What's Your Message?

Your art speaks… but it doesn’t speak for itself. On April 13th, our public art Accelerator artists convened with artists from NEFA’s Creative City and the City of Boston’s Artist-in-Residence (A.I.R.) programs to continue our ongoing co-learning through our multi-cohort workshop series. “What’s Your Message?” was a 90-minute workshop led by Mary-Liz Murray, Owner of Streamix Consulting, and lead messaging and digital strategist for N+T. During this session, the artists learned about project messaging, digital media, and promotion.

 Mary-Liz Murray presents a messaging rubric at the multi-cohort messaging meeting on April 13, 2018.

Mary-Liz Murray presents a messaging rubric at the multi-cohort messaging meeting on April 13, 2018.

Today, we’re sharing seven highlights from this workshop: valuable information for any public artist, no matter your practice or Twitter presence.

  1.  Messaging provides the words that help your audiences understand the context, motivation, and vision behind a project. Your messaging tells the story that gets people excited about your work and rallies them behind you. It is the cornerstone not only of audience building, but of business building.
  2. Messaging is a balance. Artists working in socially engaged art and in the public realm need to make language welcoming without being soft on the words – you don’t want to compromise your stance, but you also don’t want to turn people off from viewing (and potentially connecting!). Rule number one of effective messaging: Don’t alienate people.

  3. Digital media expands the impact of your work. It is an umbrella term that covers anything that is a blend of technology and content, encompassing websites, podcasts, augmented reality software, and, of course social media, and many more.

  4. Social media expands dialogue. It is a two-way channel through which you can connect with others. Using social media allows you to promote your work and learn about opportunities, both locally and globally.

  5. If social media for promotion of your work doesn’t come naturally to you, some questions to ask yourself might be: What can my being on social media add to my practice? What opportunities does it lend to expand my reach, get work, or learn about opportunities? Or, if I have chosen to abstain from social media, why is this the best choice? What other outreach am I doing in place?

  6. Now, some nuts and bolts about promotion. A formal timeline is a critical tool in promoting your work or events. When starting a new project, map out a basic promotion guide. Include things like initial announcement, updates, set-backs, and completion.

  7. Mix digital and analog engagement during promotion. Print promotion should have similar information and congruent messages as anything on the web, but it should also offer something new, like a different photo or a new artist quote. And it should all point to your web presence.

 Now + There Accelerator artists Ekua Holmes and Lina Maria Giraldo discuss digital outreach.

Now + There Accelerator artists Ekua Holmes and Lina Maria Giraldo discuss digital outreach.

If you want to see some of these messaging and promotion strategies in action, keep up with us as we launch our 2018 season. We’ve got some exciting new digital initiatives coming that will support our major projects. Stay tuned for more and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and, of course, right here on the blog.