Google Mentoring Scheme - How Glór beat all the odds
In October, 2012, Ennis arts centre Glór participated in the Google Mentoring Scheme with a key goal: to increase its online ticket sales by 10 per cent
Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for the Arts, with Niamh Honer and Niamh Byrne of the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, at the Google HQ, Barrow Street, Dublin. Photograph: Tony Maxwell
By the time the scheme finished in May of the following year, it had boosted its sales by a staggering 112 per cent. It’s just one of the ways that a little know-how from businesses is helping arts organisations all around the country.
According to Karl Ryan, who co-ordinates the scheme at Google, the initiative, which was set up in 2009, sees the internet giant mentor four arts organisations every year.
“We help them primarily with working out how to navigate digital marketing channels,” he says, adding that while arts organisations are entitled to a proportion of free advertising with Google, they may not know how to get the most out of products such as Google Adwords.
This year Google is working with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the National Gallery of Ireland, Firkin Crane in Cork and The Civic Theatre and Gúna Nua theatre company.
A core group of about three or four employees at Google drive the initiative, all of whom, says Ryan, “are passionate about the arts” and mentor the companies in how to maximise their digital strategies.
“It’s a way of giving back and Google is very supportive of this work that we do.”
Ryan says there is also a pay-off for Google from its involvement with arts organisations.
“The benefit we get is a massive learning experience into how those small businesses work. That means we’re able to see how to tailor messages to different types of organisations, and different levels of experience.”
And there is also an added benefit to the customers of an organisation who may attend their sponsored exhibitions.
“It’s not just about giving people a glass of wine and some canapes. It’s about getting clients to view colour in a different way. It’s about exposing people to different things, it helps them broaden their minds a little bit and leads us to where we want to be,” says Holland.