And what is Comms and Marketing anyway?
When I started as CEO at Music Mark, we were a very small team and none of us had specific skills in communications (comms) and marketing.*
* Ok, so many of you reading this might already know, but just in case you didn’t, ‘comms’ is generally about getting messages to an audience (think newsletters and bulletins) and marketing is about promoting something or selling a product or service (think membership or conference tickets). Both are really important to the success of an organisation and if you’re reading this blog our plan for both is working…
I remember my predecessor telling me that I needed to keep an eye on twitter and to keep Music Mark in the social media spotlight, but I wondered how I was to do that without getting so distracted that I’d be unable to do everything else. Soon after my appointment, I reflected on what we really needed going forward as an organisation. Enter Stephanie Kennedy – our first Comms and Marketing Manager.
Her arrival meant we started to plan our comms strategically. As my erratic attempts at social media ceased and Stephanie took over, our digital engagement with the membership increased. Stephanie also created original content for the website and produced more exciting newsletters for our membership. She helped us to reflect on how we ‘sold’ ourselves, and like magic our membership and its engagement grew! I learnt so much from her about the importance of a comms and marketing plan, and now continue to learn from Fi and Lucy in the comms and marketing team, from SEO and analytics to social media scheduling and copywriting tips. Who knew you could schedule tweets so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing every hour to say something to keep your followers engaging with you?!
One thing that’s evolved over time is our newsletters. When I first began, I’d write an editorial each week in the bulletin we sent to Music Services and Hub Lead Partners. However, it was often very long and was only ever seen by some of our membership. Rather than suggesting I had some training in writing more succinctly (although perhaps that might be something Fi and Lucy are wishing they had suggested) I was asked to write a blog on a different topic each week. Same kind of content as my old editorial – telling you more than you probably wanted to know about my family and growing up in Hampshire – but without the word limits! Whilst it has surprised me that my blog seems to be popular, I hope that what I write is helping to let you know more about what Music Mark is doing behind the scenes.
Although I have learnt many skills throughout my career in music, I still feel quite a novice on the subject of Comms and Marketing. Fi and Lucy however are great, and I am delighted to say that they are working with one of our consultants Carmel Cardona to develop some training sessions and toolkits. We know that lots of you found the media toolkit we prepared as part of the Get Playing campaign useful, so now we’re hoping to help broaden this concept to guide those who have been given any responsibility for communicating with others and/or trying to promote or sell products or services.
However, to help ensure what we provide is really what you need, we would love to hear from you. What particular support might you need to revitalise your newsletters or tell stories of projects and events? And how about reaching new pupils or getting more people to your concerts? Do get in touch with the Comms & Marketing team and tell them what you’d like to see included in these toolkits.
Of course I do still keep an eye on twitter during the day, but it’s great to know that a plan means that the Music Mark feed is kept alive without my erratic engagement!