Friday 10 October 2014

There’s something about print

For the past few months, one of my projects as part of the fundraising team has been working on developing new print for our annual giving programme. I’ve researched other giving print, collated ideas, helped decide on our message, developed the copy, worked with a new designer, our printers and the marketing team to create something that hopefully stands out and will encourage more people to give to Britten Sinfonia.

I know what some of you might be thinking: ‘in a world of digital marketing and social media campaigns, what’s the point in print? We’ve all seen the hugely successful selfie campaign and ice bucket challenge…’ But even though digital campaigns are important drivers of both marketing and fundraising we don’t want our print to get left behind because it’s important, too. You’re right that much of the information we print is available in some form online, but if you’re anything like me however much you might walk around with an iPhone glued to your hand there’s still nothing better than sitting down (or snuggling into bed in your pyjamas) with a magazine or a good book; turning the pages, feeling the weight of it (or lack of, depending on whether you’re reading Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries or Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea) enjoying the experience of holding an actual book with a lovely cover and beautifully printed pages... And, let’s face it, we get much more excited to receive post through the letter box than an email in our overflowing inboxes.

We decided to update the annual giving print for a number of reasons. The text was out of date (highlighting Britten Sinfonia’s 20th birthday while we’re now approaching our 25th) the cover image was dark and dated, and since it was produced over two years ago it feels like every orchestra has chosen to entice potential donors to ‘play your part’, and Britten Sinfonia is no ordinary orchestra. It was time for a change and for something a bit different.
Our previous annual giving print

After a lot of research and thought we came up with a few things that we wanted to achieve: something different, bold and eye-catching yet simple, concise and tidy. With our ideas settled we left the final design in capable hands and continued to work on our overall message and how we were going to communicate it.

Although our previous ‘play your part’ stance was, and still is, relevant, we think there’s much more to your ownership of the orchestra than that. There’s more to being a supporter of Britten Sinfonia than sending a cheque or setting up a direct debit and playing a part in financing our concerts. Everyone who is a regular concert-attender and even those who only come along occasionally should feel that the orchestra they have invested even a little bit of their time and/ or money in is truly theirs for the taking.

Instead of highlighting funding cuts and the need for more gifts from individuals, we have chosen to emphasise the positives: in spite of everything, Britten Sinfonia is growing and achieving more than ever before and it’s thanks to our current partners, donors and everyone who has ever purchased a single ticket. All of you have contributed to our successes and so each concert and project belongs to you. And giving, whether it’s your time in a concert hall or your hard-earned cash, is all about you and your relationship to us. You’re not just playing your part; we’re here because of you, so Britten Sinfonia is your orchestra.

Our exciting shiny new annual giving print

Nothing beats a good book, and (at least at Britten Sinfonia) it’s always exciting to receive a pallet-load of new print. I think everyone in the office could do without the smell of ink that lingers for weeks, but it’s great to write letters, stuff envelopes and post out our latest leaflet or brochure to our donors and audiences, because there’s definitely something about print.

Development Assistant

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