Expert Advice: Embracing Digital

Whether you’re using digital technologies in your creative interpretation or as a way to get more people to ‘visit’ your Hidden Gem, you’ll already know that the digital playground is a fun place to be. To help you navigate the digital possibilities of your project, we asked Grant Black, creative director at Hereford-based media education and film production charity Rural Media, and Rich Matthews, development manager at Rural Media, for their top tips when your project includes digital products.

Here's what they said:

  • Digital should never be approached as an ‘add on’, but a vital, organic ingredient that brings an idea to life. Therefore think about the digital and technology you’re using and ask yourself why this technology and/or medium is the only way to reach your intended audience and tell the story of your Gem?
  • Content is still King. Think about the story and narrative you want to tell and the best way to tell it before deciding what digital output is best suited to your idea, if indeed it does need digital at all. And story doesn’t has to be conventional, it can be expressed in a range of ways, but you still have to know WHAT that story is first.
  • For film specifically, think early on about the style and scale of what you want to achieve. Costs can be kept to a minimum if you intend to use just interviews and footage of your gem. If you have aspirations for animation, fictional narrative, motion graphics, actors, aerial photography etc. these can be achievable but costly. 
  • For something larger scale like an app, simplicity is key to keeping costs down. A complicated app that has many multi-functional purposes and pages may be too costly. 
  • It’s vital that any digital product sits alongside a meaningful digital campaign to reach audiences. First ask yourself who your intended audience is. Where do they consume digital? How will your digital product reach them? Would a social media campaign be needed to reach a large audience? If so, you may want to factor in time for social media and marketing experts to help you reach your intended audience.
  • A lot can be achieved over a 9 month period but sometimes availability of key experts can affect this. We’d recommend getting in contact with the digital experts or companies you are thinking about working with in advance to gauge how long your digital product takes to create and realistic availability of your experts.
  • When pricing your digital product, remember to factor in any ongoing maintenance costs that might be needed. For example a website and app will have yearly costs attached to them.

In October 2017 Rural Media hosted The Happening, a digital arts event at De Koffie Pot in Hereford.