Posts Tagged ‘ theater ’

Taking an organization’s past into the web’s future

On the “about” page of its website, The Reeves Theater Restoration Group prominently proclaims “A future in the past.”

But whether or not this non-profit organization achieves its $3.2 million fundraising goal might depend on if “the past can be shown by the future.”

In this case “the future” means web-based communications technologies the non-profit is using to tell its story. The tale itself is a compelling one — an art-deco theater that was once the vibrant center of a small town has fallen into disrepair, but a locally-driven effort could revive it as a performing arts center that would give the community a much-needed economic boost. This is a story that trades heavily on nostalgia — with photos and testimonials of people who remember the theater in its heyday — in order to project what a revitalized Reeves could mean.

That approach is a tricky one to implement on the web, although the organization is trying. Its website is well constructed and pops up as the first hit on a Google search for “Reeves Theater.” The organization has also established a Facebook group with more than 700 members.

But simply being on the web is one thing; effectively turning that presence into donations and awareness is another. The website is mostly static, with little content about upcoming fundraising events. The Facebook group has been devoid of updates for a few months now. Neither makes use of all the photos and personal stories the organization has available to make its pitch on “a future in the past.”

That will soon change. I’m heading up a five-person project that will reinvigorate the Facebook site, create some more dynamic content for the website, and make sure the design and branding is consistent for online and print materials. What gives the project so much potential is the capability of multimedia to tell this story better than print. A video or an interactive photo gallery both establish a much more immediate connection than text on a page. Social media outlets are ideal for sharing memories, which are in abundance for the Reeves Theater and needed in order to motivate the restoration.

It’s all a matter of bringing the past to life with the future of communications. That will maximize this organization’s capabilities for the present.

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