MMM’s
2008­2010
Collaborative
Working
Pilots
 Case
Story:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland

An
example
of
a
‘Joint
Partnership
with
Affiliated
Programming’
Collaboration
 by
David
Stark,
October
2010



 “Learning
how
to
work
well
together
across
a
whole
range
of
disciplines
and
organisational
 structures
will
be
one
of
the
hallmarks
of
successful
arts
businesses
in
the
21st
Century.
At
a
time
of
 economic
uncertainty,
deploying
collaborative
solutions
to
joint
challenges
and
opportunities
is
a
 pre­requisite
for
survival.”
 Simon
Woods,
Chief
Executive,
Royal
Scottish
National
Orchestra,
2009
 


Introduction

The
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
(NPACS)
are
the
National
Theatre
of
Scotland,
 Royal
Scottish
National
Orchestra,
Scottish
Ballet,
Scottish
Chamber
Orchestra
and
Scottish
Opera;
 since
2007
they
have
been
directly
funded
by
the
Scottish
Government.
In
2008
Missions
Models
 Money
(MMM)
invited
the
five
to
participate
in
their
collaborative
working
pilot.
With
financial
 support
raised
by
MMM
from
the
then
Scottish
Arts
Council,
the
group
chose
to
focus
on
a
major
 collaborative
project
to
create
a
unique
digital
platform
to
engender
greater
public
engagement
with
 their
work.
 
 The
project’s
ambitious
aims
were:
 •
 To
promote
the
work
of
the
Companies
to
new
audiences
 •
 To
facilitate
a
public
dialogue
about
the
work
of
the
Companies
 •
 To
leverage
the
combined
work
of
the
Companies
for
increased
international
reputation
 •
 To
enrich
the
experience
of
those
who
attend
the
work
of
the
Companies
 •
 To
deliver
the
work
of
the
Companies
globally,
with
a
special
emphasis
on
reaching
the
 entire
population
of
Scotland.
 


Why
a
digital
collaboration?


 The
group
believed
that
collaboration
around
a
shared
digital
platform
would
be
successful
for
five
 key
reasons:

 
 1. The
atmosphere,
in
2008,
was
irresistibly
ripe
for
online
platform
innovation.
Social
 networks
were
still
in
their
relative
infancy;
online
video
sites,
such
as
YouTube,
were
 gaining
a
near‐universal
take‐up
amongst
the
traditionally
hard‐to‐reach
younger
 demographic.
Additionally,
the
costs/resources
involved
in
filming/distributing
 performances,
rehearsals
or
other
footage
were
tantalisingly
in
reach
of
arts
companies
 –
especially
if
they
were
to
be
shared.
 
 2. None
of
the
five
were
already
fully
realising
the
potential
of
these
new
technologies.
 What
individual
forays
there
had
been
into
social
media
were,
at
best,
fairly


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 experimental
efforts
that
were
largely
being
developed
under
the
radar
of
the
rest
of
 the
company
and
its
audiences.
 
 3. The
group’s
marketing
teams
believed
in
the
potential
to
increase
attendance
by
 encouraging
art
form
crossover
and
audience
cross‐pollination.
A
comparison
of
 audience
data
1
across
all
events
revealed
that
only
3‐16%
of
audiences
would
crossover
 to
a
performance
by
another
NPACS
company
(with
the
expected
exception
of
SCO
to
 RSNO
crossover
in
Glasgow
at
47%).
These
figures
demonstrated
that,
whilst
crossover
 was
possible
–
and
happening,
it
could
certainly
be
improved,
to
the
benefit
of
all.
 
 4. More
partners
meant
the
prospect
of
more
content,
more
activity
and
more
relevance.

 
 5. Most
strongly
the
group
hoped
that
they
would
be
able
to
leverage
the
combined
power
 of
five
to
reach
new
audiences.
The
phrase
‘greater
than
the
sum
of
our
parts’
became
 something
of
a
motto
for
the
collaboration.
The
basic
premise
was
that
a
newcomer
to
 performing
arts
would
be
more
likely
to
visit
a
site
that
hosted
ballet,
opera,
theatre
and
 orchestral
music
than
to
any
of
five
individual
sites
devoted
to
each
company.
And,
 because
they
would
be
pooling
from
a
base
of
five
existing
audience
networks
the
 opportunity
for
more
effective
viral
marketing
was
greatly
increased.
 
