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Arts Marketing Association

Press and PR Summit: 2012

Arts Marketing Association Press and PR Summit


A collaborative future for the arts and media?
Sponsored by Target Live Media partner ArtsProfessional

8 March 2012 Museum of London Report of the day

Report prepared by Jonathan Goodacre Gusto Arts Management and Consultancy

jonathan@gusto.uk.com +44 (0)1223 513784

Arts Marketing Association

Press and PR Summit: 2012

Contents
Introduction and welcome Paul Bradshaw Martin Belam Keynote questions Round tables Plenary Delegates New models for cultural journalism A collaborative future for the arts and media 3 4 9 12 13 19 26

Arts Marketing Association

Press and PR Summit: 2012

Introduction
The AMA press and PR summit provided an opportunity to look at future trends for press and media and at the way that the arts could benefit. It brought together a range of journalists, press officers, bloggers, editors, marketers and digital media experts in an intensive and vigorous day of debate at the Museum of London. The day began with two keynote presentations with questions. During the afternoon a session of round tables enabled delegates to talk in greater depth with fourteen different hosts who represented all parts of the arts and media sectors. Afterwards, these hosts came back to a plenary in the auditorium to report back and debate some of the ensuing points.

Welcome
Tim Wood, Board Member of the Arts Marketing Association and Communications Director at The Place, London Tim Wood welcomed delegates to The Museum of London for the second AMA press and PR Summit, noting that these days always seem to come just after an iPod launch. He speculated that perhaps this was symbolic of the fast pace of change we are experiencing now. Those of us who work in press, pr and media roles are often on the frontline of this change, especially when we are working with the people that used to be known as journalists. The wide range of people and roles seems to show how that process of producing media is rapidly developing. He thanked the sponsor, Target Live and the media partner for the day, ArtsProfessional.

Arts Marketing Association

Press and PR Summit: 2012

Keynotes Paul Bradshaw; media consultant, author and trainer


Paul Bradshaw is an online journalist and blogger and a Visiting Professor at City Universitys School of Journalism in London. He manages his own blog, the Online Journalism Blog (OJB), and is the co-founder of HelpMeInvestigate, an investigative journalism website funded by Channel 4 and Screen WM. Paul has written for journalism.co.uk, Press Gazette, the Guardians Data Blog, InPublishing, Nieman Reports and the Poynter Institute in the US. He is the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook with former Financial Times web editor Liisa Rohumaa, and of Magazine Editing (3rd Edition) with John Morrish. Bradshaw has been listed in Journalism.co.uks list of the leading innovators in journalism and media and Poynters most influential people in social media. In 2010, he was shortlisted for Multimedia Publisher of the Year and in 2011 ranked 9th in PeerIndex's list of the most influential UK journalists on Twitter. New models for cultural journalism Over the last 15 years we have moved into a multi-platform, networked environment. Its easy to overlook the fundamentals underlining this. Traditionally, a story was created in stages. A journalist would go out and obtain the information, come back to the office and produce it, hand it over to someone who produced it a bit more who would then give it to other people responsible for its distribution.

When this information becomes digitised these different areas begin to overlap. This has all sorts of implications about what gets published in terms of the editorial decisions made and also opens up journalism and reporting to other people.

So, someone like Jemima Kiss at The Guardian will be following all sorts of updates from traditional media, specialist blogs, social media and official reports coming in to
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her through her RSS reader. All she has to do is press a button and that content is then shared on her page. This page also has an RSS feed and automatically appears on Twitter and on The Guardians PDA news bucket. If something is prefixed Im reading thats all that the journalist is doing pressing one button to share content. Similar examples include link blogging such as that of Created in Birmingham by Chris Unitt who is bookmarking something with a quote attached. Matthew Cain will be talking about what he is reporting at the same time as he is reporting it. They dont wait till they get back to the office to use their content management system. This digitisation of news has resulted in an expansion of where news is published and what constitutes news. Traditionally, most journalism consisted of an article or broadcast package focused on whats new which may be followed up with some context such as an interview, round-up, explainer etc. However, online the money is in speed and depth. The internet is brilliant for both, because it has the capacity for instant distribution and has unlimited space for depth. The 21st century newsroom So, live-blogging for example, has taken off enormously in the last few years. In this format, the call to action and the initial draft are integrated. The journalist might put out a question saying does anyone know anything about this? or a Tweet might lead to a story. The information which comes in then forms part of a live blog which combines this in an open draft but still being updated. The reason that news organisations love live blogs is that they are brilliant for stickiness and engagement. On a live blog people stick around and interact and advertisers are interested in this. After the story, there is also a demand for greater comment than we used to see. Journalists have to deal with new sources of information such as data, social media and feeds. Alongside this, they have to take decisions about format this didnt happen in the print world. Now, we have to decide on the best means of publishing this material tweet, audio, video, live blog etc. which platform in the paper, on Facebook etc - and when it is to be published. And these decisions have to be made very quickly.

Arts Marketing Association

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Depth News organisations are no longer looking at news as something passive but as something for people to engage and interact with. The BBC for example, developed the backstage project in which people could mash up and reuse content. Newspapers now investigate stories and provide databases for people to use. Lauren Luke made a name for herself by engaging with her community about make-up tips. For cultural events, there are Flickr pools and groups springing up and Facebook pages and apps where people can discuss the newsworthy items of the moment. There are lots of ways to tell the story now. Data is becoming a real source and social artefact. People are interacting with, visualising and sharing data. Its again very sticky. The Guardian has done a good job of creating communities around that data. It might be worth thinking about the data which your organisation has that you could use. Live-blogging Live-blogging up to an event can work well. For example, The Birmingham Post and Mail has a very popular live blog on a Friday afternoon leading up to the football matches of the weekend. [Paul Bradshaw then played a video extract trailing live multiplatform election coverage on PBS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQrH1OuhPjk#t=42] This demonstrated the different platforms which were to be used in the election coverage: Twitter, Facebook, Ustream, live blog, iPhone app. Interestingly, they are not assuming that everyone needs to be brought through to their own page. There is a connection here with the way that arts organisations might think about their own space. Do we need to centralise everything? Everyone can now be a media producer and there might be expertise within arts organisations which can do this better than some media organisations. Live blogs are a good way to show this off. The Old Vic did a really good live blog of one of their openings which was on the ground and niche. Live-blogging is not like live broadcast of an event. Its not about documentation but about being part of a networked event. If you are just repeating what everyone is saying youre not adding any value. Instead, it could be about aggregating the most interesting things that people are saying, be analysing the implications, enriching what is happening with pictures, video, audio etc, using data analysis and producing verification of what is happening.

