Celebrating Leap Year in New Orleans

T|M principals Rory and Mary presented the results of our How Strong Is Your Social Net? at a February 29th meeting being organized by the Arts Council of New Orleans and the University of New Orleans.

In order to have the greatest relevance for the representatives of arts organizations who attend, we re-opened the online survey and make it available to groups in the greater New Orleans area. More than two dozen groups took the survey and we analyzed these results to draw comparisons to our national findings at the meeting.

Addressing a gathering of University of New Orleans graduate students in arts administration, and directors and marketing executives from leading New Orleans arts organizations, we presenting the national findings and focused on interesting local results and perceptions.

New Orleans groups reported some surprises:

  • New Orleans groups are ahead of national groups overall in reporting significant fundraising success with the use of social media – 74% of New Orleans groups reported some/good/major or mission-critical fundraising results vs. 64% nationally.
  • New Orleans groups also reported stronger audience response to digital and social media outreach – 95% vs 88% nationally – in spite of management skepticism which is a bit higher in New Orleans – 32% vs 19% nationally.
  • New Orleans groups report much higher use of text messaging – 29% vs 15% nationally and a roughly even level of experimentation with social mapping tools 36% vs 39% nationally.

Two groups volunteered to talk about their recent social media experiments:

  • NEW NOISE theater co-artistic director, Phil Cramer, described the company’s successful Kickstarter campaign, used to help fund a new production in November.  Phil noted, “It exceeded its goal way ahead of time and continued to garner support in the following days and weeks.”
  • New Orleans Opera Association Executive Director, Todd Simmons, described a recent controversial audience engagement strategy.  The company sent a survey to subscribers and single ticket buyers asking them to rate their favorite operas based on a list provided.  Todd noted: “We got an overwhelming response and used the information to craft our next season.”

The T| M presentation in New Orleans – which included a hands-on Strengthening Your Social Net workshop for participants — was sponsored by the Arts Council of New Orleans – in partnership with the University of New Orleans Graduate Program in Arts Administration – as part of its ongoing commitment to improving the arts practice in the region.

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