Social Media and the Arts – At the SMBSyr 10

By Joe Cunningham, Internet Marketing Manager

I’m kinda wingin’ this one because I didn’t take notes.  But hey – I was there.

Grand Piano

Of course this story begins with a dramatic entrance.  We were late (Poe and I).  We’ve never missed an SMB, and can’t blame our tardiness on anything legitimate, so upon entering Syracuse Stage, we grabbed some Panera (nice placement guys), and leaned on the handrail behind the grand piano in the back.

Poe checking out SMB 10It was either that or do the whole, “I’m late so I’m ducking through the crowd and I look like I slept in today” entrance, which I’ve done and is just embarrassing, especially with a gnome.  It’s one thing to do that early on the way out: you do the “I’m off to a really important job thing so I gotta miss all the fun socializing after whoever is done speaking” duck-through-the-crowd thing – which works, but just makes you no fun.

We are fun.  But we didn’t want to look like dimwits, until the blog of course, because then it’s funny.

I felt kinda’ cool because not long had I got there that the top man himself, Mr. Kevin Morrow, came over to my corner in the back to say “hi.”  Poe and I are not unknown.  Good man.


In case you’re wondering, this SMBSyr was all about “Social Media and the Arts” – how local arts organizations use social media to their advantage.  The crowd was, as usual, young (or young at heart), cool (or pretending to be – Poe!), and [insert a good adjective here].

The panel was great too – a lot of high-qualified, high-powered individuals with impressive bios.  Our moderator was Patrick Finlon, of Syracuse Stage; and we had Rachel Boucher from Red House, Kimberly McCoy of ArtRage, Matthew De Bellas of CNY Arts, and Sarah Massett from the Everson.  (Hey, if any of the panelists sends me their Twitter handle, I'll add the link.  Just wanted to see who's reading.)

[I can’t read my shorthand for this next point.  I knew this day would come, again.]  Moving on!

Poe sits on the piano.Gold Nuggets

So instead of giving you a complete overview of what happened, I’ll just give you a few nuggets of cool info I gleaned from the event.  (This is especially for you cheaters out there who think you can just read my blog and never go to one of these!)


From Kate Brodock, SMBSyr Advisory Committee and Director at SU’s Newhouse School (and just way cool): “Average open rates for enewsletters are usually no more than 10-15% so anything over that is a job well done!”


From Anne Messenger, also SMBSyr Advisor and big deal on Twitter: “Research on ROI from @CapacityInt noted 400% ROI on Facebook ads compared to 20% on NY Times ad listing.”


Killer One-Liner

Kate again (tweeting, I think Matthew said it): "Content is king, but context is a god.”  On relevance in storytelling.  Figure it out.

Hey Poe!

PanelI made sure to sneak Poe (well, try “sneaking” a gnome around a public place) up onto the panel table during the subsequent photo opp.  The panelists were chuckling and wide-eyed as I told the “story of Poe."

“You’ll all be in the blog!” I said as I snapped a shot.  I waited to get back to the office to post it (because my phone sucked) and until now really (because I procrastinated).

I ran into some folks: met the Great Ty Marshal in person for the first time (media man from The Syracuse New Times) and a guy and gal from Peaceful Schools.  The lady told me a funny story about Jewish gnome traditions that I forgot because I didn’t write it down.  (Nice one.)

We are all jazzed about the next event – a wine tasting at Owera Vineyards (remember that name drop in the last SMB blog post?) coming up soon!  Sign up here.  Poe is going to get wasted I know.

Holiday cheers to all (and to all a good night)!


For more info on the SMB 10, read the Syracuse New Times article and SIF (Syracuse in Focus).

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