Arts Marketing Association

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News production in a networked world One of the significant things about The Guardians three pigs video trailer is who they are communicating this message to. It isnt for press circles but to the public as a description of itself as a news organisation. The traditional idea of a journalist as someone who knows it all and is at the centre of things is discarded in favour of a network of people who are all contributing. Its a good example of the way that the production line is being replaced by a network.

Its not just about the overlapping of areas but about what has become a network of gatherers, producers and distributors. [Part of the video: Dont flop: Blizzard vs. Mark Grist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp4wEewrQdU was played] Mark Grist was a teacher who became a performance poet and then took rap back into the classroom as a teaching device. At the Dont Flop website there are news items collected there which were picked up by Reddit, these then found their way across the web, shared on Facebook and viewed on mobile devices. It was picked up by specialist media, then The Guardian and ended up on Channel 4. A relatively minor cultural event was multiplied with different pieces of information and angles added as it went along. It wasnt filmed by Channel 4 news. It was the network which made it happen. Its worth thinking about who is in your network and which are their favourite places and devices for interacting. This is about going beyond what is currently fashionable to you but thinking from the point of view of your audience. For example, forums are still popular and useful as are interesting wikis around subject areas. Jacob Neilsons pyramid (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html) shows how there is a pattern that repeats itself, with the community split between the 90% who are lurkers who are reading and following but not contributing much, 9% who are intermittent contributors and 1% who are heavy contributors. On YouTube 20% of videos are responsible for 80% of views.

Arts Marketing Association

Press and PR Summit: 2012

The 10% of contributors are important, and for news media the 1% is especially important because they will be the people who are active in the early stages of the process. Citizen journalism has become a rather vague and somewhat meaningless term because people mean different things by it. Perhaps it is better to think about Distributed Journalism as in my diagram based on the pyramid which aims to explain this better and shows us where our priorities might lie. At the top we have three types of contributors. The brain is the expert, someone in house perhaps, who draws on expertise and connections for their writing. The voice talks eloquently and passionately about a subject. Journalists are very good at this, taking the information and making coherent sense of it. The ear knows and publishes whats happening.

In the bottom section are a more random collection. The accidental journalist might be in the right place at the right time the question is how you can make it easy for them to publish content or for you to be able to access that content. The value adder will add a little bit of information such as tagging and bringing it to the forefront of attention. The crowd is a body of people with diverse interests who can contribute further material. The technician can build on top of what has been produced, perhaps to make it easier to access or understand. Finally, the key word is decentralise moving away from thinking about a single space where content is produced and distributed and instead to look outwards, playing to different strengths of the network. There are three key implications to consider Product from process: the traditional story is just one part of communication. The process of creating, researching etc is interesting in itself so make a product out of it. Take pictures, blog, create a variety of media. Value of networks: think about the networks that exist around the events, objects and products the issues, themes and people. What are they sharing? How do we involve people from the start? New assets: data, participants, passion: what do you have in your own organisation? Expertise? Participants? Data? Paul Bradshaws links are at www.delicious.com/paulb/AMA2012
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Martin Belam; lead user experience architect, The Guardian


Martin Belam is Lead User Experience Architect at Guardian News and Media, working across the Guardian website and mobile platforms. He has spent over a decade building digital media products for global brands like the BBC, Sony and Vodafone, including a three year spell working independently as a consultant based on the island of Crete. He helps run London IA, a community for IA and UX professionals. Martin blogs about user experience, journalism and digital media at currybet.net, and can be found on Twitter as @currybet A collaborative future for arts and the media Job titles are useful for two reasons. One is to fit on to a business card and the other is to explain to your mum what you do for a living. My job title does neither, as I am lead user experience architect at Guardian news and media. What I actually do is think about how people might want to use what we do in the future. The Guardian is an old institution developing as a local campaigning paper. In 1995 The Guardian went on the web and now most months there are 60m readers globally. There are 1.3m articles on The Guardian. Almost everything that has been published on The Guardian online since 1999 is now freely available on the web. Culture is an important word for us, not just in terms of a culture of openness but also because we value coverage of culture and the arts. There are a number of ebooks being reproduced from The Guardian at the moment, including one about jazz. Its fascinating, because if you look at the coverage from the origins of the artform it is remarkable about the way it outlines the impending decline of civilization, not dissimilar to the ways in which Hip hop has been described in recent years. However, theres a very constrained way in which newspapers have traditionally covered the arts. Before we hit on the word open our editor talked about mutualised. If you send along a critic to a performance they cant be the only voice worth listening to. Surely we need to know what the audience is thinking. The old model is totally out of synch with digital audiences. The process used to be a linear one of preview night or promo copies and then the press night would happen, a review would be published and everyone would buy the record or go to the performance.

