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Contributed by
Actors of Dionysus

Overview

Actors of Dionysus (AoD) is a charity and limited company with more than 25 years of performing ancient Greek Drama and new writing inspired by myth.

When the first lockdown came into place in March 2020, AoD had to find new ways to safely engage audiences. AoD started sharing videos every day of performers – from actors to celebrities – reading excerpts of ancient Greek and Roman writing on social media platforms.

AoD called the incentive the #dailydose series, and it has enabled them to continue offering creative pieces to supporters in an easy and free manner.

Recipe status

This recipe has been in use since March 2021.

We are not sharing this recipe as the perfect solution to a problem, but we believe Actors of Dionysus’s learnings could be very useful to other organisations.

Users and needs served

  • As a user, I want to access creative pieces and performances in a COVID-safe way
  • As a creative educator, I want to continue engaging audiences in a COVID-safe way

Software and tools used

Twitter

Twitter is a social networking platform that allows users to post short statements and engage with statements from others.

Cost

Twitter is free to use.

Considerations

You can instantly share videos on a user-friendly platform to engage with audiences.

You can connect with different organisations in different parts of the world by searching and speaking to them via their Twitter accounts.

You can share content from other accounts for your own followers to see, which can create rich discussions.

Twitter can be quite a political platform, so staying neutral when there are larger discussions occurring can be difficult at times.

YouTube

YouTube is a social media platform that enables users to post videos and browse through videos from other users at their leisure.

Cost

YouTube is free to use.

Considerations

YouTube acts as an archive for a project that consists of a heavy amount of video content.

YouTube can also act as a storage space for all of an organisation’s visual content.

YouTube does not afford users complete control over who follows them, so sometimes it’s difficult to monitor unwanted comments.

Facebook

Facebook is a social networking site that allows users to connect with one another’s platforms, follow pages, and post content.

Cost

Facebook is free to use.

Considerations

Facebook allows users to share longer posts.

Facebook allows users to schedule posts, which improves general visibility.

Facebook can be a good space to post about competitions and calls for submissions.

Posts on Facebook could be both verbal and visual.

Fewer people are using Facebook as a professional platform, which limits the available audience.

Facebook is becoming a more social and private platform to keep in touch with friends.

Instagram

Instagram is a social networking channel where users post images and videos and can follow other accounts, creating a stream of visual content.

Cost

Instagram is free to use.

Considerations

Instagram provides a large audience that is arguably easier to reach than users on some other platforms.

Instagram does not impose a word limit, so charities can use a large number of hashtags to ensure posts appear in association with other posts using that hashtag.

The focus on Instagram is on visual content, which means written posts often get lost and it is a little more difficult to share links.

Recipe steps

1. Evaluate material you want to share

• Work with material that you are comfortable with

• Familiarise yourself with content

• Ensure that performers are comfortable to perform content visually

• Research different areas that you feel your audience would be excited about

2. Consider the video formatting

• Do not worry about expensive equipment, as you can use smartphones

• Find interesting backdrops and locations to ensure the audience are given a variety of settings to maintain interest

• Think about props and outfits you can use to add to the variety of videos you post

• Consider how natural elements like the wind can affect your sound quality when recording outside

3. Research guests to speak on platforms

• Consider the guests you would like to invite to add variety to the videos you are sharing

• Incorporate well-known individuals that can increase the reach of your videos

• Give a specific list of instructions to the performers who are creating videos

4. Apply for funding

• Look into funding to help with recruiting staff and also to support the freelancers and creative artists that you invite to speak in your videos

5. Post content onto social media

• Schedule weekly themes that are based on your users’ needs

• Post videos on the days that you find to be most popular on social media platforms

• Consider using software that schedules posts, such as TweetDeck for Twitter or Publishing Tools for Facebook

• Engage your audience by posting activities for them to get involved with, such as escape rooms and quizzes

6. Look at the feedback you’re receiving

• Gather feedback from the social media reactions you are getting, which is an easy and free way to understand how your content is being received

• Track when people are most engaged and how this varies across social media platforms

Guidance

Think outside the box in terms of the variety of different outputs you use.

Source speakers from different fields to make your videos engaging. Make sure to have a diverse and inclusive array of speakers who come from different cultural backgrounds.

Risks

You can’t always be sure of who will follow you on social media and whether your posts will attract unwanted or inappropriate comments.

Hashtags can be used and appropriated by audiences that you don’t want involved in your sphere of work.

The people you invite to speak in videos can be from what some may deem a controversial background. The wider political atmosphere can sometimes filter into the work that you do, so you should be aware that followers may respond to this.

Points of contact

For further information about this recipe, you can contact:

Tamsin Shasha

Thanks

Many thanks to Actors of Dionysus for contributing this recipe.

Licence

This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.

That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and Actors of Dionysus and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.

Recipe published on March 30th, 2021. Last updated March 30th, 2021