 This
opportunity
to
attract
newcomers
(potential
audiences
who
live
out‐of‐reach
of
existing
mailing
 lists)
proved
to
be
the
project’s
greatest
single
motivator
and
meant
that
the
five
marketing
 directors
naturally
came
to
form
the
project’s
core
working
group.



Developing
a
Shared
Understanding


 The
first
part
of
the
collaboration
involved
a
number
of
important
steps
towards
developing
a
 shared
understanding
and
a
common
goal
for
the
project.
These
steps
were:
 
 i. A
digital
audit
of
the
digital
and
new
media
resources
and
knowledge
possessed
by
each
of
 the
five
allowed
for
there
to
be
honest
assessment
of
where
each
company
was
at
to
begin
 with.
For
example,
to
some
of
the
group
concepts
such
as
‘blogging’
were
new
whereas
 others
were
further
on
and
now
experimenting
with
‘micro‐blogs’
such
as
Twitter.

 
 ii. From
this
audit
corporate
training
needs
were
easier
to
ascertain,
in
order
that
a
level
 playing
field
could
be
established,
upon
which
the
group
could
build,
together.
Through
 training
the
group
was
able
to
gain
a
common
understanding
current
perspectives
and
 innovations
in
new
media
and
digital
broadcasting
platforms.

 
 iii. The
group
was
inspired
together
when
specialist
digital
and
online
consultants
2,
proposed
 by
MMM,
came
in
to
work
with
the
group:
explaining,
training,
demonstrating
and
leading
 thought‐provoking
discussions
and
animated
debate.
Further,
experienced
new
media
 professionals
came
in
to
demonstrate
‘bleeding‐edge’
technologies
and
social
networks.

 
 iv. As
part
of
their
early
stage
facilitation
and
support
of
the
collaboration,
MMM
created
a
 private
online
social
network
for
the
project
where
all
interested
staff
from
across
the
five
 





























































1


The
Source,
2009.
Analysis
of
household
crossover
for
all
NPACS
performances
from
April
2006‐March
2009
–
 commissioned
by
NPACS.
Crossover
range
in
Glasgow
was
between
3%
and
16%,
in
Edinburgh
it
was
between
 4%
and
18%.
 2 
Consultants
included
Hannah
Rudman,
CJ
Lyon,
Rohan
Gunatillake
and
Erin
Maguire.
Guest
speakers
included
 Bill
Thompson
(BBC)
and
Stuart
Cosgrove
(Channel
4).


2
 


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 companies
could
interact
with
each
other,
share
inspiring
links,
articles
and
testimonies
and
 make
decisions
in
the
discussion
forum.
The
external
consultants
were
also
invited
to
 participate
in
this
network
for
the
benefit
and
encouragement
of
the
group.
Unfortunately,
 as
with
most
online
tools,
unless
usage
is
made
compulsory
not
everyone
will
participate
 and
this
was
certainly
the
case
here:
it
would
not
be
overstating
it
to
say
that
probably
90%
 of
the
conversations
were
between
10%
of
the
project
group.
 
 v. Digital
Collaboration
Research
Report:
As
part
of
their
early
stage
facilitation
and
support,
 MMM
produced
a
detailed
reference
document
for
the
benefit
of
the
group.
The
report
 included
information
on
the
current/next
horizon
digital
landscape;
best
practice
in
digital
 content
development/
distribution;
how
new
media
and
broadcasting
platforms
are
being
 used
by
related
art
forms,
existing
performing
arts
collaborations
and
other
more
 commercial
creative
industries.
It
also
included
information
on
the
potential
of
new
 technologies
and
delivery
still
in
development.
Some
of
these
came
to
maturity
during
the
 course
of
the
project;
such
is
the
pace
of
change
in
the
digital/online
world!


