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2nd March 2019 Jacqueline Haxton

Using the past to impact the future #DigiLab

Digital Lab Fellow Millie Carroll from the Tetley outlines the plans for her #DigiLab experiment. 

My main wish for this project was to explore public perception on our organisation and what we offer. The Tetley is primarily a contemporary art gallery with a vibrant bar and kitchen. Alongside this we offer an extensive range of events from family workshops to whisky blending to artist talks. This is what we wish for all our visitors to know about us, but sadly due to the heritage of our building and our name, many residents of Leeds are confused about who and what we are.

Some marketing research has shown that around 75% of visitors to our bar and kitchen do not realise that we are a charity, and out of 200 arts students, only 10% knew who we were and what we did, yet around 40% recognised our building.

As Marketing and Press Coordinator my main annual goal is to always increase awareness. We turned five at the end of November 2018 and had a campaign that highlighted our success over the years and has proven very popular, which has led me onto thinking about how to develop this further!

One of the ‘facts’ that received the most engagement online was the fact that we have directly engaged with and supported the work of over 550 artists in our history. The question is: how do I use this to our advantage and make this information more accessible — and more importantly fun — for our visitors?

I’ve decided to explore the creation of a new area of our new website. I am going to create an ‘artists’ page in which I gather interviews, blogs and vlogs from previous artists whom we have supported the work of and see how their experience here has benefited their career. This will hopefully be informative, creative and inspiring. I’ll measure engagement socially, and also through Google Analytics on our site. I’d like the artists to also be able to share their posts on their own channels to widen our reach and awareness.

Through my tutoring with Ron Evans, he also pushed me to think of the business benefits of this, rather than just measuring engagement. So now I’m hoping that as this area broadens, and will be a place where funders and potential donors can go to see what we do and hopefully inspire them in a more creative way.

What better way to ask for someone to support your work with artists than to hear from the artists themselves?

After research I haven’t seen many arts organisations that have an area dedicated to hearing from people they have worked with in the past. I’m really excited to see the results of this experiment in the short term (from public perception) to the long term (a channel for fundraising)! Hopefully if this is successful, it would be great for more organisations to not just shout about what’s to come, but also the success of the past.

Read Millie’s second Digital Lab blog — What we do #DigiLab

Image courtesy of The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands ©

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