My very own marketing Simonar…er, Seminar. Wanna come?

socialmediaThis is an important section of history for the Independent Arts. Something amazing is happening right now, a consciousness shift into a new way of how we deliver our work and our message to our audience. It’s about what we have to do now to sell ourselves, and get our art distributed. It’s an amazing time.

Marketing has evolved from what it was a generation ago. The old model of getting ad copy and images into the faces of anybody and everybody just doesn’t work anymore. We grew up with it, and it’s become noise that we can filter out with hardly any effort. It’s a change that’s been tearing through every industry. Now it’s our turn. It’s time to stop spending our budgets and time on taping posters to lamp posts. It’s time to start making real connections.

The internet is garish and often tacky, it’s full of crap, and sitting with it for too long hurts your back. It’s content is free, so it’s noisy in a language all its own. It’s also a big, shiny tool, and a very effective tool when wielded properly, because everyone is now spending a certain amount of their day on it. And they finally have total control over what information they receive. This means that our audience will now find us, we just need to be ready for them when they do. It’s going to take some creativity. Fortunately, that just so happens to be our stock in trade.

The smart people of the world who know how to build internet things have been busy making the place ready for these kinds of introductions. They have created systems whereby people looking for things they think are cool can meet the people that create them. And they’ve kept them all free, miraculously enough. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, etc, etc…these are all meeting areas where you can connect with people who are interested in your product. This is the new marketing.

If this is all a bit new to you – and as you’re an artist with more tactile things on the go there’s a good chance it is – all you need is to learn the language of this way of communicating. If it sounds weird and freaky and intimidating that’s because it’s supposed to, it’s new. I’ve been doing this for a while now and believe me, it’s actually ridiculously simple once you learn how it all fits together. If you’re reading this, you’re halfway there. You’re just going to have to do a little composing of your own soon…

I know the big change is coming when this tool kit tips from being used by a small amount of people to the majority of us. I know it’s coming because the number of times I get asked about it is increasing by the day. So if you’re interested in getting a comprehensive introduction to the language and tools that comprise Social Media, you can sign up for one of the seminars that Rebecca Coleman of Rebecca Coleman Marketing and Media Relations and I are holding through the Alliance for Arts and Culture (Who, by the way, recently proudly announced the launch of their very own blog. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!). We’re keeping them fairly small so there will be lots of personalized interaction. But spaces are apparently going fast…

Demystifying Social Media:
Arts Promotion in the Online World

Tuesday, May 5, 2008


Tuesday, May 12, 2009
1:00 -5:00pm
Alliance for Arts & Culture Boardroom
Suite 100 – 938 Howe Street

The face of marketing has changed. Traditional public relations techniques are evolving to keep pace with rapidly advancing technology, instant communication and an audience faced with staggering choice. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, LinkedIn, Flickr… it’s noisy, it’s overwhelming, and it’s here to stay. How do you get a handle on it all?

This four-hour workshop will help neophyte and experienced arts marketers and publicists to navigate this new world of opportunity. Site by site, we will:

* introduce you to the language and etiquette of social media and Web 2.0
* define its place in your personal marketing toolbox
* dispel all those inevitable misconceptions that go hand-in-hand with emerging technologies
* help you create a new media marketing plan that’s right for your organization

Workshop cost: $50 (+GST) for Alliance members, $75 (+GST) for non-members

Pre-registration and payment is required. Pre-payment is required in order to register for the workshop. We accept Cash, VISA, MC, or cheque. Please call our office at the number below with a credit card number or mail a cheque or drop off your payment in person at our office. 24 hours cancellation notice required to obtain full refund. The Alliance reserves the right to cancel workshops if registration is too low.

Please phone 604-681-3535 or email to register.

And, of course, we’ve got a Facebook page if you’d like to share…


Simon Ogden is a produced playwright and the Managing Director of Lyric Stage Project, an outgrowth of Lyric School of Acting. He is also the marketer and publicist for LSP, and actively promotes the industry of theatre through his online Theatre magazine The Next Stage, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable independent theatre community in Vancouver. He has been writing and producing his own work for ten years, and with the Lyric ensemble for two, with whom he recently mounted a successful run of their first original full-length work, The 21st Floor, at the PAL Theatre in Coal Harbour. Follow him on twitter @thenextstagemag

Rebecca Coleman has been a freelance theatre publicist since 2001, working for companies like Touchstone, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Capilano University’s Theatre Department, Presentation House, Radix and Leaky Heaven Circus. An actor, writer and producer, she is also very passionate about helping artists to be better businesspeople. For two years, she was lead facilitator at the Alliance’s SEARCH Program, a self-employment program for artists. Over the last year, she has become increasingly interested in using social media networking to market the arts, and writes about the subject frequently on her blog, The Art of the Business. Follow her on twitter @rebeccacoleman


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