Defining
the
Collaboration


 Although
the
NPACS
were
enthused
by
new
developments
in
online
performance
broadcasting
(e.g.
 Berliner
Philharmoniker’s
Digital
Concert
Hall)
it
was
accepted
that
the
five
as
a
whole
were
not
yet
 ready
to
face
the
challenges
of
contract
negotiations,
infrastructure
costs
and
licensing
of
such
a
 fully‐realised
content
delivery
vision.

 
 It
was
therefore
agreed
that
the
project
‘Phase
1’
should
be
to
develop
an
‘online
social
media
 presence’.
This
would
be
a
place
where
the
five
individual
companies
and
their
audiences
could
 begin
to
co‐exist
and
cross‐pollinate,
serving
as
an
innovative
spring
board
for
developing
the
full
 potential
of
the
collaboration.
If
successful,
a
content‐delivery
platform
would
be
added
as
‘Phase
2’,
 drawing
on
the
experience
of
Phase
1
and
reflecting
crowd‐sourced
input
in
its
design.
 
 The
planned
new
social
network
would
provide
a
place
on
the
web
for
audiences
to
be
updated
and
 informed
of
NPACS
activities
and
live
programming
and
to
network,
share
and
engage
in
discussions
 of
their
work.
The
network
would
not
only
encourage
digital
newcomers
to
take
their
first
steps
in
 participating
online
but
would
also
make
contact
with
existing
online
performing
arts
fans,
with
the
 aim
of
attracting
them
to
live
performances.

 
 This
wide‐ranging
aim
was
perhaps
exceeded
only
in
breadth
by
the
seemingly
all‐encompassing
 target
groups
which
the
brief
defined
as:
‘audiences
and
participants
of
all
ages
from
all
socio‐ economic
and
culturally
diverse
backgrounds;
young
people;
students;
arts
attenders
and
non‐arts
 attenders;
funders
education;
community;
families;
tourists;
established
and
emerging
performing
 artists....’
The
broadness
of
this
target
audience
meant
that
the
group
was
often
slow
to
take
 planning
decisions
later
in
the
project
–
priorities
were
not
clear.


Leadership

The
early
stages
of
the
collaboration
were
facilitated
by
MMM
and
involved
the
five
chief
executives
 (CEOs)
from
the
companies.
The
CEOS
took
an
initial
active
role
in
the
audit,
training
and
subsequent
 planning
discussions
as
well
as
‐
crucially
‐
making
formative
decisions
for
the
project
and
defining
 the
brief.

There
were
both
negative
and
positive
consequences
of
this.
When
the
website’s
working
 party
(which
was
made
up
of
representatives
from
each
company’s
marketing
department)
 eventually
took
over
the
project
they
struggled
awkwardly
with
a
number
of
the
concepts
that
they
 had
been
asked
to
deliver.
With
hindsight
it
was
felt
by
most
(CEOs
included)
that,
had
the
 3
 


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 marketers
been
more
involved
in
the
crafting
of
this
audience‐centric
project,
there
might
have
been
 less
‘disconnects’
(between
the
brief
and
its
outworked
reality)
during
its
implementation.
 
 On
a
positive
note,
from
time
to
time
during
the
project
the
CEOs
were
called
upon
to
advise
or
even
 intervene
when
discussions
were
at
a
stalemate
or
priorities
were
unclear.
The
marketing
directors
 found
it
invaluable
to
have
this
commitment
from
the
CEOs;
the
fact
that
they
were
present
during
 the
conception
of
the
project
meant
they
understood
the
project
and
its
potential
pitfalls
‐
insights
 that
are
not
easy
to
merely
‘brief’.

 
 Once
the
collaboration
focus
was
established,
it
was
agreed
that
MMM
should
withdraw
from
that
 role
and
a
management
group
was
appointed.
The
partnership
was
keen
to
avoid

the
potential
 inertia
of
‘design
by
committee’
so
agreed
to
appoint
a
management
group
of
three
to
represent
the
 wider
group
during
the
preparation
of
the
project
brief,
the
call
for
proposals,
interviews
and
 eventual
appointment
of
an
agency
to
design
and
build
the
site3.
Then,
one
of
the
marketing
 directors
was
appointed
as
first
point
of
contact
with
the
contracted
agency,
on
behalf
of
the
other
 four.
 
