4721 - THE FIRST YEAR

The Torch Theatre Communication Plan 2011-2012

MISSION & VISION

The Torch Theatre pursues excellence in longform improvisation through performance and education as a voice of an innovative artistic community. To make Phoenix a global leader in uncompromised quality improvisation and to be the premiere source of longform improvisation within Phoenix.

VISION

MISSION

ISSUES WE FACE

INCONSISTENT IDENTITY

1

INACCURATE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF LONGFORM IMPROVISATION

2

Keep in mind that long form at certain points can seem weird, awkward, and nonsensical but the important thing is to have an open mind. – Nate McWhortor, Dry Heat Humor If you've had bad experiences watching Comedy (not plays that are comedies, but comedy itself, performed by people referred to as comedians) -- and who hasn't? -- it may be hard to accept that improvisation is a powerful, precise tool in the creation of performances you'll have good experiences watching. I want to help you. My name is Julie P., and I have had huge problems with Comedy. - Julie Peterson, Phoenix New Times Improv may be a narrow niche in the entertainment world, but it is also the starting place for so much more. Performing improvisational "games" is how actors learn to be spontaneous and how comedians learn to read and react to an audience. - Kerry Lengel, azcentral.com

If one were to compile a list of some of the funniest, smartest, and most talented folks living and doing their thing in Phoenix, smart money says at least 75% of them are either graduates, students, or regular audience members of the Torch Theatre. The fact that they don't get written about more often isn't too surprising, unfortunately; improv as an art form is a hard thing to document. - Ashley Naftule, Phoenix New Times

A PLATEAU OF PARTICIPATION

3

WHO IS OUR “AUDIENCE”?
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THEM? WHO ARE WE TALKING TO? WHO ARE WE MISSING? THEATRE-GOERS, STUDENTS, DONORS...

GOALS

INCONSISTENT IDENTITY

1

POSITION TORCH AS A RELIABLE SOURCE OF

CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION IN PHOENIX

1

INACCURATE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF LONGFORM IMPROVISATION

2

INCREASE IMPROV LOVE
IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA AND THE WORLD

2

A PLATEAU OF PARTICIPATION

3

BUILD SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION
FOR THE TORCH THEATRE AND ALL PHOENIX ARTS AND CULTURE

3

STRATEGIES

UNIFY OUR BRAND THROUGH VISUALS, VOICE AND ACTIONS IDENTIFY WITH OUR COMMUNITY

1

VISUAL
consistent & professional
connect physical space with all print and digital assets colorful, active photography featured prominently in physical space and all communication pieces support each troupe’s individual voice, making sure the professional level of design and layout are met

VOICE
your voice is The Torch
your voice, spell checked & fact checked of course your humor, your perspective, your words transparency, authenticity embrace our own language

ACTIONS
“How we do what we do is who we are”
have fun, be fun be professional, creative artists be collaborative community members

OUR COMMUNITY
A sense of place
we choose Arizona we choose Phoenix we choose Central Phoenix we choose 4721 N Central Ave

A sense of purpose
we choose collaboration we choose creativity we choose art we choose theatre we choose improv we choose longform

WORDPRESS
content managed
access for multiple content editors and managers collaborative approach to web content visually connected to theatre space multiple points of connection provide convenient registration, donation and purchasing options make sure necessary information is available for purposes of fundraising and transparency - annual reports, donations, financial documents content SEO optimized (“read more” no more) unify

4721 BLOG
our own voice
a place to discuss and define our brand

unify

TRAINING
workshops
put tools in the hands of the troupes: visuals, social media, messaging board members and troupe representatives can work together to make sure information is available to all that want it

unify

SOCIAL NETWORKS
responsive and engaged
provide reliable access to information on shows and classes respond and engage in conversations beyond pushing out our own messages be respectful citizens of online networks

unify

DEMONSTRATE ARTISTRY, HUMOR & EXPERTISE EDUCATE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY PROMOTE THE IDEALS OF IMPROVISATION

2

LISTEN SUPPORT RISK ACCEPT

TALKING POINTS
know your lines
when media, new partners or donors ask what we do, we need to be prepared and consistent all regular staff and performers should be encouraged to know about these provide tools for media and other partners to understand our work regularly engage with media representatives

unify

EXPERT POSTS
knowledge for the world
give local media plentiful and diverse resources for covering longform connect with national conversation on the art of improvisation connect improvisation with other fields of knowledge, build a bridge instructors on teaching improv performers on performing improv alumni on improv in the rest of life

demonstrate

CELEBRATION POSTS
our family members
feature the creativity of our Torch family film, theatre, art, other creative work professional work educational work national improvisation work

demonstrate

VIDEO
distance learning
provide a comprehensive resource for those who want to see whole shows from The Torch - students, troupes, alumni and festivals promote a exemplar show a week through other channels for fans that can’t make it out to the theatre feature short clips of pieces that can stand out of context for promotional purposes

demonstrate

FOURSQUARE
ambassadors of Phoenix
The Torch Theatre Page, a virtual tour with tips from us.

demonstrate

TWITTER

inspire creative growth
contests or submission based exercises of creativity - @NYneofuturists launch and moderate conversations on improv and creativity

demonstrate

RESOURCES
grants for artists
identify and apply for grants for the arts take advantage of local resources for nonprofits and artists

demonstrate

IDENTIFY AND ACTIVATE OUR EXISTING POPULATION IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE A NEW POPULATION MAKE THINGS EASY TO FIND, JOIN AND DO COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES

3

OUR SUCCESS
depends on maintaining and building our network We need everyone’s voice, on stage and off

THE FORUM
internal communication
instructors, performers and alum should reach out to new classes on the forum moderated discussions on improv, conversations possibly translated to public blog posts with permission provide information and updates on the progress of the theatre and the business ask for help and support when needed offer ways individuals and groups can help, support and volunteer.

engage

GUEST POSTS
many voices
give multiple Torch members and students a way to express and reflect on their work students on the process of learning alumni on what they are doing now improv heroes on anything they want

engage

PRINT
still interactive
fliers, posters and other ephemera should inspire action ask questions, make people think more like art than a normal flier feature creativity of our community artists should include QRC codes or other interactive tools that people can engage with immediately

engage

noted

EMAIL
talking to friends
one on one communication - not to a public mass explore options to personalize (add first name to email content) Personal thanks for donations and support

engage

RAZOO
primary fundraising touchpoint
engage online via twitter, facebook and web - built in tools individuals and troupes can build their own fundraisers

engage

TWITTER
silver and gold friends
consistently provide information for Torch events and classes and Phoenix arts, culture and local businesses engage with like minded projects and individuals engage with vocal Phoenix thought leaders and activists build excitement via ticket giveaways or other possible highlight and feature Torch personalities

engage

FACEBOOK
build relationships
provide reliable information for events and classes engage directly with other like minded individuals and organizations ask for support support other events and organizations share select photos and videos of our own events and related events celebrate our students lead conversations on art, culture and improvisation

engage

FOURSQUARE
celebrate loyalty
offer specials to those checking in on Foursquare partner with other local businesses or arts venues. define space for performers, & staff to also check in, separate from audience, offer specials for that too

engage

VIDEOS OF THE HEART
tell our story
testimonials of transformation through improv interviews with founders and torch bearers tell the world why they should support us, who we are, why we are stories need to be edited, intentional, captivating and brief

engage

OBJECTIVES

IDENTITY

How has the perception of The Torch Theatre shifted over the last year locally? (perception) How consistent is communication from The Torch Theatre? (content) How is The Torch Theatre perceived nationally by peer organizations and improvisors? (perception) What words do people use to find us online? (content)

1

Time Travelling Pie Chart

7% 8% 35%

10% 11% 29%

IMPROV LOVE

How has the media covered improvisation locally in the last year? (content) How is longform improvisation perceived by audiences and students of the Torch? (perception) How many new partnerships have been developed over the last year? (numbers) How have existing partnerships grown or developed? (content) How engaged with the national improvisation/artistic conversation has The Torch Theatre been? (content)

2
10% 11%

Time Travelling Pie Chart

7% 35%

8%

29%

PARTICIPATION

Have audiences grown in the last year? (numbers) Has the student population grown in the last year? (numbers) Has the number of individual donors grown in the last year? (numbers) How many partnerships have been developed over the last year? (numbers) How has online engagement grown? (numbers) What is the conversion rate of online engagement and audience/student/ donors? (numbers)

3

Time Travelling Pie Chart

7% 8% 35%

10% 11% 29%

gather data implement tactics measure effects

HAVE A GOOD LUCK!

Recommended Reading Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida Creative Class website Capitalizing on Arizona’s Arts and Culture: 98th Arizona Town Hall Background Report Arizona Needs Arts and Culture More arts and culture reports available from the Virginia G Piper Trust Scope of the Sector: Understanding Arizona Nonprofits and Private Foundations ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation Blog

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4721 - “The first year” communication plan
ISSUE ISSUE ISSUE

INCONSISTENT IDENTITY
GOAL

INACCURATE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF LONGFORM IMPROV
GOAL

PLATEAU OF PARTICIPATION
GOAL

POSITION TORCH AS A RELIABLE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION IN PHOENIX
STRATEGY

INCREASE IMPROV LOVE IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA AND THE WORLD
STRATEGY

BUILD SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION FOR THE TORCH THEATRE AND ALL PHOENIX ARTS AND CULTURE
STRATEGY

UNIFY OUR BRAND THROUGH VISUALS, VOICE AND ACTIONS IDENTIFY WITH OUR COMMUNITY

DEMONSTRATE ARTISTRY, HUMOR & EXPERTISE EDUCATE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY PROMOTE THE IDEALS OF IMPROVISATION

IDENTIFY AND ACTIVATE OUR EXISTING POPULATION IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE A NEW POPULATION MAKE THINGS EASY TO FIND, JOIN AND DO COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES
TACTICS

TACTICS

TACTICS

EMAIL

TRAINING

TALKING POINTS

THE FORUM

WORDPRESS 4721 BLOG

RESOURCES & INFRASTRUCTURE EXPERT & CELEBRATION POSTS FOURSQUARE TWITTER

PRINT

GUEST POSTS

VIDEOS (SHOWS)

VIDEOS OF THE HEART FACEBOOK RAZOO

SOCIAL NETWORKS

OBJECTIVES

OBJECTIVES

OBJECTIVES

NUMBERS & PERCEPTION

CONTENT & PERCEPTION

NUMBERS & CONTENT