Arts Marketing Association

Press and PR Summit: 2012

This doesnt work for the audience anymore. How do you enable them to have conversations about things we havent written about yet or ever? Arts coverage has traditionally been top down. There are a few critics who have the voice of authority and access to publishing who can write about a small number of works and then that goes to the audience. We wanted to look at the way we could increase the number of voices, cover more work and hopefully grow bigger audiences, make that content sticky and engaging and make more money out of it. Traditionally, if we were reviewing a Goldfrapp album we would write a 400 word piece about it, saying what we like or dont like about it, but there is plenty of material on the internet about Goldfrapp. So, we set our developers a challenge. In a week they had to research and make something different about Goldfrapp. They found content from all over the net, combining existing material with The Guardians in a dynamic automated page. If we could do this automatically about artists we have written about then we could do this about people we havent written about. So, we used this prototype and made it into a Beta programme carried across a range of areas. We started with books. The aim was to allow people to discuss any book they were reading at that time. It involved a huge data set based around the ISBN. There is an automatic page for every title which anyone can review, rate, and interact around. They are interacting around the cultural object, not what The Guardian has written about the object. There is a community organiser who facilitates open threads but the community drives the conversation. However, we didnt want to lose our authoritative voice. The Guardian spent a day interviewing people about this at The South Bank Centre, BFI and The Barbican. Audience members were still very keen on the critical authority of The Guardian in spite of all the conversations that were happening. Meg Pickard at The Guardian produced this model which showed how the audience can contribute before the launch and the media organisations staff afterwards.

The NHS live-blogging in The Guardian has been a reaction to people arguing that the issue was being ignored. As part of the process of reacting to and blogging about
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the subject a community of experts have collected around the theme. It seems that they, in a different way, have become the authoritative voice of The Guardian. Journalism is no longer owned by a small group of publications. Sites such as Created in Birmingham need to be on your media list as well as the Birmingham local papers. Sometimes they arent publications at all. It could be a Twitter feed about arts coverage in Walthamstow (a real example: Walthamstow Scene) with every possible cultural event being retweeted, so that its possible to find it in a feed. Its an interesting challenge for press officers how do you find out about and service these networks? Theatricalia (theatricalia.com) is a database which is aiming to have every stage production ever produced in the UK. Its ambitious, but Mathew Somerville has scraped data from all sorts of sources. It means that, in some sense, you dont own your own data anymore but its potentially very advantageous because the data has much greater reach. Similarly, MusicBrainz (http://musicbrainz.org/) is a crowdsourced wiki which is aiming to have an id for every artist that has produced music. The human connection The arts and culture is about the human connection. A project in Slovenia which looked at genocide and a place where people had been killed and buried had started off trying to use a huge amount of technology to tell stories to children. However, the apps didnt work very well so they hit on an easier low-tech solution. There were spots in the forest where there was a phone number which the children could call and hear instructions and interesting material as a voice message. It wasnt complicated; it used the human connection the human voice. The reason that culture moves people is because it has personal connection with people. From a PR view, you used to send material to the journalist and they would talk to the audience on your behalf. The new model enables press officers to talk directly to the audience much more directly, potentially cutting out the journalist. So we are going to have to rethink the way that the relationship works.

Maybe the relationship now has to be about being useful to the journalist rather than sending them a pdf of your press release. This might involve knowing the journalist, following them on Twitter and understanding how they work and what interests them. Can you help them when they need it? It is a redefined relationship.

