SNJO: In the Hall of the Mountain King
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and their Artistic Director, the saxophonist Tommy Smith are widely recognized to be “world class” with an international reputation for the highest quality jazz and programming.
In 2013, while performances soared with rapturous receptions to their Ellington and Rhapsody in Blue concerts in Canada and USA, (SNJO at Montreal Jazz Festival), back at home, the digital world of the SNJO came crashing down as our outmoded website was hacked and phoney emails sent into the ether at a rate of 1000 every 10 minutes!! BUT what now?
Fortunately, a recent AmbITion Approach grant had enabled experts to critically examine our digital footprint and sustainability. Their report highlighted an urgent need for change warning of this very scenario!! and recommended an application to Amb:IT:ion’s Digital Content Development. Aims were to create a modern, fit for purpose and interactive website that included social media, video and music capabilities to maximise the growing ambitions and international reach of the orchestra.
A successful pitch resulted in a period that was challenging but our new website is clear, easy to update and increasingly interactive. There is still plenty more work to do as a website should never stand still but basic information is there and as our webmaster has more time, the final pieces will be incorporated.
An important item for us and future jazz audiences was the development of our Youth card whereby young people aged 16-25yrs could register and buy concert tickets for just £5. Previously this required posting out membership cards, which took time and money, but now membership cards can be downloaded to their phones for use. As well as improving our carbon footprint, data collected on signing up helps to grow our audience database for dispersal of news.
Our You Tube channel is growing and we are very aware of need to create video for this and we will ensure all existing footage will also be uploaded to give a historical timeline for our concerts. A recent highlight is the televising of our most recent concert, Mozart’s 9th Piano concerto for Japanese NHK TV channel. SNJO, Makoto Ozone and Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto
Our music channel is ongoing and with the release of two Cds in the last 18mths – Ellington: In the Spirit of Duke and American Adventure – both to rave reviews, the ability to play taster tracks will increase and can only benefit global recognition. We are using music clips in efliers and the recent nomination of In the Spirit of the Duke in the prestigious SAY Awards was helped our new abilities to understand and utilise Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Linkedin and other social media to garner votes and increase publicity.
Following training we have run facebook campaigns to more than double the number of the number of likes, have exploredt and joined relevant facebook groups and have trialled and run two successful advert campaigns which not only drove traffic to our site but also increased our e database. Twitter (@snjo2) has been more problematic re growing the number of followers but is showing steady improvement which we will concentrate on in the future. Our Blog is currently under plans and will shortly augment the site also.
We now look forward with confidence to our 20th anniversary in 2015, safe in the knowledge that our digital future is secure and current while our increased knowledge and audience base will allow us to explore new ventures, grow audiences, expand our online presence with film, music, photos and more and increasing worldwide reach and recognition will offer opportunities to act as wonderful ambassadors for Scottish Jazz worldwide. See for yourself in one of our recent videos: SNJO, Kurt Elling – Tay Boat Song.