Tag Archives: Arts Organizations

Soundcite

SoundCite is a program created by Tyler Fisher and Jeremy Gilbert out of Northwestern University.  It is a program that allows audio files to be attached to text in online news articles and websites.  This is a free, online program that is very simple to use and works using online sources like SoundCloud; as well as sources that are already stored on your computer either as MP3 files or as Ogg files.  It is also very user friendly, and requires little to no knowledge of code to use.  This is a completely unique program, no other programs attach audio files to text in this way (not to mention it is free), and offers a wide array of possibilities for arts organizations to utilize its features.

Image of the SoundCite logoNorthwestern University. “Soundcite.”  2013. Knightlab.

Online news articles are currently the sources that are utilizing this technology the most, and they are using it in a variety of ways.  With this Washington Post article, SoundCite is used to play a line from a song, and it is directly embedded in the text of the lyrics.  Another example of a journalistic organization using this technology is this  Pro Publica Article but in this case it is used to recite audio clips from testimonials given from people being interviewed.  Arts Organizations are not currently utilizing this technology but the potential for using it and the effect would definitely be positive.  It could be used on museum websites to play music from a time period of a piece of art; or it could be used at museum websites dedicated to specific people that could play sound files of speeches or other notable sounds from the time period.  Musicians could use this to have audio of their playing in their biography for a more streamlined website. For example, if they wanted to post an audio file of their percussion ensemble music, they could do so with this online application.

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MyEmma logo screenshot

MyEmma

MyEmma is an online based email service which is used by various organizations to distribute email to a large audience. The tool is useful for an arts organization as it provides the organization a way to keep their stakeholders aware. The service can be used to distribute different mailings including newsletters, calls for artists, show information and donation solicitations. MyEmma requires a user to register for the service and is also a paid for service. The base level of MyEmma costs $89.00 a month while the plus and premium versions cost $369.00 and $779.00 a month respectively. The plus version allows for more contacts as well as advanced services while the premium version offers even more contacts and access to experts at MyEmma. MyEmma is similar in nature to a number of different tech tools including ConstantContact and MailChimp.

screenshot of analytics
MyEmma’s analytics dashboard

MyEmma attempts to set itself apart from its competition through a more user friendly interface as well as better analytics for each email sent out. The most useful aspect of MyEmma is its in depth analytics. The analytics from MyEmma provide a complete but also easy to understand review of each mailing and an overall score which compares your mailing to the industry average. Other useful things about MyEmma include its simple address book and its scheduling service.

MyEmma mailing screenshot
A sample mailing from MyEmma

Examples of this tool’s use include a number of organizations which use this for monthly mailings. One such example is the Torpedo Factory Arts Center which sends out a number of items, including newsletters and call for artists, through MyEmma. In all, MyEmma puts itself above other mail services through its easy to use design tools and analytics.

Social Media and the Arts

If an arts organization utilizes new technologies and forms of social media in the right way, it can take their marketing to the next level. By using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, an organization can reach a larger group of people as well as a more diverse group people supports, sometimes even from across the globe!  For each of these different platforms there are different strategies that the organization should use. For Example, you would not post to Facebook 12 times one day, because that is annoying to the target audience, however, you could turn those Facebook posts into tweets and that is proper usage of Twitter. Through the use of these various platforms an organization can show what the donors money is going towards, share testimonials from volunteers as well as someone who has experienced your organizations work first hand, and  thank those who have helped and supported your projects along the way, all while at the same time, advertising your brand.

Continue reading Social Media and the Arts

MailChimp

MailChimp is used to organize email addresses and to send marketing emails and newsletters.  It’s free for users with under 2,000 subscribers to send up to 12,000 emails/month.  After that, there is the option to pay a monthly rate for unlimited emails, or to purchase as you go.  The program is accessed completely online, and can have multiple users for the same organization, allowing different people across multiple departments to have access to the same information.

I think this is a great tool for a small arts organization because it’s easy to use, free, and integrates well across social media platforms.  An arts organization can use MailChimp for everything from an email marketing blast to thanking guests after a special event.  Creating a campaign is easy enough that anyone with basic computer knowledge can accomplish a professional looking email without a major time commitment.  Newsletter sign-up forms can be integrated into your organization’s Facebook page and website, so even maintaining lists is simple.  MailChimp has built in analytics, which can also be integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and Google Analytics, in order to track social media activity and traffic to your website that come from the emails you send.

While MailChimp has many competitors, I think that it is the best choice for small arts organizations for two reasons.  The first is its support options.  Since small organizations are working with limited staff, having the ability to get help with a project is extremely important.  The second thing that sets MailChimp apart is that it provides unlimited storage space for uploaded images.  For arts organizations that want to use lots of images to get their patrons excited, having that storage space is crucial.  Overall, I think that the ease of use, social media integration, and support system for its clients are what sets MailChimp apart.

MailChimp Summary Report
Sowinski, Jennifer. “MailChimp Summary Report.” 4 April 2015. https://us3.admin.mailchimp.com/reports/#t:campaigns-list. Accessed 4 April 2015.