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Questions for Paul Bradshaw and Martin Belam Liz Hill, Arts Professional Magazine: One of the things that struck me is a contrast with a publishing expo last week at which the conclusion was that print was not dead, but you seem to be saying that print is dead. Could you comment on that? PB: I dont think either of us is saying that. Print is under a great deal of commercial pressure and its trying to define its place in the market. The web is taking on a lot of the roles that print used to have, just as broadcasting took away the role of breaking news when that happened. So, the commercial side of publishing is looking at the areas that interest advertisers. The spend is following the eyeballs. MB: A survey just published in the United States found that for every $1 that is being gained in online advertising by media organisations they are losing $7 in print revenue. This is not a sustainable business model. However, paper is a good format and watching people using a pile of papers at a caf is interesting and you wonder whether that will be replaced by tablets. The Evening Standard has increased their readership since they became a free paper. The big glossy magazines are designed to attract advertising from companies like Rolex but now they have fewer adverts and readers but the same number of journalists working on them. So there is something structural that needs to be addressed. Will papers disappear? They wont completely go but they will need to change significantly. PB: An interesting point is that The Guardian has a number of feeds from blogs which are not paid but there is advertising sold on those pages. Lyle Bignon, Town Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham: Its a point about frustration with some parts of the media, mostly commissioning and deputy-editors who arent always in line with these exciting ways to present content. Vanessa Thorpe from The Observer at the Press Summit last year was very keen on picking up the phone and doing business that way. How do we, as PRs with content, persuade those journalists in senior positions to take a risk? MB: Theres that great saying isnt there, that the future is here its just unevenly distributed? There are still some very traditional ways of commissioning. In science, it has changed fundamentally, with someone like Ben Goldacre constantly challenging the traditional way that science articles take the top line of a worthless survey and sensationalise it. Some arts journalism may have some way to go with the aura around the critic still existing. But if you think about the rap battle, no-one commissioned it, the publishing mechanisms made it noticeable until it had to be published or broadcast. We all have our own websites now and we can publish ourselves. We dont need to think if only I can get this one thing commissioned then my campaign is complete. PB: There was an interesting announcement today which, if I understood it correctly, is that Channel 4 is launching a new catch up channel broadcasting if there is a lot
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of chatter and interest about a programme. The general gist is very interesting. As well as the rap battle, there is the example of Hans Rosling who did a famous talk about statistics in first world vs. third world countries which had lots of views and got picked up by BBC4 for a series on data and statistics. You need a disruptor like Ben Goldacre to highlight laziness and you also need a groundswell of interest that demands attention. MB: Each technology adds to things we have to do. Its a challenge for both PRs and journalists to be able to cope with what needs to be done, but the idea that you throw the press release over the fence and hope there will be interest is not going to work anymore. Tim Wood: Its interesting that the questioner referred to a Sunday paper journalist. Sunday publications have a different editorial position and are more reflective. Does this mean they are affected differently by this? MB: Its a good question and Im quite outspoken about this. Does anyone here visit Sunday Facebook or Sunday Google? I understand that its a slightly different concept but I think the Sunday branding will eventually disappear. We have 1.3m articles on the site; no-one cares which day of the week it was published on. PB: People do use different devices at different points in the day or the week and media organisations play to that. MB: One of the things about the adoption of mobile is that its adoption has been higher than anticipated and the content for mobile has to be slightly different. John Wyver, Illuminations: Can you talk about the potential tensions with notions of control, both traditional ideas of control of a story and quality control? PB: On the embargo side of things for example, these ideas are based on a paper being published at a certain time or based on exclusives between a journalist and press officer with a relationship which they want to protect. These are going to be harder to control. Its important now to understand that we are working with a whole network of people who have different angles. MB: Its not as if all the old ways have disappeared but they are changing. If I think about the suicide of Gary Speed, the first I knew about that was when I had a tweet from a friend saying Gary Speed RIP and the second tweet was from an organisation that said if you are going to be writing about Gary Speed here is a link to guidelines about suicide reporting. This was how I found out about it one news media organisation probably broke it slightly earlier than others but no-one can remember who that was. The embargo thing is interesting because I occasionally receive press releases from people Ive never heard of saying that the information is embargoed till the next day. Its usually of no interest whatsoever but if I did receive something that I was tempted to break the embargo on what would stop me? Its a very print-centric
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view. In the Olympics there will be people taking photos and providing information before the official material comes out. The media organisations are supposed to wait for the official versions but they will be one step behind the rest of the public. Mark Shenton, Sunday Express and The Stage: As a critic working for a Sunday publication one of the things Ive noticed is the way that The Guardian undermines The Observer by absorbing all its material into The Guardian website. MB: Most of the traffic that comes to the website doesnt come through the front door, it comes at the story level. At a global level, it doesnt have much meaning either as the global audience doesnt know all the ins and outs of the brand. John Walker, English Touring Opera: One of the previous questioners was asking about control over quality as well as control over exclusives. Whilst I understand that many bloggers are excellent and reputation is important, with the openness of the internet it is possible for someone to publish in a highly visible place undermining the sense of quality on our own sites. PB: We have come up with all sorts of ways of ensuring that public spaces are safe and well guarded. Many organisations have made the mistake of allowing anything on their sites and theres no reason for this. It is important to take a proactive approach to moderating content rather than putting up a big blank wall and giving them a tin of paint. Its like any space you need to show what is acceptable or not. It might also be about inviting people to contribute who you know will be more favourable. Felicity Cowie, Wiltshire Music Centre: What is your advice for smallish arts organisations and an audience which is not interested in social media, either because they dont know about it or they are elderly, cant read it and others who are proud that they dont engage with social media? MB: One of my favourite sets of comments on The Guardian site are people criticising social media saying something to the effect of why should anyone be interested in what other people think? Also, that older generation is not going to be with you forever and other generations that do use social media will gradually grow up to fill the gap. Its also about the priority for your audience. If youre happy with the way things are then you dont need to change. But what will it be like in two or three years time? PB: Many older people are surprisingly active digitally. My mother is on Facebook so she can follow her grandchildren and enjoys Trip Advisor. Try searching forums to see who is talking and what they are talking about. Can you engage with them and make them cheerleaders?

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Round Tables
During the afternoon, delegates had an opportunity to discuss a variety of different press and PR elements in detail at 14 round tables. Each delegate could choose two expert hosts. The session was split into two with delegates having the opportunity to work on tables of 7 people with the expert host for 40 minutes. Many of these discussions focused on the practical implications of the changes presented in the morning, with delegates sharing their own problems and solutions. Round table hosts David Bloom Head of PR and Deputy Managing Director, Target Live David Bloom is the Head of PR and Deputy Managing Director of Target Live. David started his career at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Over the years with Target Live he has managed the PR for numerous shows in the West End and on national tour, as well as those throughout Europe, and handled the publicity for site-specific productions, dance, operas and arts festivals. Davids current clients include Disney, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright and this year he has opened the Wizard of Oz, starring Michael Crawford, at the London Palladium, and Dirty Dancing on its first ever UK Tour. Felicity Cowie Marketing, Sales and Box Office Manager, Wiltshire Music Centre and former BBC Panorama senior staff journalist Felicity Cowie worked as a senior staff journalist for BBC Panorama and BBC News, winning a Royal Television Society Award, pioneering user generated content on the BBC News Channel and making a film about citizen journalism in 2005 called Have You Got News For Us? for BBC World. She now manages the marketing and box office for Wiltshire Music Centre; a concert hall which attracts Grammy and Mercury Award winners and is a testament to people power and a powerful human desire for the arts as it started life as the dream of a community. She is passionate about engaging with audiences and how to use the whole gamut of communication tools efficiently. Felicity has also written award-winning short stories, published in anthologies by Harper Collins and Macmillan. Rgine Debatty Blogger at we-make-money-not-art.com Rgine Debatty is a blogger, curator and critic based in London and Turin. She writes about the intersection between art, science and social issues on her blog we-makemoney-not-art.com. She also contributes to several European design and art magazines and lectures internationally about the way artists, hackers and designers use science as a critical medium for discussion. She is the co-author of the 'sprint