 Although
this
arrangement
undoubtedly
improved
the
efficiency
of
communication
with
the
agency
 it
almost
certainly
lead
to
a
sense
of
reduced
ownership
amongst
the
other
group
members.
Even
 with
best
intentions,
this
‘first
among
equals’
model
meant
that
the
wide
ranging
perspectives
of
the
 five
companies
could
not
always
be
fully
represented
in
conversations
with
the
agency.
Although
all‐ party
meetings
were
arranged
from
time‐to‐time
(though
perhaps
not
with
the
optimum
frequency
 required),
these
were
often
characterised
by
a
re‐hashing
of
previous
arguments
,
suggesting
that
 contrary
opinions
were
not
being
properly
considered
in
the
intervening
periods.
 
 Crucially,
the
individual
partners
were
reluctant
to
take
too
dominant
a
role,
for
fear
of
being
seen
 as
anti‐collaboration.
This
could
have
been
resolved
by
commissioning
an
external
agent
to
lead
the
 project
on
the
group’s
behalf
but
they
failed
to
take
account
of
this
in
appointing
an
agency
to
 design,
build
and
generate
content
for
the
site
(but
not
lead).
As
a
result
there
was
no
person
or
 group
with
sufficient
authority
to
really
drive
the
project
forwards.
 
 


Difficult
Questions


 When
site
development
began
the
partnership
had
to
address
a
number
of
challenging
questions,
 including:
 “Are
we
creating
a
brand
to
represent
the
NPACS,
or
a
new
space
in
which
the
five
individual
 identities
are
equally
represented?”
 There
was
significant
tension
between
the
companies
over
this.
Whilst
some
were
very
keen
to
 openly
celebrate
the
five
as
a
collaborative
partnership,
this
presented
a
significant
difficulty
to
 others,
especially
those
companies
who
were
involved
in
many
other
collaborative
ventures
and
so
 did
not
want
to
appear
prejudiced.
Similarly,
when
considering
a
potential
future
life
of
the
site,
 some
of
the
partners
were
keen
that
the
site’s
ownership
was
as
‘anonymous’
as
possible.
This
 might
allow
for
opening
the
site
up
to
use
by
other
arts
organisations
in
the
future
–
either
‘gifted’
 back
to
the
community
by
the
NPACS
or
as
a
potential
advertising/sponsorship
funding
model.
 However,
others
argued
that,
given
the
significant
from
the
NPACS
investment,
(esp.
time,
staff
 





























































3


Blether
Media
www.blethermedia.com



4
 


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 resource
and
finances),
that
the
site
should
reflect
this
–
and
that
it
would
be
disingenuous
to
try
to
 hide
the
identity
of
the
site’s
backers.
 Eventually
a
new
site
name/identity
was
agreed
on
(The
Performance
Post)
and
individual
NPACS
 companies
would
be
credited
(in
footers
and
on
an
“about”
page”)
as
the
creators.
However,
the
 companies
would
not
have
their
own
areas
on
the
site,
nor
prominent,
headline
credits.
Though
this
 compromise
allowed
the
project
to
proceed,
the
earlier
difference
of
opinion
was
never
completely
 resolved
and
in
fact
was
destined
to
rise
again
as
a
bone
of
contention
once
the
site
was
operational
 and
the
companies
began
to
look
to
future
operating/funding
models.
 “How
should
activity
on
the
new
site
relate
to
or
integrate
with
each
company’s
own
online
social
 activity?”
 There
seemed
to
be
a
great
deal
of
goodwill
from
all
five
companies
towards
producing
exclusive
 content
for
use
on
the
site.
However,
the
reality
prevailed
that
resources,
especially
staff
time,
were
 so
thinly
spread
that
this
would
be
impractical.
A
compromise
arrangement
was
reached
whereby
 content
created
for
The
Performance
Post
would
be
syndicated
on
individual
company
sites
–
and
 vice
versa.

