Jenna featured in ArtsBiz

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WILL USING FACEBOOK AND TWITTER BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE? Undefeated drag racer, cupcake baker and PR expert, Jenna Gruhala Oltersdorf, has practical tips for how to use social media to build your brand and grow your audience.
Jenna Gruhala Oltersdorf, Principal of Snackbox Public Relations, recently presented at A&BC’s workshop “PR in the Digital Age” and she’s the mastermind behind the creation of Artsbiz. Her workshop presentation was so tactics-based and interesting; A&BC interviewed her for its newsletter. Everyone keeps talking about social media. What exactly is it? Social media, or SM, is user-generated content on the web. SM offers low-cost and free tools that enable anyone to publish or access information. Examples of SM sites include YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Wikipedia, Blogger, etc. The key factor of SM is creating conversations and building personal relationships.

Should arts organizations use SM as a PR tactic? SM is a very rewarding PR tactic for arts organizations to employ, though it does require time, creativity and consistency. SM can help your organization connect with volunteers, build relationships with donors, publicize fundraisers and events, and so much more. How much time per week should an organization devote to their SM efforts? I suggest spending about an hour a day on business days with your SM efforts. It’s important to “check in” on a consistent basis.

Do you have any suggestions as to how to make it as easy as possible to maintain SM efforts? A few suggestions for streamlining your SM efforts:


  • Create a list of all of the SM outlets with which you’re involved, along with usernames and passwords. This makes passing the baton MUCH easier should you eventually hire someone to help with your efforts, etc.
  • Develop an editorial calendar for topics you want to cover … this helps you stay on top of your messages and keeps the conversation going even on days when you’re not sure what to talk about.
  • Create a folder within your Internet bookmarks so you can store relevant sites for future use. These sites may inspire you for a future blog entry, be something to share with your Twitter followers, and so on.
  • Keep your staff up-to-date on what’s happening with your SM efforts and call for brainstorm sessions so you can keep your content as fresh and creative as possible.
  • Start small … add more and more SM tactics as you become more comfortable with the types that are out there.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new types of SM tactics, but do sit back and listen in on the conversations so you get a good feel for how the environment works.
  • Keep in mind that you get what you give when it comes to SM. There is no secret formula for how much time you should put into it.



Jenna Gruhala Oltersdorf has managed and executed programs for sole proprietorships, multi-billion dollar companies and nonprofits. When she’s not making PR magic for her clients, Jenna enjoys drag racing Corvettes (she’s undefeated), baking cupcakes and reading Augusten Burroughs. You can find her playing Halo 3 under the Xbox Live gamer tag xxxJENNACIDExxx and on Twitter under @JennaSnacks.