This summer, with the help of Cole Armitage, our Canada Summer Jobs and Ontario Summer Experience Program-funded Digital Communications Manager, Orchestras Canada embarked on an in-depth evaluation of our digital communications and content. Using surveys, analytic data, discussions with peer organizations, and a lot of internal debate, our goal was to find areas where we could improve both the content we offered and the techniques we were using to get it to you.
We offer a heartfelt thanks to the people who participated in any of the surveys we sent out to different groups during the month of July. Your input was extremely valuable, and we took it to heart. We’re also grateful to our provincial and federal funders, who made Cole’s time with us possible.
Here’s a quick outline of the things we have learned, and the changes we will be making in the upcoming months.
We asked questions about communication frequency, content, format, social media use, and your own definition of your relationship to Orchestras Canada. We learned what content was important to you, and where and how we might deliver that content to you. We also thought a lot about OC’s own mandate, membership, relationships, resources, and strategy.
Here’s what we’ve come up with.
In September 2015, we are discontinuing Orchestra News and Info Orchestres. The newsletters in their current format cost well over $10,000 per year to produce, and while the engagement of readers was high, actual readership was relatively low. This is the final issue of the newsletter in its current form.
There’s good news, though. If you were subscribing to Orchestra News to learn more about Canadian orchestras, take heart! In place of the newsletters, we’ll be offering a curated, dual-language e-newspaper with stories about Canadian orchestras curated from Twitter links and media releases from member orchestras. The e-newspaper will be available on the OC website starting next week; you’ll also be able to subscribe through Paper.li. We’ll send you more details about this once the first issue is available.
If you’re responsible for your orchestra’s media coverage and social media, we’re here to help! Just tweet your content to us, and include a link to a webpage with your tweet. Our aggregator should pick it up automatically.
We’re re-orienting our Facebook page to primarily focus on posts of interest to musicians and emerging arts managers: job postings and pertinent stories from around the web.
If you want to make sure you see all of our Facebook posts, just:
- Click on the little arrow on the top right hand side of your Facebook page; then
- Click on “newsfeed preferences” on the dropdown menu; then
- Click on “Prioritize Who to See First”, then
- Click on the Orchestras Canada logo. You’ll then see more of what we share.
We’ll continue to use Twitter to share news about Canadian orchestras, interesting articles, job postings and updates from OC.
If you work in a management role at a member orchestra, you can look forward to periodic and targeted emails from us with updates, news about program offerings, and opportunities for engagement in OC’s work on behalf of Canadian orchestras.
If you’re a donor or friend to OC, we’re working on some other strategies to stay in touch with you, by email, in person, and through Canada Post. We value your support.
Changes to our website are underway! To start with, we’re re-orienting the presentation of reference and learning materials on our website, to make them easier to find and to use. More changes (including a move to a truly mobile-responsive design) are in the works.
We’re re-animating our email discussion groups! One of the benefits of membership and associate organization status with OC is the opportunity to participate in email exchanges with peers across the country through OC’s list servs. If you work as an administrator or board member of a member or associate orchestra or youth orchestra, we probably have an email discussion group group for you – and would be delighted to connect you with your peers through the magic of a single email address. You can view and subscribe to any of the lists we offer here.
We value your continued support of Orchestras Canada, and we hope that the changes we’re implementing will serve you even better in the days to come.