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book' New Art/Science Affinities Published by: Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University and CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Caroline Frost Entertainment Editor, The Huffington Post UK Caroline Frost is the Entertainment Editor for The Huffington Post UK, which launched last year. She spent the previous four years working in Australia, based at Melbournes Herald Sun, where she helped to develop the online arm of the News Limited titles, working cross-media with print and audio-video teams. Before that, she was an online producer for BBC News, concentrating on Entertainment, Arts, Profiles and Features. Nancy Groves Editor, Guardian Culture Professionals Network Nancy Groves is a freelance arts and features journalist with a decades experience both inside and outside the newsroom. She started out as a local arts reporter at Newsquest South London, turning freelance in 2008, since when she has balanced writing commitments with a range of online roles at the Guardian. In November 2011, she launched the Guardian Culture Professionals Network, a new online community for the arts, culture and heritage sectors, which she also edits. As well as writing for the Guardian, she contributes regularly to other publications including The Independent, Archants network of London lifestyle magazines and a range of specialist arts websites, from Ideas Tap to Whatsonstage.com, previewing, reviewing and interviewing across all arts forms. Nicola Heywood-Thomas Presenter, BBC Radio Wales Nicola presents Radio Wales' weekly arts show, usually broadcast on Wednesday evenings. Nicola has been making programmes about the arts for almost twenty years and is still fascinated by what makes artists tick. Often it's the stories behind the art form that are just as interesting as the end product and Nicola readily admits that she loves talking to performers and artists. She hates the idea that people are sometimes put off the arts because they think it's all too serious and highbrow, and is very keen to prove that there's something for everyone on the arts scene in Wales. Liz Hill Consultant Editor and Director, Arts Professional Liz Hill was a senior lecturer in marketing at Anglia Polytechnic University (now Anglia Ruskin University) in Cambridge from 1991 to 2001, where she designed and launched its MA in Arts Administration. An author of many business books, she is the Editor of ArtsProfessional magazine and, as a qualified market researcher, normally takes the senior researcher role in the companys many consultancy projects. She has recently led a series of seminars for the Arts Marketing Association on the development of Friends schemes.
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Rebecca Jones Arts Correspondent, BBC News Rebecca Jones is the BBC's Arts Correspondent. She has been in the post since 2002. Rebecca first joined the BBC as a News Trainee. During her career there she has worked as a foreign correspondent, based in Berlin, as the Midlands correspondent and as a presenter on the BBC News Channel. She has also worked in regional television, presenting the nightly news programme at Anglia. Phil Miller Arts Correspondent, The Herald and Times, Scotland Phil Miller has been Arts Correspondent for The Herald since 2002. Prior to joining The Herald, the Scottish national newspaper based in Glasgow, he was Scottish Arts Correspondent for the Sunday Times, Arts Reporter for The Scotsman, and began his career as a reporter at The Glaswegian weekly newspaper. He was named Arts Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards in 2010, and was runner up in 2011. Born in Kent in 1973, he grew up in Barnard Castle, County Durham, and studied History at the University of Edinburgh, and journalism at the University of Strathclyde. Rob Sharp Freelance arts journalist (former arts correspondent The Independent) Rob Sharp is a freelance arts journalist. Until recently he worked as arts correspondent of The Independent and i newspapers where he was primarily responsible for covering the daily arts news diary for the two newspapers, along with regularly supplying exclusive news content. He worked for The Independent for four years, reporting to both the news and features editors. He has previously supplied regular arts stories to The Observer, and more occasionally The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and previously shortlisted as young journalist of the year at the British Press Awards. Mark Shenton Theatre critic Sunday Express and The Stage Mark Shenton is theatre critic of the Sunday Express, writes a daily blog for The Stage (www.thestage.co.uk/shenton) for whom he also regularly writes reviews and features, and is London correspondent for Playbill.com. He is a contributing editor to Theatrevoice.com, for whom he hosts monthly round table audio critical discussions. He has also written liner notes for many albums, and regularly hosts public interviews at the Donmar Warehouse and National Theatre. He can be followed on Twitter @shentonstage. John Wyver Writer and producer, Illuminations John Wyver is a writer and producer with Illuminations. His recent broadcast work includes the performance films of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet (BBC, 2009) and Macbeth (BBC, 2010). He is currently preparing a film for television of the
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RSC's Julius Caesar, directed by Gregory Doran. He has been producing arts and media documentaries for thirty years, and his broadcast work has been honoured with a BAFTA, an International Emmy, and a Peabody Award. He has also produced films for Illuminations' own DVD publishing initiative, as well as projects for a wide range of cultural organisations and for iPad and other tablets. John is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Westminster where he is principal investigator of the three-year AHRC-funded research project Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television (2011-14; more details at http://screenplaystv.wordpress.com/). He is the author of Vision On: Film, Television and the Arts in Britain (2007), and he blogs regularly at www.illuminationsmedia.co.uk.

These hosts were joined by the keynote speakers Paul Bradshaw and Martin Belam and AMA board member Jane Donald accompanied Rob Sharp, feeding back on his behalf at the Plenary.

