In 2019, Multistory was granted a place on The Space’s Strategic Digital Mentoring programme. Our mentor Katie Connolly gave advice for implementing digital into our project planning, finding ways to share our extensive archives online and the best way to use digital during our first ever festival, Blast! Festival of Photography, Talks and Walks. The purpose of this blog post is to share what we learned with you, so that you too can benefit from knowing more about how to use digital strategically.
1. How to streamline activity over social media accounts.
We are a small team of four without a dedicated communications team, so it’s important for us to ensure our return justifies the resources and time we put into it. Katie taught us how thinking strategically about digital means implementing digital into our programme from the outset, to ensure that it makes the maximum impact while making best use of available resources. This also means that all strands of the organisation must work together, and digital is included in team meetings as well as funding applications.
2. How to best use digital and utilise social media during flagship festivals and events.
Katie helped us come up with a plan for promoting the festival, curating festival highlights and raising Multistory’s profile. We had over 30 events and initially planned to live stream some of these so we could reach more people, however Katie pointed out that selecting a few events to test out live streaming and recording high quality content (using audio, photos or film) to post on the website or social media at a later stage would work best, as curated content often has more impact than poor quality live content. Working with curated content that looked and sounded better, while posting less frequently yet regularly helped alleviate pressure on the team while creating a strong online presence that drew in and kept new audiences.
3. How to begin building digital into core planning.
We practiced planning a project while considering digital outputs from the start, in particular when it came to R&D and funding applications. Katie’s advice was that digital should follow ideas, or be used to streamline activity, rather than being used for digital’s sake, as this last approach can end up wasting resources. Digital can also be small – sometimes it might be a large and expensive film, but it can also be a series of photos on Instagram.
What we changed as an organisation as a result of our mentoring:
- Streamlined social media channels such as Youtube to draw in new audience members and keep current ones.
- We now use the right platforms for each target audience.
- Digital is now considered during strategic planning meetings – we hold regular meetings with a focus on digital and social media planning.
- Collaboration – we are building a network of local, national and international partners we can collaborate with on digital strategies.
- Even now with the COVID-19 situation we’re embracing finding new and meaningful ways to connect with communities through using digital platforms.