Archive for June, 2012

June 29, 2012

Happy Canada Day! Happy Pride!

Sue Edworthy Arts Planning will be closed for the long weekend. Have fun, stay hydrated, be safe, be sunscreened!




June 28, 2012

Yesterday’s Marketing Quiz and Get Ready for Fringe!

Yesterday’s post had a quick link to a marketing quiz, and I said I absolutely agreed with the correct answer. Why?

It goes back to your audience – knowing who they are and interacting with them. And it ties into the Fringe Festival – which is coming up next week!

There are over 150 shows to see. How do people choose? They talk to other people. And as a marketer of your (or your friend’s) Fringe show, you should talk to people as well. I spend a lot of time seeing shows, and at the Fringe Club. Something that makes me sad is the flyer handed to me, or dropped on the table in front of me without a word.  Phantom flyers. Sure a flyer has all the information – times, dates, image, Fringe logo, blurb – but I would have preferred talking to you about your show and why I should see it. (Item: talking. NOT pitching. I hate being pitched, it’s not a dialogue. I once told someone to stop pitching at me and they didn’t. Forget it.)

If you can get people truly interested in your work, they will tell others. Pretty much guaranteed. If you silently drop a flyer in front of me it’s pretty much guaranteed it will stay on that table until it gets thrown away. I don’t remember who dropped this piece of paper in front of me. I do remember talking to people about their show.

Talk. Exchange ideas. Interact. The Fringe Club is one of the best places on earth to talk to other artists and other folks who love art (which there is a TON of this year. A TON.) I know you’re running around like a maniac, postering, flyering lineups, everything. But the two minutes it takes to become a real person and talk – that’s what will sell you a ticket. (Item: If you’re not good at being a real person, you can still talk to me as your character. I will talk to you. I’ve had more conversations with Morro and Jasp then I have with Heather and Amy and loved every one.)

SIX DAYS till the Fringe! I’m choosing my shows and booking my tickets today.

June 27, 2012

2nd floor: menswear, haberdashery, Fringe Fundraiser

As I mentioned earlier in the week (wow, it’s only Wednesday) last night was the annual Fringe Festival fundraiser – more rootin’ tootin’ than high-falutin’ was the theme, so no point in booking the Carlu or the Design Exchange – instead we headed to the second floor of Honest Ed’s and had our fundy there. Fifty guests, lovely things to eat and drink, raffle prizes, Award winning performances and some even got the rare treat of a tour of the Mirvish offices (the real Mirvish office!)

A great evening, and something I love about Honest Ed’s and its clients – they are there to SHOP. No matter there were dressy ladies and men in suits, we were not a distraction from the deals to be had, it was like we were in a goldfish bowl or a business attire zoo. The Koffler Centre has put together a great little exhibit of iconic Honest Ed’s signage – go take a peek next time you’re in there.

Big shout out to the Fringe staff and volunteers and members of the 100 for making it such a successful event, a fundraiser of any kind is a ton of work. And and even bigger shout out to David Mirvish who was our congenial host, gracious as always.

So much fun. Today it’s back to work, for with every amazing Dora Awards and fabulous Fundraiser – well you’ve got to get back to it at some point for there are ads to be booked and copy to be tweaked and  – well it’s all here waiting.

Quick link here to a very simple marketing quiz and I think I’ll expand (expound?) more on the correct answer tomorrow, which I completely agree with.

June 26, 2012

Accolades Across the Country

Kind of neat that last night was a celebration of theatre in both Toronto and Vancouver, with the Doras at the St. Lawrence Centre and the Jessies at the Commodore Ballroom.

Love the Doras. Love the chance for as many folks as possible to get together, get gussied up, see each other, celebrate and blow off some steam. Love seeing folks I don’t get enough time to see throughout the year, and I’d imagine it’s the same at the Jessies. A genuine celebration. JOY indeed.

Thom Allison, you are a host to be reckoned with. And so many thanks to the awesome team at TAPA for putting on yet another amazing party.

Dora recipient list is here, Jessie recipient list is here.

The finery isn’t put away yet for me – tonight’s the annual Fundraiser for The Toronto Fringe Festival – hosted by David Mirvish and held in the menswear section of Honest Ed’s (I KNOW, right?) it’s guaranteed to be a Fringe-tastic night!

June 24, 2012

Sunday Roundup – June 24

Continuing to get over bronchitis, but still a lot going on this week.

A Picture is Worth a K.I.S.S. – what Pinterest is doing right

I See Company X Has Updated the Event – Again – my, this was a popular post…. 😉

A Like Share Comment Infographic – I`m trying to post regular tidbits of info on improving your website/brand/online presence/what have you that does not involve a complete redesign of everything, rather just tweaks you can do on a Friday afternoon. Or, if you are intent on a complete redesign,here are opportunities to research.