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Press and PR Summit: 2012

Plenary
During the final session, the 14 Round Table hosts came together with Tim Wood as chair to feedback points raised during the round tables and for a final discussion. Tim Wood (TW) welcomed delegates back to the main theatre and introduced the round table hosts, inviting each to say something about their round tables. Rgine Debatty (RD): We were talking about blogs, with many points around the problem with bloggers. Where do you find the bloggers that matter to your organisation, how do we identify the ones who are interested in what you are doing and can write an informed, intelligent or interesting review? And how do we evaluate their work or measure their impact? We had a few answers. We could look at how many people follow them on Twitter, or how many like their Facebook page. Comments dont seem to be a good measure as people dont comment on blogs as much as they used to. One good suggestion was that we could ask our audience which blogs they are following. The main challenge for press officers though, is that we have work to do looking at blogs and evaluating which ones are good and have talent. There is a question about how we interact with bloggers, with ideas such as extra value through backstage elements suggested though many felt they should be treated no differently from other press contacts. Caroline Frost (CF): The Huffington Post has a bloggers forum which is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to blog themselves or get people in their talent field to discuss their experiences. It is difficult to compete for space though and one of the ways of dealing with this is to concentrate on topicality and the personalities involved, having confidence in the story, realising that it can find an audience that so many trashy things that dont deserve an audience currently do. Phil Miller (PM): We talked about the value of coverage in traditional newspapers compared to the digital sphere. It was felt that senior members of staff, directors etc still preferred piles of press cuttings from a broadsheet such as The Daily Telegraph rather than diffuse digital coverage. We also talked about the difference between bloggers and journalists and which we trusted most if we had a difficult story for example how does each react? The white noise of the digital sphere can sometimes cover up the need for good relationships between press officers and media. This is where a telephone call can be more impactful than hoping people will pick up our information. The debate about exclusives continued [from the morning]. We agreed that newspapers may want something distinctive and unique and being able to provide this, whether as an exclusive or not could be valuable. John Wyver (JW): When I wrote down the four ideas of our discussion they spelled DREC but I hope that it was actually better than that. Data is an opportunity. There was a heart warming story that came from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford where they discovered that the log books of the Battle of Britain flights worked out as
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Tweets very well. Therefore the museum used Twitter to repeat these logs over the course of a summer to great effect. Resources were obviously a key question. How do you find the time and energy to extend your activities with all these new opportunities? Related to this was evaluation assessing how well each of these activities was working. How are they furthering the strategy of the organisation? Understanding systems of measurement was crucial. The most interesting discussion was around control - finding a balance between levels of control and opening up the processes and activities of an organisation. This was especially important related to the sensitivities of artists, actors etc which makes it difficult for us to find the right balance. David Bloom (DB): It feels like a PR version of Take me out up here. The sessions with PR officers contained vigorous discussions around issues such as exclusives. Yes, if Usain Bolt breaks his ankle it will be difficult to keep that secret. However, taking the analogy further it could be that there is an interview to be had with Usain Bolt and that is the sort of thing we can control. An important unsaid issue was the question of whether journalism itself is under threat and therefore PR officers needing to redefine their roles. It might be about moderating what is happening rather than controlling it. There will also be the need to continue working with traditional journalists like Rebecca and Mark who are the trusted, credible voices. They have validity because of the quality of what they write. A challenge over the years will be the way we work with the core press as well as develop new tools and contacts. Mark Shenton (MS): As a working journalist and theatre critic who multi-tasks and multi-platforms as never before, so PRs will have to accommodate lots of different interactions. Its a question of who leads and who follows and who owns the story? Journalists are primary distributors but are no longer the only distributors instead of them being the last word on a show they are now the first word. There is so much noise out there now that figures like Michael Billington of The Guardian are becoming even more powerful because they can stand out above the noise. That conversation needs to be monitored as never before. For example, how do you respond to negative comments? Theres a danger of being too defensive or giving too much of a pr message. Twitter accounts from theatres which are just tweets out rather than an opportunity for conversation will be ignored by journalists. Rebecca Jones (RJ): The overwhelming message from my two tables was that one size does not fit all. There is a place for new media, especially for engaging with current audiences but its complementary to not instead of traditional media. There is nothing to beat human personal contact. We discussed a brave new world in which there was no journalism, BBC etc, but there was a feeling that there would always be opinion formers and experts who are above the fray who are respected. So its a case of finding a balance between New and Traditional Media.

