Friday, October 19, 2007

The last TINA blog

Although this is my last blog for the TINA placement, it is definitely not the last thing I will have to do with TINA. I'm meeting with Marni next week to have a general chat about how I went at TINA and probably to have a drink or two! To complete this blogging process, I feel I should give an overall evaluation of the whole event and how I now feel, half a month after it has finished.

I think the greatest thing I learnt in terms of event management was to be organised and have a plan for everything. There is so much that needs to be done and having lists and plans are essential to making sure you know you're doing, what other people are doing and a whole heap of other things. Obviously communication is a large part of this and there is definitely areas which could be improved upon next year.
Secondly I think I learnt how to relax a little. Marni was a person who taught me that it is no use making a huge fuss over things - you have to keep a cool head and just work them out with the input of other people. This is something I have struggled with before. Seeing other people calm relaxes and calms everyone else down as well.
I also learnt how to work as part of a team to bring together this amazing event, see it come to fruition and just have it be beyond what I had imagined it would be. Relying on other people was a large part of this process and I know I have previously been bad at this. I've learnt to delegate, share workloads and ideas and be an active part of a team.

Technically, I feel my awareness about PR has increased. Although I work as a journalist already and feel accomplished in my writing skills, this placement allowed me to see what is needed from the other side - such as a communications plan! I've already talked about areas within my role which need development.
I've also improved my skills in web design and maintenance greatly - mostly this was because I had no-one else to ask how to do things and just had to fiddle around and figure it out!

It's interesting to see what I have learnt compared to another girl in this course, also doing the TINA placement. Tahnee and I worked pretty closely at the festival club and I definitely agree with the suggestions she makes about time in her blog. Check it out at

I think the most significant part of this placement was just being a part of the whole process and seeing this event that so many people have slaved over and dedicated so much time towards, actually coming to fruition and more than that, being a resounding success. It's bought me pride I haven't felt for a long time and it's been such a positive experience for me.

I found it challenging to say no to things - and consequently sacrificed my uni marks for this placement. There was so much that I needed to get done - and it was like, if I didn't get it done, no-one else would and it wouldn't get done. So I found I was spending way too much time on what I would call the hours for this placement instead of doing uni work or earning money work, but at the same time, I became such a part of this event that I couldn't not do it! does that make sense? ha ha ah ah.

TINA is amazing. Enough said. I loved my time there and although it was stressful and took so much time and dedication, it was something I was willing to put my effort towards. Attached below is my preliminary ideas for the TINA evaluation I have done as the Newcastle media liaison. These are only ideas and there is certainly more that needs to be added, but this is the general gist.


Publicity Team Evaluation: Newcastle Media – Allyson Horn

The coverage from Newcastle print media was resoundingly positive during the festival. Key messages such as what the festival is, the popularity of the festival and major highlights were reoccurring through the coverage. Of all Newcastle commercial print publications (5), only one did not cover the festival. This is something to work on next year, along with my following suggestions.

Primary roles I carried out as the Newcastle Media Liaison:

- Distributed media releases weekly leasing up to event and then daily when needed during the event. These releases also reinforced key messages and provided general This Is Not Art details. (Releases are on the media section of the TINA website)

- Designed a (mini) communications plan for the Newcastle media and how to approach and implement it – consequently implemented it.

- Organised picture opportunities for local media or researched and provided material to media.

- Liased with local media personalities to get them to attend and cover events, such as the launch for the social pages.

- Updated and designed sections of the website, including half-daily during the festival

- Organised photography for the festival and how to have this shown on the website - a flicker site.

- Designed and formatted logos for print and website publication

- Assisted Claire in anything else that needed doing.