On Family vs Public  

Testing Your Website in More Ways Than One

Moving forward into the week – it’s the Dora Awards tomorrow night, and the Fringe Fundraiser the night after that and then we’re heading into the long weekend and Summer I’d say is here.

A reminder that Sue Edworthy Arts Planning will be closed for the Canada Day Weekend.

Happy Sunday!

June 22, 2012

Testing Your Website in more ways than one

Continuing with another post about little things to do to make sure your online presence is top-notch – we looked at making word clouds a couple of days ago, and today we’ll look at accessibility.

Great article here from Spyrestudios – How Accessible is your Website?  – they’ve got eight tools for you to use. From colour-blindness simulation to readability (a personal favourite of mine) – take a wander through and check your results.

Another good article on brand maintenance via social media –  Speak Up! Reputation Management and Social Media Strategy. I personally like the test of running (your company) + sucks through Google to see what happens.

Only a bit more left in the workday/workweek, unless you’ve left early for Friday in which case good on you – I’m leaving too. Happy Weekend!


June 21, 2012

On Family vs Public

It has been a strange 48 hours.  On Wednesday night the Wrecking Ball played to a sold out house as the final of eleven encounters at the Edward Bond Festival.#wb13 focused on Bond and his work.

“For the past decade Edward Bond has focused heavily on what he calls The Third Crisis: the intensive injustice of authority in our present capitalist society. He had been investigating how language, ideas and humanity are being co-opted for rational capitalist means. Bond writes of people being “asleep” to injustices committed around them by being lulled into complacency through both apathy and the media.”
wrecking ball website

And at around the same time, Artistic Director Ken Gass was being shown the door at Factory Theatre – a door that is quite frankly there because of him.

If this were a movie, there would absolutely have been cut shots alternating between the Wrecking Ball and I assume, the Factory Theatre. This is not a movie.

Ken has spoken to the media with his side. Factory has issued a press release with theirs. It does not contain a satisfactory answer to the barbaric YAWP of WTF? that is resounding through the theatre community tonight.

I had a chat with someone about “the public’s right to know” today, an idea which  of course has increased thousandfolds in the last decade. And it’s increased at lightning speed with the advent of social media.  (Quick link –Using Social Media In A Crisis). And that’s why a press releases sometimes says nothing. I know – I’ve been the person to have to write that type of release. Not enviable work, and you do the best you can under the circumstances.  Unfortunately, saying nothing doesn’t help a situation like this for those who want to know why something so seemingly impossible has happened.

Maybe the “public” doesn’t need to know. Fair enough. But here’s my issue with that. Whether we are referred to as an “industry” a “community” a whatever – we are essentially a family. And I don’t mean cheesy Partridge style family where all is ever sunny. We see each others work and work with each other in hours and conditions most would find insane. We fight, and argue, and laugh, and drink too much and go to team softball games. We share remnant ad space and discounts, and talk to each other and learn. We know each other, we know who we should know, and let me introduce you to someone you should know.

That’s not the “public”. That’s family. And I do think a family maybe has a little more “right to know” that some random public guy who does not know Ken’s contribution to Toronto theatre, to its artists, its playwrights.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

My two cents. I am sure details will continue to come out – I can’t imagine they will make this look any better, or they would have come out immediately. But I do wonder what is going on in Toronto theatre these days.

June 20, 2012

A like-share-comment infographic – and a word cloud!

Social media data expert Dan Zarrella — who tracked and analyzed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages — has released details about which posts get the most likes, shares and comments on Facebook, from post type and length to the best time of day to add updates.

Photos bring in the highest number of engagement across the board, followed by text and video, according to Zarrella. News links bring in the least numbers of likes, shares and comments.

Meanwhile, posts with a high number of self-referential words such as “I” and “me” get more likes — a tactic that doesn’t work well on Twitter.

He’s got a serious infographic on Mashable so go and take a look. Love infographics. I wish I had the data to make one. I`m also going to try some of his  findings? Recommendations?

Someone asked me the other day what I write about on my blog. Lots of stuff. Here’s a picture of what I write the most about. I see the minimum number of comments to make it into the cloud is four in order to be easily viewed… (and you thought I picked the name Anastasia Fussbottom at random…)

Go make a word cloud. I used wordle. Quick easy way to see what you talk about most on your blog, website, promo materials, and if that’s what you want to be talking about, or thought you were talking about.  I’d love someone to run the text for an operating grant through and see what happens…

June 19, 2012

I see Company X has updated the event – again.

The Fringe is coming, and the Facebook event invites are FLYING.