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Paul Bradshaw (PB): There was an interesting tension on the tables, between fear of what social media could lead to and passion about the way that the arts could be covered. Passion for the arts is a real opportunity compared to areas such as education or health. This idea of openness is a key one. It needs to start with the people who work in your organisation, ensuring information is shared amongst everyone. The organisation now goes beyond the walls of your office or venue so its important to include audiences and users. They have a vital role to play. The issue of print media vs. bloggers/online media was interesting because print is based on commercial necessity with limited space for mass audiences. On the other hand bloggers can be unreliable but they have niche strengths and add to the coverage that traditional print media can provide. Nancy Groves (NG): Im here because we cover these issues for the Guardian Culture Professionals Network which is also an example of the open journalism we have been talking about. In our two sessions we discussed control of message and quality and also control of space the realisation that arts organisations might have to send people away from their website and be confident that theyll come back. We also talked about planning and strategy, with a strong call not to throw out long term plans, but leaving space for us to react and be responsive. Its also more important than ever to be targeted about who we are talking to because of the number of possibilities. This involves connecting with individuals and being personal about it. Connecting with other networks and picking the right ones is vital. Finally, in both sessions it was thought necessary to change the cultures within our own organisations, because some are not so sold on these new approaches. Jane Donald (JD): Many of the things from our session have already been said, which is probably good as it means there is validity to what we are saying. One thing I would add though is that so many of the key challenges and skills of press officers remain the same. It needs someone to say that the time when you are drunk at the launch is not the best time to Tweet about something from the company account. It could also be about listening to people audiences, journalists etc or balancing risks and opportunities for the organisation. Felicity Cowie (FC): Ive worked for a regional newspaper when we had one machine which could access the internet and we had to book time to use it, Ive also worked for BBC Panorama and am now marketing manager at a concert hall so it is interesting to see this from different perspectives. We talked about social media and the need to be generous not just talking about yourself all the time or advocate others during the quiet times and then cash in the favours. There was a concern about how we can add on all these extra things to our already busy schedules. We need not to terrify ourselves and introduce small steps that we can follow. Martin Belam (MB): There was a nice combination of people who were at the shiny end of new technology producing apps that led to an exhibition installation and others
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who were still printing out press releases and putting them in the post because thats what journalists wanted. There were some good stories such as the museum that produced mysterious paper sculptures, with the photographs arousing a great deal of interest. Another debate centred on media going direct to the creatives and missing out the press officer as mediator. An interesting parallel to JDs point about core competencies of press officers not having changed is also relevant to the people working in the media and their competencies. Nicola Heywood-Thomas (NHT): What didnt come out of my sessions was any sense of fear about working with social media. There was a strong belief however that it would be a mistake to abandon traditional media. Many of the arts organisations were very active. The National Theatre of Scotland has extended its press calls to social media which has been successful. The National Museum of Scotland has been successful targeting young people with Twitter for their late night events. On the other hand, one organisation told of bloggers responding why are you inviting us to this rubbish you patronising bastards? when invited to a press event Twitter accounts should be personalised. If it comes from a pr or marketing department it could be a bit too salesy. The Wales Millennium Centre has a daily meeting when they work out what they will be putting out that day. There were also interesting points about the necessity for transparency to the audience which social media provides. In some circles there is also still the need for the expert critic. Liz Hill (LH): Many basics still exist. A relationship with a journalist is important, a good story is key, as is timing and good writing. I will tell a story of my own, since I am at the end of the line and it shows the way in which a story can snowball. My 12 year old son hit the headlines last year because he decided to wear a skirt to school, in protest at not being allowed to wear shorts. He phoned up the Cambridge News and got his picture on the front page. This brought in the local television, followed by national TV, it was picked up on Twitter and 24 hours later he was trending globally. This in turn interested international TV and by the end of the week the story had been on When Have I Got News For You and the Radio 4 News Quiz. We thought that would be the end of it, but bloggers then picked up on it and made it a human rights story. By the end of the year he had been nominated for a human rights award and it was again in the reviews of the year. It seems to have calmed down now, but it shows how a story can snowball. Lynsey Martenstyn, Churchill Theatre: What if there arent enough credible journalists in your region, if youre working regionally as I am? MS: There are huge pressures on regional journalists. Frequently, there will be several openings on the same night which doesnt help perhaps arts organisations could talk to each other. Also, many critics arent paid travel expenses anymore. So consider the implications. You could find your own critics / bloggers as weve discussed, cultivating them and encouraging them to submit their material to the local
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press. And remember that Lyn Gardner turning up might not be the answer to your problems she might hate your show. DB: Its not always as simple as there being no credible critics out there. It may be beyond the responsibility of the press officer. It could be a wider issue with your theatre/venue itself and you might need to talk about the programmer/director about dealing with this in a holistic way. NG: One of the unspoken points about theatres in the outer ring of London (as Churchill Theatre is) is that they are treated as regional venues and dont get the coverage that Inner London venues have. A possible answer might be to collaborate with other arts organisations, working together and pooling resources. TW: Its interesting that we are talking about a lack of authoritative voices at the same time as we are looking at the explosion of online work. RJ: Youve got to have good news and you need to be realistic about what will actually be covered. For example, The Today Programme is a political programme with very little space/time for coverage of the arts. Theres nothing wrong with good local coverage. Charli Hill, Mac: One of the things that has come out of today is thinking more about mobile and looking a few years ahead. What are your tips for staying ahead of the curve? What is next on the horizon? MB: Some people find it really dull, but technology blogs are useful. I met someone who used to be a futurologist and when asked about what would happen in 5 years time used to say I dont do short term predictions. Its quite difficult think about where things were 5 years ago and imagine the sort of developments that have happened. Data connectivity will soon be so fast well find it bizarre that it ever wasnt that way and likewise that you wouldnt have a hand held device that connected to the internet instantly. Also, I think any area where there are middle people is going to struggle because it will be much easier to go direct (for example Estate Agents). Its fascinating and terrifying. Deirdre Figaro, Craftspace: I feel encouraged that social media platforms need the multiplicity of authorities, because some parts of the arts have been stuck with the same people of reputation having a big influence for many years so I welcome the democratisation which will bring through a new generation of opinion formers. TW: Im going to turn this into a question for CF is this something which The Huffington Post does is this where new opinion formers can be found? CF: It acknowledges itself to be a curator of content rather than just a provider so its quite visionary in that sense. My position in entertainment and arts is quite

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straitjacketed in that I am neither a critic nor a sycophantic genuflector. It leaves the field wide open for new voices wide ranging diverse outside of London. MS: One of the interesting things is that the Huffington Post is based on a business model of not paying contributors, which is free journalism and is undermining journalism, period. TW: There is an issue in this for all of us where is the money coming from? MS: Ariana Huffington made $315m from selling the site and she hasnt paid any of the contributors to write the blog content that fuelled that site. Well be all out of business because no-one will pay us and what well be left with is a load of well meaning amateurs. Those who are blogging for free are only able to do it because they are being paid for other work they are doing. You dont have people turning up at accountancy firms and offering to do that work for free. We are being destroyed and it is organisations like the Huffington Post that are doing it. TW: Will the money come from the best stories though? Are you being paid for being an authoritative voice? PM: I dont think any newspaper has worked out how to make money from the internet yet. I do worry about the truth of what is being said by commentators some of the time. The pyramid that we looked at this morning with verification at the top being very small worried me. PB: The reason that verification is small and at the top is that it is built on all the other things below it documentation etc. Its where the greatest value is and its something to aim for. I agree with some of the points made about free journalism, but I think its unfair to blame the Huffington Post because it is to do with wider points about the media industry. Whilst some writers dont get paid, they may receive other benefits such as gaining coverage for the arts. I also take issue with the idea that it is only people who are paid who have the only or best contribution to make. Journalism is still healthy but the industry of publishing is in a crisis and we do need to find a way of supporting good journalism. TW: A lot of what we have spoken about is the speed. Is there a danger that we are losing the capacity to reflect and take time? PM: We have to be quick but there is a risk of getting it wrong. People read the news instantly so why does anyone buy the paper the next morning? They want the analysis and deeper elements, background and explanation but whether this is sustainable in the long term is another question. NHT: No-one is going to expect something very deep from a Tweet this is understood.

