Where academic reporting meets musical theatre
Yes, you are reading that correctly! From March to May 2016 I was commissioned as The New Optimists Social Media Producer. They wanted someone to 'DO' social media. With the budget I received this is what I did. I cam up with the title Social Media Producer.
That is producer, not maker. Whats the difference? In this blog I hope I can explain.
Firstly, what is a producer anyway? This definition illustrates my point
"Producers play an integral role in the television, film and video industries. A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes. Producers work closely with the directors and other production staff on a shoot...the producer deals with all the practical and political aspects of keeping a project running smoothly, so that the director and the rest of the team can concentrate on the creative aspects."
Now, a producer in these terms is a scoped role far more extensive than I delivered to The New Optimists but the sentiment of how I approached the commission are reflected in the tasks producers carry out. To me a social media person is integral, sees a project through from concept to completion, may be involved with marketing and works closely with the direct and production staff. As a social media person the reputation and portrayal of the project online and understanding the multitude of social media accounts distributing context appropriately while nurturing an audience is an important part of what I do. Pre - Performance - and Post. Legacy is is important to me too.
Being new to the organisation my first task was to understand who they "The New Optimists" were, what resources thay had for me to work with and what their overriding expectation of social media output was going to be.
The expectations were to
- provide contextual resources relating to each song in the musical to be tweeted in real-time during performance
- raise the profile of the project to attract audience
- build a simple web presence to begin separating The New Optimists main website from their Narrativium creative project based work.
- support the creative and production team with social media output
As producer I was able to step back from the creation of the social media out of necessity, with the budget little time was available for editing or considered composition. For example, I requested company members write a short blog post each. I took the text, accented the posts with a photo before publishing the posts on the The Optimists website.
All the blog posts were tagged StopFoodCrime - Read them HERE - that tagged category produced a URL from the website containing only those posts tagged StopFoodCrime.
With a limited budget the effective use of folksomony is extremely valuable. Hashtags are folksonomic. User defined terms to provide quick access or knowledge retrieval.
My second task was to make it all happen with as little impact on the creative production process as possible. I want to iterate that this role was not about marketing or advertising, it was about defining an audience and a legacy. What happens next to this project is unknown to me but my objective was to deliver a collection of media to act as a beacon online for what ever comes next... at a guess the further work of raising a general awareness about Food Crime and the work that is on going to protect the integrity of out food supply, globally.
Wow, big stuff when you see it in writing like that.
So... understanding. For every project or client I build a digital scrapbook. This is a page hosted on my PCM website where feeds and content embed widgets can be collected.
Its a mish-mash, not particularly elegant but serves a purpose, to pull all the available media relating to the project together.
Now the project is over this is it's PCM legacy.