Member login  
Forgot Password? | Not a member?
Member login

Jonny Tull — a day of new directions

Jonny Tull | Audience Strategy, Film Programming and Distribution Consultant | Freelance

I’m a freelancer working on a wide range of projects in and around film and culture.  I dabble in distribution, undertake a little programming here and there, and provide strategic support for venues and festivals.  I’m also working in a fantastic job share role at the North East Film Archive, based in Middlesbrough.  There I deliver marketing and PR support for the project North East On Film, which connects the archive’s film treasures with communities across the north east.

Having reignited my AMA membership after a few years away, I’m keen to develop my skills.  This year’s Digital Marketing Day represented a great opportunity to come face-to-face with some relevant and practical new ideas I could utilise in my work at NEFA and to hear from some brilliant strategic thinkers to push my understanding of current digital marketing practice.

From the get-go I knew I was in the right place.  The dazzling and inspirational keynote speech at the beginning of the day saw Futurist Anne Lise Kjaer take the audience in Glasgow and London through a whirlwind tour of not only where we should be in our thinking about audiences, but also where we COULD be.  I’m in my forties, and having seen the advent of the internet, the rise of social media and reveled in entirely new ways of communication with audiences and the acres of data available to us as arts marketers, what I found particularly refreshing were the following two things: Anne Lise’s perspective on analogue communications and the need for more than just digital communications; and the excitement brought by the realisation that we now have more than just demographics to guide our thinking.  Being told that we might define our audiences not only by age or gender, but maybe by life experiences was beautiful to hear.  It’s a way I’ve been guiding my career for such a long time, but I’d always filed these thoughts under gut instinct. Anne Lise’s use of the Danish network TV2’s fiercely emotional ‘All That We Share’ commercial best underlined this ethos for me, and I left the presentation invigorated (and crying).

Working in social media for clients and in particular in my role with the North East Film Archive team, I was eager to hear about how the New York Public Library (NYPL) adopted Instagram’s Stories functionality to develop a unique new way of engaging readers with public domain novels.  The innovation stems from a very simple idea – taking the written word and translating it in a ‘novel’ way to a new audience using technological advances.

Richert Schnorr, Director of Digital Media for Communications and Marketing at the NYPL led the audience through his project, conceived and delivered over just a few months and on a very limited budget.  The takeaway here for me was that we can sometimes get so wrapped up in what our tools are designed to do, it’s sometimes hard to see what they can be truly capable of.

Richert’s team delivered something new, innovative and unexpected and it has reaped dividends – and hundreds of thousands of new followers and admirers.

Another great practical session was The Absolute Unit And Culture Change — Using The Objective First Framework To Make Your Colleagues Digital Marketers (phew), in which Adam Koszary of the Museum Of English Rural Life (MERL) described his experience in finding himself having generated a meme in 2018, and how that experience and the hundreds of thousands of interactions has altered the digital outputs of the museum.  Adam’s playful presentation discussed the importance of remembering that social media  (some more than others) is a conversational tool and not just a marketing tool.  Funny, practical and rousing, the presentation fed right back into the heart of Anne Lise’s presentation about the recognition of ‘community’ earlier in the day.

Finally, a gripping presentation on Data insights from Chris Unitt of One Further gave me much food for thought about how to generate more traffic to NEFA’s website using information we already hold, and the final keynote speech, from Suhair Khan of Google Arts & Culture was an eye-popping whistle-stop tour of how Google is using technological advances to enhance the public’s experience with the arts.




I found the day amazing  — and I have several questions I want to answer in coming weeks:

Community development — What is my organisation’s relationship with the public?  How might we place our work more centrally and into the hearts and minds of the communities we serve?

Our stories — What are the stories we can tell about the work we do and how best can we connect the public with them?  How do we reposition ourselves as the connective tissue between these stories and our communities?

Social media — Instagram and social media use – how can I develop the social media networks that I help manage?

Data — How can I better analyse the data I have access to to grow my insight into our audiences?

I now have the tools to help me answer these questions.

Digital Marketing Day was a fantastic journey, and for my first AMA event in almost a decade, has given so much in exchange for my time there.


Jonny Tull

Delivery Support Manager, North East On Film Project, North East Film Archive
Film Audiences, Programming and Distribution Consultant