 “How
will
we
maintain
momentum
–
who
drives
new
site
content
and
interaction?”
 It
became
very
clear
when
potential
agencies
were
being
interviewed
that
the
group
required
a
 partner
who
would
not
only
build
an
appropriate
shell
for
the
social
network
but
who
could
also
co‐ ordinate
and
drive
content
gathering
and
creation.
The
external
agent
would
need
to
fulfil
an
 editorial
role,
ensuring
that
all
companies
were
being
equally
represented
and
that
there
was
a
 cohesive
voice
to
the
site.
 “Who
responds
to
feedback,
esp.
criticism,
on
the
site?”

 Should
this
be
an
external
editor
–
in
which
case,
how
would
they
know
how
to
correctly
respond?
 Or
should
each
company
respond
to
its
own
feedback?
This
is
problematic
for
any
company
which
 operates
a
strict
policy
of
not
entering
into
public
discussion.
Similarly,
the
group
found
that
each
 had
a
differing
definition
of
what
is
‘sensitive’
material
or
appropriate
conversation
tones
–
i.e.
‘to
 censor
or
not
to
censor?’Nobody
wanted
to
stifle
conversation
on
the
network
‐
quite
the
opposite
–
 though
it
was
hard
to
reach
agreement
on
where
to
draw
the
line.

 


Barriers
to
Progress

Slow
progress
 Although
group
discussions
with
the
agency
began
in
July
2009
it
took
four
months
to
reach
 agreement
on
their
design
proposal
for
the
site.
Site
design
and
build,
then
initial
content
 production
took
a
further
nine
months,
at
which
point
the
aim
was
to
launch
and
market
The
 Performance
Post
over
three
months
(July‐September
2010).
The
project’s
slow
progress
(primarily
 due
to
long
turnarounds
on
approvals
or
log‐jams
when
taking
joint
decisions
at
key
crossroad
 moments)
frustrated
both
the
external
agency
and
the
group
members.
The
energy
of
the
partners
 waned
over
time,
especially
when
the
originally
targeted
completion
date
of
October
2009
became
a
 dim
and
distant
marker.

 The
ever‐changing
external
environment
 Unfortunately
for
the
project,
whilst
its
development
proceeded
slowly,
the
digital
environment
in
 each
company
and
in
the
world
around
continued
to
evolve
at
great
pace.
Every
NPACS
member
 expanded
its
own
new
media
capabilities
in
the
intervening
months.
Each
company
either
added
 dedicated
digital
or
new
media
staff
or
redefined
roles
to
cover
this
area.
They
also
became
much
 5
 


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 more
heavily
active
in
social
networks
or
with
social
networking
tools
such
as
Facebook,
Twitter
and
 Ning
than
they
had
been
at
the
outset.
During
2009,
blogging
and
the
use
of
self‐produced
videos
 saw
explosive
growth
throughout
the
performing
arts
industry.
The
problem
of
delay
was
further
 compounded
by
the
fact
that
other
individuals
and
media
organisations,
even
other
collaborations
 (such
as
TAB’s
Edinburgh
ticketing
portal),
launched
or
began
to
plan
sites
of
a
similar
nature
to
what
 the
NPACS
were
creating.

