SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—AUG. 10, 2018—Proctors recently completed a 15-month project to rebuild and expand its websites.
“There were a number of challenges,” said Jim Murphy, the organization’s director of marketing and corporate sales. “We had three venue sites built by three different parties on two different architectures; we had yet another website for Open Stage Media, our public access in Schenectady County; our regional School of Performing Arts at Proctors had little web presence at all; and there was no element that told about certain aspects of our mission, such as economic development and civic engagement.”
“The mishmash wasn’t by design,” Murphy added. “As Proctors grew, it inherited websites created independently from one another.”
Overit—a full-service creative agency in Albany, which has been a partner in The Alt with Proctors for the past two years—was hired to co-develop the websites.
“There was a vision,” Murphy said, “but no bandwidth to do some of the heavy lifting. We oversaw creative direction and devoted considerable staff time to some of the production, but with more than a dozen social media sites and content for hundreds of events and projects each year, it was necessary to have a partner.”
If Proctors marketing team was an independent ad agency, it would be one of the region’s largest, with 17 full-time employees—“Overit enabled us to stay focused on our core business. Ironically, putting this project to bed will give us some capacity to take on outside work beginning in 2019.”
Proctors now has six websites interconnected on one platform. Four have individual addresses (capitalrep.org,openstagemedia.org, proctors.org, universalpreservationhall.org) and two are sub-domains of proctors.org(insider.proctors.org, school.proctors.org).
“There is navigation at the top of every page to every other site,” Murphy said, adding that “the new platform better accommodates video, news and feature content.”
In spring 2017, Proctors hired Emmy Award®–winning videographer and former journalist Kate Penn, who produces several videos weekly and writes as well.
“Her official title is content manager but I introduce her as our ‘digital storyteller,’” said Murphy. “She covers our School of Performing Arts almost daily at certain times of the year. But she also captures rehearsals and does interviews for shows we build at theREP. And we occasionally send her on the road to interview cast members of touring Broadway before they arrive in Schenectady.”
“Digital is not just a trend; it’s a part of every day life,” said Proctors Digital Marketing Manager Emily Lang. “These websites enable us to connect with our current audience, and to reach new audiences through engaging content, online ticket sales and resources for the arts in the Capital Region.”
“We’re always making things in the real world at Proctors,” said CEO Philip Morris, “school rooms, theatres, power plants. It’s good to have a solid foot in the virtual world as well. We want everyone to be able to participate in Proctors, and Overit has helped us get to that place.”
“Working with Philip and Proctors is a perfect fit for us,” said Overit Principal Michelle Dinsmore. “We share the same values and passion for the region, and we understand that there are many ways to engage the arts, including through the digital world.”
Proctors, as a regional arts organization, is a $27 million entity with venues in Schenectady, Albany and Saratoga, employing 230 people. Our mission: “Through arts and community leadership, Proctors will be a catalyst for excellence in education, sustainable economic development, and rich civic engagement to enhance the quality of life in the greater Capital Region.”
Our historic downtown Schenectady theatre houses a MainStage seating 2,646 people, as well as two black box theatres, a 12,000 square-foot education and training facility, a café and stores. The theatre hosts numerous Broadway shows each year, and is home to touring Broadway technical rehearsals each season. Visit proctors.org.
The School of the Performing Arts at Proctors, with a nine-member faculty and more than 50 adjunct instructors, serves over 45,000 area youth annually in a 14-county region. The school recently expanded into workforce development for the creative technical arts. Visit school.proctors.org.
Capital Repertory Theatre, with a 286-seat performance space in downtown Albany, is the region’s only professional theatre. Construction will commence soon at the former National Biscuit Co. for a new home for theREP—a 300-seat MainStage, 70-seat black box theatre, full-time café and box office will open in Dec. 2019. Visit capitalrep.org.
Universal Preservation Hall is a 19thcentury High Victorian Gothic church in downtown Saratoga. It will be transformed into a 700-seat theatre-in-the-round Great Hall with a community event space by Dec. 2019. Visituniversalpreservationhall.org.
Open Stage Media—public, educational and government access cable television for Schenectady—has been managed by Proctors since 2011.Visit openstagemedia.org.
Founded in 1993, Overit is an interactive creative agency that specializes in marketing, design, development, public relations, SEO/PPC, motion graphics and social media. For more information, visit overit.com.