Announcing the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy


We are offering 20 arts marketers an exciting opportunity to take part in the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy. This is a fully-funded project which will create innovative digital experiments to develop audiences, with progress and outcomes being shared across the whole sector.

The Academy is open to individuals working within arts organisations, or as a Joint Fellowship (for example, a CEO and a marketing colleague, or a senior marketer working with a coder). Participation is free, and project progress and outcomes will be documented and shared to the benefit of the whole sector.

The Digital Marketing Academy is supported by funding from Arts Council England, and is open to cultural practitioners in England.

Applications are open now. Find out more and apply now at the Digital Marketing Academy mini-site.

Download the full AMA press release about the Digital Marketing Academy (PDF)

Get connected with our April-July season of events

We’re very excited to launch our new April—July season of events. This season features some fantastic new opportunities to develop your professional skills, discover new areas of cultural marketing and network with other AMA members.

As well as events happening across the UK, we are building on our programme of online workshops – so you can learn without even leaving the office!

Browse the brochure above, or download a PDF copy. If you’re an AMA member, watch out for your copy arriving in the post very soon. If anything catches your eye, booking for most events is open now on the AMA website.

From Russia with engagement

How can cultural organisations engage audience on social media? Anna Mikhaylova, Social Media Mediator at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, describes their experience in going from no engagement to healthy interaction.

State Historical Museum. Photo: Georgy Sapozhnikov

State Historical Museum. Photo: Georgy Sapozhnikov

Moscow’s State Historical Museum (SHM) is one of the biggest museums in Russia. The museum started using Facebook and Twitter (@1stHistorical) in 2010. However, there was no clear understanding of how to do this, or even why.

Initial approach

The first three years saw a “copy and paste” approach to social media activity: the museum simply republished information from the official website on social media, with no audience interaction. At the end of 2012, the Ministry of Culture started requiring museums to provide data on the use of social media. Staff at the SHM knew the situation had to change dramatically. Continue reading

Copywriting: Big results from small changes

In the build-up to the AMA’s one-off workshop on copy optimisation at the end of March, expert copywriter and CEO of Sticky Content Catherine Toole introduces the idea and shows how simple techniques can deliver big, measurable results for your campaigns.

Catherine Toole

If you have pages of web content, send steady streams of email and intend to increase your content marketing and social media activity, you need to know about copy optimisation. The idea is that you can make your content work harder for you – delivering bigger and better measurable returns – just by crafting, testing and measuring the tiny pieces of text in key user interactions. Email sign-up and subject lines, online booking forms, exhibition and show previews, membership and donations information, invitations to download… all these can be made more effective using optimisation techniques.

Tiny text-only fixes can have a cumulatively large effect. They also tend to be quick and cheap to implement and perfect for a spot of multi-variate (MVT) or split testing. Most of all they are measurable, so they’re a great way to help you build an internal business case for greater investment in content. The notion that changing a word or two can work wonders, especially within a transactional process or a key call to action, is not new. Dan Siroker, the Director of Analytics during the Obama 2008 presidential campaign, blogged widely about the millions of extra dollars donated as a result of their MVT. It included many copy tests – for example, pitching Sign Up against Learn More buttons.

Continue reading

In case you missed it…

Taras Young, the AMA’s Digital Content Manager, rounds up some key reports and developments from the cultural sector in the last few months.


Culture for everyone

Arts Council England set out its updated 10-year vision in “Great art and culture for everyone”. The strategic framework brings together two previously separate strategic frameworks in order to have a single document covering libraries and museums, as well as the arts. The document outlines the body’s role in advocating for publicly-funded arts organisations, and encouraging partnerships with the private sector, as well as its investment plans.

Meanwhile, the independent report “Rebalancing our cultural capital” made a case for rethinking how arts funding is distributed. It focuses particularly on an apparent over-emphasis on London-based organisations.

Abigail Pogson, Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music, responded to the report with a dissection of spending within London itself, pointing out that the majority of London boroughs outside the centre receive less per head than the national average. She calls for more thought about who the ultimate beneficiaries of funding are, rather than where in the country the money goes.

Examining innovation in the cultural sector

Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta joined forces to publish a report entitled “Digital Culture”. The report surveyed nearly 900 arts organisations to discover how they are using technology, how it impacts on their work, and how it is changing the relationship with audiences. The research will continue for two more years.

Rachel Coldicutt, director of digital developers Caper, took this report – together with the Arts Council England strategic framework and other recent developments – and considered the ways in which discussion of digital innovation is being framed by those leading the cultural sector.

Around the sector

Two major audience development agencies in Scotland, Culture Sparks and The Audience Business, are merging to form Culture Republic, billed as a new cultural engagement hub.

Meanwhile, arts coverage continues to grow on the BBC following former Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall’s appointment as Director-General. Grayson Perry presented the BBC’s annual Reith Lectures, which this year looked at the art world and its relationship with the public. All four lectures are now available to download as podcasts from the BBC.

Have you spotted a report or news item that might interest fellow arts marketers? Let us know via Twitter or email.