 
 But
more
than
this,
social
networks
and
networking
have
involved
in
new
ways
over
the
last
couple
 of
years,
to
the
point
where
any
kind
of
‘exclusive’
network
has
been
subsumed,
amidst
the
 continually
evolving
–
and
seemingly
relentless
–
wave
of
the
open
web.
As
Simon
Woods
of
the
 RSNO
recently
remarked,
‘the
public
these
days
don’t
even
contemplate
going
to
an
organisational
 website
for
their
social
networking...it
has
all
become
aggregated
through
Facebook,
Twitter,
 LinkedIn
etc.
This
is
a
huge
change
in
the
last
24
months,
which
we
could
not
have
predicted’.
 Content
Creation
 As
the
companies
worked
with
the
agency
to
produce
content
for
the
site
it
became
clear
that
the
 planned
model
would
not
be
sustainable
beyond
the
terms
of
the
contract
–
i.e.
after
the
launch
of
 the
site.
Whilst
some
of
the
group
felt
able
to
produce,
edit
and
supply
their
own
content,
others
 were
not
in
this
position.
The
decision
was
taken
that,
post‐launch,
each
company
would
be
 responsible
for
the
creation
and
supply
of
its
own
content
–
and
that
this
content
could
be
 syndicated
across
any
other
sites
or
networks.
Though
everyone
was
agreed
that
this
decision
was
 the
best
way
to
progress,
it
was
acknowledged
by
all
that
it
would
dilute
the
uniqueness
of
the
 collaboration.

 
 The
group
were
also
apprehensive
about
the
ongoing
collation
and
editing
of
the
site
–
both
in
terms
 of
content
and
also
moderation
of
conversation.
Could
this
be
done
as
a
collective?
 Unequal
Sense
of
Ownership
 As
time
elapsed,
not
everyone
who
became
involved
in
the
running
of
the
project
had
been
present
 during
the
early
seminar
discussions/workshops
and
so
an
unequal
sense
of
ownership
of
the
project
 began
take
root.
This
was
compounded
by
something
of
a
lack
of
clarity
about
the
project’s
exact
 brief,
targets
and
priorities,
which
had
become
lost
during
the
long
development
period.
 Lack
of
Regular
and
Protected
Contact
Time
 With
the
passing
of
time,
individual
interpretations
of
the
original
brief,
which
had
been
rather
 broad
to
begin
with,
began
to
divert
in
different
directions,
away
from
any
initial
common
pathway.
 The
key
working
party
for
making
strategic
decisions
on
the
site
was
the
marketing
directors.
A
 criticism
could
be
made
that
this
group
did
not
have
a
regular
pattern
of
meetings;
face
to
face
 conversations
were
sporadic,
usually
arranged
because
a
problem
had
come
up
and
took
many
 weeks
to
arrange
in
busy
diaries.
Hence
the
turnaround
on
a
problematic
issue
could
take
weeks,
if
 not
a
month
or
more.
A
‘good
learn’
would
be
to
schedule
regular,
compulsory
and
protected
 meetings
from
the
outset.
 


Positive
Outcomes
of
the
Collaboration

No
Competition!
 No
matter
what
a
company
might
declare
publicly
when
entering
into
a
marketing
collaboration,
it
is
 probably
rare
that
it
would
be
completely
immune
to
fears
over
about
losing
audience
share
to
its
 new
partners.
This
issue
came
into
sharp
focus
for
the
NPACS
when
building
an
events
calendar
for
 the
site
that
would
display
live
event
information
from
the
companies
that
fell
within
a
similar
time
 6
 


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 period
–
or
even
on
the
same
day.
However,
the
process
of
being
open
about
these
concerns
with
 each
other,
as
well
as
spending
time
in
honest
discourse,
resulted
in
an
almost
complete
eradication
 of
any
competitive
protectiveness.
As
the
group
members
spent
time
working
together
they
began
 to
gain
a
better
understanding
of
each
other’s
motivations
and
values
and
were
able
to
give
and
 receive
the
trust
that
each
were
working
to
a
common
goal.
 A
Jointly
Received
Sense
of
Adventure
 Clearly,
there
will
always
be
organisations
who
lead
the
way
in
exploring
the
potential
of
new
 technologies.
However,
what
the
NPACS
project
seemed
to
do
was
provide
a
way
for
five
companies
 to
step
forwards
together,
almost
in
pace
with
each
other.
When
any
one
partner
was
bold
in
 approaching
a
new
digital
innovation,
the
others
gained
confidence
to
follow
their
lead.
Similarly,
 the
cautious
‘safety
mechanisms’
(or
simply
good
practices)
of
another
partner
were
received
and
 taken
on
board
by
all.
This
has
not
bred
any
sort
of
sense
of
conformity
or
uniformity
across
the
five,
 merely
a
healthily
balanced,
forward
momentum.
Given
the
important
role
that
the
NPACS
 companies
have
in
displaying
leadership
to
their
sector,
this
will
have
far‐reaching
effects
across
the
 other
performing
arts
companies
that
the
NPACS
come
into
contact
or
partnership
with.
 Promotion
Across
Art
Forms
 It
became
clear
at
a
relatively
early
stage
that,
no
matter
the
eventual
outcome
of
the
digital
 platform
project,
the
potential
contained
within
the
phrase
‘greater
than
the
sum
of
our
parts’
was
a
 strong
and
shared
belief
amongst
all
five
partners.
In
particular,
the
marketing
directors
have
a
new
 found
confidence
that
creative
partnership
is
one
of
the
only
ways
that
arts
organisations
will
be
 able
to
reach
newcomers
who
are
currently
out
of
reach.
As
a
result,
future
collaborative
marketing
 should
be
a
much
more
real
possibility
than
it
was
two
years
ago,
before
the
project
began.




