How co-producing with the public can create strong social links
Therefore it could be said that creative engagement is the highest level of engagement between an organization and its public. It calls for considered, imaginative responses and results in the production of unique material.
A more apt term for creative engagement in the social media realm is ‘co-production’. We act as producers of our own social media accounts, publishing and linking material to our profiles. When we publish social media material that engages with an organisation, we are actually co-producing material with that organisation.
Co-producing with members of the public whether it involves inviting people to create a rhyme on Facebook, an Opera through Twitter, or an amateur play through YouTube not only solicits the production of attention grabbing material, it also forms strong social links which are highly valuable to organisations. Below are some wonderful examples of organisations co-producing with the public:
Tetley Tea run a very engaging Facebook page, regularly featuring delightful posts that ignite hundreds of ‘likes’ and comments. Earlier in May they challenged their Facebook fans to some rhyming bingo, which reeled in 470 hilarious one-liners.
The rhyming quickly lost sequence but ran for two full days, capturing the imagination of 470 punters and no doubt causing further amusement amongst their extended social networks.
Cork city’s Bikram Yoga Centre recently ran a ‘Crazy Rabbit’ competition, which invited members of the public to photograph themselves performing the well-known yogic ‘rabbit pose’ in creative and unusual places. Votes for the best images were then cast through Facebook likes. There were some very colourful entries, and over 200 votes were cast. Each of the entries was stamped with the Bikram Yoga logo. making for a wonderful collection of stock imagery for the Yoga Centre.
In 2009, the Royal Opera House invited the public to help them compose an Opera on Twitter one tweet at a time. 900 members of the public enthusiastically made suggestions for the final piece. All suggestions were then moulded in to a 20 minute production by professional composers. The initiative attracted a large amount of press attention, generating publicity for the organisation both in the UK and further afield and succeeded in attracting 1,000 people to the Royal Opera House across four performances.
One Big Agency and Eddy Terstall
In 2011 Eddy Terstall (a famous Dutch film-maker) teamed up with One Big Agency with the goal of raising €18,000 in just under 3 weeks to fund a short film of his. Between them they came up with a campaign that was coined as ‘Eddy’s Twitflicks’: Mini-Movies produced by Eddy and posted to your Facebook wall based on ideas that you tweet. Each film featured the stamp of Eddy’s name and the name of the person who tweeted the idea. The campaign worked on a donations basis: people were invited to donate money for the films created in their names. The campaign resulted in the ‘co-creation’ of a total of 47 films and €120,000 was raised(6 times the original target!) This meant that Eddy was able to fund a feature film rather than the short film which was his original intention.
In 2011 National Theatre of Scotland invited the public to submit 5 minute performances that would be broadcasted over a 24-hour webcast. The plays could be pre-recorded or performed live “direct to the web” in precisely designated time slots.
The results; Traditional print and television media covered the long build-up to the event with more than 150 separate newspaper or magazine stories and TV segments. 1000 performers took part in 230 performances.
In 24 hours, the broadcast received 22,000 views on the web from 6,300 people in 51 countries. After the live event, the performances were posted individually on a ‘Five Minute Theatre YouTube channel’, which due to the success of the original campaign continues to feature 5 Minute Theatre Events throughout 2012. The channel has brought in over 36,000 views to date.