Oh, Facebook.

Remember how cool it used to be to get event invitations? It was Veronica’s birthday and it was so neat, she’d used a Facebook event and you could RSVP yes or no or maybe and put something on the event wall and then a few weeks later, just GO to the event?

And now everybody is inviting everyone to everything using Facebook invites.

With some of the sort-of recent changes lately, I’ve heard a lot of folks expressing the same sentiment, suddenly feeling bombarded with information about:

– an event they do not (yet) know about;

– from a person they do not know;

– and notifications up the yin-yang about every movement on that page by anyone else invited. So your FB notifications (or email) becomes full of

– Anastasia Fussbottom invited you to (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Anastasia Fussbottom changed the date of her event (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Anastasia Fussbottom changed the time of her event (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Arnold Duckpants wrote on the wall for (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Anastasia Fussbottom added a photo to the event (HER FRINGE SHOW!)
– Arnold Duckpants was tagged in a photo on (HER FRINGE SHOW!)’s wall.

You get the picture. (Besides, it was fun to write Anastasia Fussbottom once).

What  are our options? From the user’s perspective, it’s not blowing a gasket until you can get to a computer and turn notifications OFF. See below.

Trouble with this is, it puts the user, ticket buyer, audience member in the “don’t annoy me” driver’s seat.  And folks are not trying to be annoying when they promote a show, they just want you to see their show!  And I personally like knowing about shows going on. I go to a lot of them.

I don’t see it as the promoter’s fault, as they are using what I view as a faulty tool. I’m fairly certain they don’t want to let their potential audience know they’re fixing a typo.

Someone asked me once how often I wanted to hear from a marketer about a festival show, via social media. I thought about it. Four times. max.

1) tell me in advance about your show;
2)remind me you open this week;
3) share a stunning review with me, or that you’re selling out fast;
4) remind me you’re closing.

I’m trying something with a client this Fringe Festival. We’re doing two things – an event invite and a Facebook page. Why?

Traditional event invites, so we can reach all of our network. I love that I’m using the word “traditional” to describe FB invites, BTW.
ETA: Pretend your Facebook invite is ‘going to print’ – have everything ready to go when you hit go.

What’s the page for? All the updates. Folks who are sent the invite are also sent the page link – like the page to get the updates you really want without being inundated by every little thing that Anastasia Fussbottom does.

Pages are also public. Tourists do come to the Fringe – they will not get your invite, but I bet they will search the word Fringe on Facebook. It’s more free space online to market your show outside your network.

ETA: My goal is to have as many shows and events get explosive attendance without people being annoyed by the marketing. It ain’t you, it’s the tool, and until it’s fixed – here we are.

Anyway – my two cents. Keep selling those Fringe shows, there’s an amazing crop this year.

ETA: Today. Today is the workshop. Today I’m doing a marketing workshop panel thingy with the 100. There will definitely be more about that later.

June 18, 2012

A Picture Is Worth a K.I.S.S.

My grandfather was an Army man, and very fond of the saying “KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid”. I don’t actually recall him using the acronym, but we were urged a lot to keep things simple.

Pinterest has indeed, done that. For folks wondering just why it’s attained such saturation, grown so fast and been embraced so easily – well, it’s simple. Good article by Nir Eyal in Automatic You, a blog about behavioral engineering which is being added to my bookmarks.

Pinterest’s Obvious Secret

Two thoughts that really struck me – Pinterest’s obvious secret is its ability to serve our innate desire to capture and collect, while making consuming, creating and sharing easier than ever before.
Well, to be precise, that thought struck me, but this one truly made me think – The volume and richness of user data collected through pinning is unparalleled. While I might “Like” Babies’R’Us on Facebook or follow their Twitter stream, hoping to get a coupon, only Pinterest knows I’ve been keeping an eye out for a mid-priced stroller appropriate for an 18-month-old boy.
In other news, I’ve figured out just where you 2000+ people are finding me (mostly search engines. followed by Facebook, I thought it would be the other way around); you’re searching for me and this website, which is cool; you’re looking mostly for info on goings-on around town, social media and marketing advice; you’re mostly sharing posts on events. And I thought I knew more of you that I do – I don’t, and that’s really  cool.
Some of you wondered where the politics went. Well, I don’t do Federal, I don’t do Provincial and honestly, I think our Mayor is covered on  “reports of him and his brother making fools of themselves”, so I stopped. It will pick up again when there’s something good to write about.
What does this mean? That things will probably keep on keeping on with minor subject tweaks you might or might not notice.  I might be trying new forms of posts, or topics and see how those work out.
One thing is for sure – I like writing this blog. I like that folks are reading it. Thank you for your likes, questions, comments and follows. All for now.
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