 Project
Result
and
Conclusions


 Following
the
lengthy
production
delays
the
group
postponed
the
July
2010
launch
by
three
months
 and
continued
to
work
with
Blether
Media
on
content
creation
and
final
testing/approval
of
site
 features.
However,
by
September
2010,
concerns
over
the
future
(i.e.
beyond
Blether
Media’s
 contract)
management
and
costs
of
running
The
Performance
Post
lead
to
the
group
deciding
to
pull
 the
site’s
launch
and
discontinue
all
work
on
it.
The
NPACS,
in
common
with
most
arts
organisations,
 face
significant
financial
challenges
in
the
current
climate
and
could
not
guarantee
that
future
 resources
would
be
available
to
continue
to
produce
and
edit
content
for
the
site.
Without
any
hard
 data
on
how
the
site
might
be
received
by
audiences
–
both
existing
and
new
–
any
further
 marketing
investment
would
have
been
very
difficult
to
justify.
 
 All
content
that
had
already
been
produced
for
the
site
was
able
to
be
used
by
the
companies
for
 their
own
burgeoning
online
projects
and
for
syndication
across
other
online
channels.
 
 During
the
two
years
of
working
as
a
unified
partnership,
the
group
faced
many
challenges,
as
have
 been
summarised
in
this
report.
It
is
true
that
the
resulting
losses
of
momentum
on
the
project
did
 seem
to
lead
to
an
overall
lack
of
conviction
amongst
the
group
as
to
the
eventual
value
of
the
 proposed
site.
However,
none
of
these
hurdles
were
insurmountable
in‐and‐of‐themselves
and
it
is
 critically
important
to
note
that,
through
the
process
of
tackling
each
one
openly
together,
the
group
 and
each
individual
company
learnt
a
great
deal
about
themselves
and
each
other.
The
companies
 have
a
much
deeper
sense
of
mutual
trust
and
respect
for
each
other;
they
also
now
have
a
healthy
 ability
to
confront
issues
(the
‘elephants
in
the
room’)
with
each
other.
 


7
 


Case
Study:
National
Performing
Arts
Companies
of
Scotland
 
 The
digital
world
moved
on
whilst
the
NPACS
project
was
taking
shape.
However,
though
the
project
 found
itself
not
very
able
to
adapt
to
these
external
changes,
the
individual
partner
companies
did.
 This
was
very
much
as
a
result
of
what
they
were
learning
from
working
with
each
other.

 
 Despite
the
disappointing
outcome
of
this
project,
the
NPACS
companies
remain
committed
to
 continuing
to
explore
opportunities
to
work
together,
especially
on
marketing
and
audience
 projects.
The
experience
has
been
a
catalyst
for
changing
attitudes
towards
collaborative
marketing
 and
promotion
and
there
appears
to
be
a
consensus
that
creative
partnerships
may
be
all
the
more
 possible
in
the
future,
as
a
result
of
the
experience
and
the
important
lessons
learned
by
the
group.
 


8
 


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