- We need a communications plan to be developed. It should be designed to be implemented as a year long project (not starting just months before the festival. This will include:

o A breakdown of who our key publics are (media wise) and how we can contact them (and lead times/deadlines)

o A list of measurable objectives – we need to have objectives we can show we have either met or not met and use these positive results as a marketing tool

o Strategies and implementation that would include consideration of different mediums and media tactics for before, during and after the festival.

o Timeline

o Methods for evaluation and what we need to find from our evaluation – also a discussion on how these results can be used for future sponsorship etc

- We need to record what is being published – eg – there were radio interviews and things that we have no record of and so we can’t accurately show the coverage we are getting. A media log would be a good idea so that when things come in or are published, they could be recorded then and there. This will also speed up the evaluation process.

- I would like to focus on the different sections of the Newcastle Herald. Such as Orbit for youth orientated participation or the arts pages for exhibitions. I believe they will cover the festival, but only in certain sections, which we need to discover and tap into.

- The website needs to be done earlier than 2007. We did not have sponsor logos up three weeks before the event and the website was still undergoing construction. This needs to be addressed. Of particular concern is coverage during the festival – ie – how can we get pictures from the festival up there and online, and also a section on program changes.

- There is a lack of internal communication between directors and TINA staff in general. Directors often had no idea what was happening with other aspects of the festival.

Newcastle based Print Media Coverage: - note – Still a whole other folder to file – situated at the Octapod

02/09/07 Sun Herald, Hunter Extra “Festival to pull in crowds” – Small filler on This Is Not Art festival, when it is on, major attractions and new events, such as the Bike Corral.

09/09/07 Sun Herald, Hunter Extra “Got any room for an artist?” – small filler on the shortage of Newcastle budget accommodation and the call for local residents to ‘adopt an artist’.

27/09/07 The Newcastle Herald, The Word “Hamming it up” – small article and picture (of artists) on the Lunchbox Theatre as Part of This Is Not Art, including local performers and where they will be performing.

26/09/02 The Post “TINA all-embracing, creative talents combine at festival” – standard article on the This Is Not Art festival. Describes the event, the four special programs, highlights of the festival (such as Charles Firth from The Chaser) and how to get more information. Small picture of Marni Jackson (festival coordinator) included.

30/09/07 Sun Herald, Hunter Extra “National Exposure for local culture” – half page picture and lead story on producer Marcus Westbury and new television series he has produced called ‘Not Quite Art’. Discusses Marcus being a featured artist at This Is Not Art and his preview screening to be held at the festival.

30/09/07 Sun Herald, Hunter Extra Social Pages “Painting the town red” – small article on the This Is Not Art launch mentioning accidental fire, National Young Writer’s Festival and Electofringe. Accompanied by three small photos of people at the launch.

01/10/07 The Newcastle Herald, Social Pages “This Is Not Art party” – half a page (five) of photos on people attending the This Is Not Art launch. A small blurb on the launch mentioning hundreds of people attended.

27/09/07 The Daily Telegraph, Newcastle Extra “Not art, but drawing everyone’s attention” – A lead piece on the This Is Not Art festival and major attractions including Charles Firth from The Chaser. Key messages included having events for the general public and number of people the festival attracts. Large picture of Electrofringe Director Cat Jones and a local designer.

1-2/09/07 The Sydney Morning Herald, Life “The gentle art of zine” – Full page article on zines – reference to This Is Not Art as a festival that holds zine culture together and a place where zines can be swapped for other zines and offerings.

07/02/07 The Post, TE, “Experimental Rock that pushes the boundaries” – Short article on Sydney band Pivot which makes reference when they played in Newcastle previously at the 2006 This Is Not Art festival.

April-May 07 Sydney Performance Magazine “The cool of entertainment” Full page article by Electrofringe Director Cat Jones on the Japanese Media Arts Festival. Mentions of Electrofringe but not specifically This Is Not Art.

15/05/07 The Daily Telegraph, Newcastle Extra “Culture is the lose, events cash cut by $200,000” – half page lead on the threatened loss of funding from Newcastle City Council towards local events including This Is Not Art. Comments from Marni Jackson and quarter page picture of Marni and the 2006 TINA program.


And so comes the end of this blog. Now I just have to start on TINA 2008!