Cultural institutions need to amplify their role in online content creation.
While there is a strong movement for institutions to be present on various online channels (especially social media), more significant steps are needed to establish them with a global impact.
The internet presents a massive opportunity for anyone to create and publish content. However, only a few knowledge transfer institutions manage to do so with a high reach.
If academics are wondering what to do against the mass of poorly researched - or made up – content, then using their skills and knowledge combined with the technical possibilities of today’s content distribution online might be a great step forward as it holds excellent opportunities.
I would argue that the current trend to mistrust “the media” presents an important opportunity for institutions to rise as the source of credible content. This is specifically true for smaller, lesser-known knowledge institutions, like museums, universities or art foundations.
Multiple factors might help to fuel this transformation:
Establish Digital Reach as a Core Number
If institutions put the sole focus on “traditional” KPIs such as visitor numbers, they reduce the role of digital communication to merely a marketing instrument and disregard the opportunities these channels pose for knowledge transformation and education.
A person educated about the content of an exhibition/program in any form online has the same value as a physical visitor.
This fact should be reflected by establishing the online reach of unique visitors into the core reporting and goals of the institution.
Resources for Digital Should be Integrated into the Program
Integrating online communications into the (curatorial) program opens a different view on digital content creation and enables the access of varying budget methods.
Presenting content online can be easily intertwined with an exhibition on-site. For an example on how this can be implemented, check out https://art.treat.agency/detail/hdgoe.
Open up to a Sponsor
Plenty of brands are looking for content creation and possibilities that give them a chance to position themselves near a cultural/academic level. By including a brand into the content creation, both parties can profit from each other: the brand becomes an integrative part of a meaningful project, and the institution finds a partner that enhances their online reach and can pitch for a bigger budget.
Get a Partner and Let Go
I have seen a lot of resistance when it comes to including digital communication experts (or agencies), especially from (old-school) curators. Their main argument is the questionable reputation of the medium. But that depends what you do with it and is not defined by itself. A partner – yes, just like us – can help you maintain the integrity and build up your reach. Every institution’s goal is to communicate their program to the largest proportion of the target audience. So, our goals do match.
Many people I meet often don’t understand the importance of a copywriter.
A possible reason might be a topic which keeps bubbling up – that the internet killed “reading.”
So even though I secretly hope that most people will find this blog entry of mine not very new, I’d like to provide an answer to those, who are yet to understand why it is essential to pay for good copy.
With the rise of social media and all the wilderness once called “viral videos,” there is still this (mis-)conception in a lot of (marketing) people’s heads, that all you need to do is produce glossy, catchy, and breathtaking content (aka videos) and all will be fine.
However, this is simplifying a task that needs much more consideration. Such an approach leads to clients thinking that they can save money by doing the copy themselves.
The fact that great content is based on more than a good video is slowly spreading.
In addition to high-quality video production, the content needs to be strategically crafted from the beginning. Nothing is more relevant to the content than a good story – which is formulated with good copy. You can have ever so many strategic thinkers at the table, but if you are not able to formulate their ideas into precise language, your genius strategy will fall flat.
In the beginning phase of our company, we have struggled with this a lot. We were rooted in programming, and it was a journey to discover that the most hindering factor to our creative success was the absence of a good copywriter.
We’ve had one on board for a while now (hey Karim and now Naa Teki) and it made a huge impact on quality.
I still have to explain why this position needs to be financed in projects and how much work text is. Interestingly, in our experience, it is mostly the clients in art + knowledge who are very hesitant about budgeting for something they think they don’t need. Because they are very invested in their own text production, they believe it is done well. What needs to be explained the most is that a lot of text work still needs to be optimized. Not because it is bad, but because the text is for a different use.
So, if you are just starting your business and want a hot tip: your first hire should be a copywriter.
I founded the agency in 2012, after years of freelancing madness. I think I’ve literally worked for every ad agency in Vienna. As soon as I had the money to put up the necessary capital for the company formation, I went for it.
Since then, I can proudly say – even if sometimes I wish I would have a “simple” 9-5 job – that we have grown (sometimes slower, sometimes faster) into a fun and dynamic team which ultimately is the company.
With time – and with the constant push of our stimulating and intellectual clients – we have started to implement more serious topics. Despite being a small team, gender equality, language usage, strategic vision, and work quality are discussed and deployed.
So even though we still believe in the force of the creative, handcrafted solutions we have always offered, we moved away from the “Manufaktur” and are growing into a more mature company with all the above themes integrated into our DNA as we expand even further.
The beginning of this year was an ideal starting point to redefine our strategy and to set new targets for 2019 and 2020.
We clarified our strategy and set achivable goals working on our geographical diversification within the German and American markets.
This results in splitting into four distinct “working units” or divisions, called:
treat – art + knowledge
treat – products, apps + services
treat – commercial clients + campaigns
treat – sport sponsoring digital
Each division has its focus and can thus deliver a more precise and bespoke service to our clients.
After all this strategic work, it became clear: we are not the same company anymore.
So, the decision was obvious: We have to redefine our company and communicate this to the outside world.
We have so many intricate assignments and are dealing with complex topics that we needed a playful and versatile branding. After several brainstorming sessions, the name was born:
With this new name and look, and an additional focus on specific aspects within our four divisions, we want to provide a clear picture to our future clients with services tailored to individual needs.
We hope you like what we came up with and I am always thankful for feedback.