entry on his blog entitled, “Don’t Do It Online”. Catchy title. What does “it” mean? For Mr. Sandow “it” has the Liz Lemon connotation of business. More specifically he is of the belief that one should not promote one’s art organization online. Really, Mr. Sandow? You could not be more wrong.

First, I’d like to point out that this blog happens to be on the internet. I received a link to the blog post via an e-mail from the Arts Journal. If I am not mistaken, that is promotion via the internet. I would be able to take this post more seriously, if it had been a newspaper article or a story on the radio. Don’t bash the medium of promotion you’re using to promote yourself. That’s just silly.

Mr. Sandow mentions how a performing arts center created a blog to promote a concert, complete with videos from the musicians. He says and I quote “But none of the varied stuff got any comments, which surely means that hardly anyone was reading it.” What? Think again, Mr. Sandow. Just because people aren’t commenting on a video doesn’t mean they’re not seeing it. I view at least 20 youtube videos each week and have never commented on a single one. I have read hundreds of articles online without commenting. Not everything is worth a comment. By Mr. Sandow’s logic, only 5 different people have viewed his post since there are only 6 comments written by 5 people. That is obviously wrong as I read the blog, but did not comment on the actual page. I also sent it to my professor and a couple of my friends, who in turn read the blog without posting a comment. If it’s views you’re worried about, try using Google Analytics. It can help you track unique views and define your audience and a bunch of other swell things. Also facebook sends the administrators of fan pages statistics about the activity on their pages. It’s not like these things aren’t being tracked.

“…putting things online is probably a waste of time…” All I can do is shake my head in disgust. If this was the early 90s, I would agree with this sentiment. But seeing as it the year 2010, and we have such inventions as internet-capable phones, putting things online IS a great use of time. Using the internet is the best way to reach audiences, especially newer and younger audiences. Our society is incredibly connected and informed—we crave information. Not having a website is organizational suicide. It takes a person 3 seconds to type the name of an arts organization into Google. It’s so much easier and faster than calling the organization and asking them to send a brochure. Spend 20 minutes reading a website and checking out reviews, or wait 48 hours for a brochure with limited information to arrive in your mailbox?

It’s also pretty obvious Mr. Sandow hasn’t heard of viral marketing. Sally sees a video posted by Arts Organization A and sends it to 5 friends and puts it on her facebook page and twitter. Then, her five friends each send the video to five friends and post the video on their social network sites. Those 25 friends do the same, and all of a sudden you’ve reached hundreds of people in a matter of seconds. Maybe Arts Organization A doesn’t sell 100 new subscriptions because of this video, but they’ve put their name in people’s minds. You don’t need to understand Pascal’s triangle to know that viral marketing is a great method of communicating with the public.

I am by no means suggesting using the internet as your only vehicle for marketing. However, it should be a player in your annual marketing campaign. In order to be effective, you must know how to reach your markets. Don’t discount the internet and the power of social media.

–Carolyne Hall

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