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NG: Sometimes MS will tweet about something as he comes out of a show and then write a blog or deeper article and review later. Its just that there are more possibilities now. MS: All the different elements can fit together they have various different roles. NG: While its necessary for journalists to have a distance, it is important to show the passion for what we are doing. FC: This role of journalists handing down the news has changed because everyone is their own editor using Google to find the story we want. DB: An important word that is missing here is accountability its relevant for many of the things we have talked about in the last few minutes. The people on the tables all have accountability to their organisations. MS has accountability to his paper and online portal. Who is the person putting out a Tweet which is inaccurate, even if it is deleted, accountable to? FC: There is always someone in the village that we respect and Im not sure that that has changed. We respect their opinion. DB: I disagree slightly because people can be influenced by some things online without really understanding where it comes from. MS: You could sue a blogger for libel but they wont do so because they arent a big organisation with money. They will go after a paper but not an individual (even though thats possible) because that is the only thing that makes commercial sense. Rebecca Willett, Sheffield Theatres Trust: Liz, did your son get to wear shorts? LH: Its still up for debate. It will be a democratic decision made between parents, pupils and teachers! TW: That seems to be a good place to stop. Its been a fascinating day looking at how the arts and media can work together. Ten years or so ago if there had been a group of mainly press officers on the floor and mainly media people on the stage the debate would have been around how do we get more coverage? But it hasnt been about this and it seems that this is partly because the arts and the media are now working together, facing similar challenges and trying to do many of the same things.

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Delegate List
Anna Cook, Artichoke Chloe Barker, Arts Council England Helen Draper, artsdepot Liz Hill, ArtsProfessional Frances Richens, ArtsProfessional Keith Motson, Association of British Orchestras Gerry Wall, Audiences UK Rebecca Jones, BBC News Nicola Heywood-Thomas, BBC Radio Wales Ruth Saunders, Belgrade Theatre Henning Maalsnes, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Mandy Rose, Birmingham Hippodrome Sally Pennington, Birmingham Hippodrome Clare Jepson-Homer, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Eleanor Miles, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Simon Harper, Birmingham Royal Ballet Liz Cartwright, Cartwright Communications Sabina Maharjan, Cartwright Communications Lynsey Martenstyn, Churchill Theatre Cat McNaught, Citizens Theatre Yasmin Khan, Clore Leadership Programme Jill Read, Crafts Council Lisa Falaschi, Craftspace Louise Booth, Elementas John Walker, English Touring Opera Stuart Mackenzie, EventScotland Rebecca Byers, Festival City Theatres Trust Rob Sharp, Freelance arts journalist Martin Belam, Guardian Media Group Nancy Groves, Guardian Media Group Jonathan Goodacre, Gusto Arts Management Sandra Reynolds, Heart n Soul Andrew Willshire, Horniman Museum Shuk Kwan Liu, Horniman Museum John Wyver, Illuminations Simon Drysdale, Impact Alex Knight, Imperial War Museum North Tim Woodall, Intermusica Esther Blaine, IWM Duxford Kitty Greenleaf, Jo Allan PR Sofia Nazar-Chadwick, Lakeside Arts Centre
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Jenny Morgan, Liverpool Empire Pippa Lea, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Dominic Beaumont, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Tom Hunter, London Calling Arts Ltd Tom Butler, London Calling Arts Ltd Anita Mistry, London Calling Arts Ltd Charli Hill, Mac Paul Bradshaw, Media consultant, author and trainer Katharine Sorensen, Milton Keynes Gallery Justine Watkins, Motionhouse Dance Theatre Susan Gray, National Museums Scotland Emma Schad, National Theatre of Scotland Andrew Neilson, National Theatre of Scotland Catrin Rogers, National Theatre Wales Jan Singleton, NESTA Nayo Hunt, New Art Exchange Stacey Pedder, New Wimbledon Theatre & Studio Amanda Howson, Northampton Arts Management Trust Ruth Burke-Kennedy, Northern Ballet Lynn Hanna, Nottingham Contemporary Lindsey Porter, Opera North Vicki Foster, Orchard Theatre Natasha Stehr, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Madeleine Woolgar, Oxford Playhouse Kate Stirrup, Palace & Opera House Frances Moran, People United Joanna Savage, Royal Academy of Dance Vronique Van Passel, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp Jane Donald, Royal Scottish National Orchestra Helen Dunning, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Abigail Desch, Sadler's Wells Kingsley Jayasekera, Sadler's Wells Suzanne Bull, School of Media and Performance Ann Nugent, Scottish Ballet Rebecca Storey, Shakespeare's Globe Rebecca Willett, Sheffield Theatres Trust Stephanie Lilley, Somerset House Trust Gary Andrews, Spotlight Mark Shenton, Sunday Express and The Stage David Bloom, Target Live Marika Player, Target Live James Lever, Target Live Guy Chapman, Target Live
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Amanda Stucklin, The Goldsmiths' Company Phil Miller, The Herald and Times Group, Scotland Caroline Frost, The Huffington Post UK Mel Hide, The National Archives Angela Owusu, The National Archives Tim Wood, The Place Marta Bogna, The Place Rachel Williams, The Place Beckie Smith, The Roses Theatre Rachel Knowles, Theatre Royal Brighton Kate Raines, Theatre Royal Winchester Caroline Durbin, ThinkTank Trust Lyle Bignon, Town Hall & Symphony Hall Sarah Dee, Traverse Theatre Jane Richardson, UK Centre for Carnival Arts Nia Jones, Wales Millennium Centre Regine Debatty, we-make-money-not-art.com Paula Rabbitt, West Yorkshire Playhouse Amanda Trickett, West Yorkshire Playhouse Felicity Cowie, Wiltshire Music Centre Gemma Nethersole, Worthing Theatres Esther Currie, YDance Laura Butler, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Julie Aldridge, AMA Isky Roberts, AMA Ali Gannage-Stewart, AMA Neil Parker, AMA Helen Bolt, AMA

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