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Why won’t you listen to me?

June 7, 2009

If you looked at the short video I posted last week called “The Break Up” you had a chance to see a humorous take on the one way communication model used in advertising. (If you didn’t get to see the video, click here – its only two minutes and the rest of this post will make more sense).

The video highlights what is happening in many sectors, and how the marketing and public relations is being redefined my the Internet and social media.  In David Meerman Scott book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, he outlines some of these changes. While this list is not specifically about arts organizations I believe that many of these rules make a great deal of sense when thinking about our constituents. In my Thesis statement I have said;

Patrons will demand more technological personal interaction and meaningful content in their communication with theaters.

Here are a few of David’s rules that really support what I am trying to get at.

  • People want authenticity, not spin.

I am starting to sound like a broken record with this point, but it is one of the most important rules for successful use of social networking. You have to be real, because if you are not, no one will listen.

  • People want participation, not propaganda.

Similar to my first point above, arts organizations cannot just try to re-use marketing and stick it in a digital form. People interact differently online and organizations must be sensitive to that. People need meaningful interaction.

  • Companies must drive people into the purchasing process with great on line content.

We all still want our audiences to buy tickets but it isn’t flashy ads that do this online. People who are engaging with our organizations digitally want content. It is a personal experience. Arts organizations must work hard to make quality content available that helps audiences want to see our performances. Direct marketing online can become largely ineffective, and the equivalent of “junk mail”.

Patrons want this personal experience and have a hunger for content like never before. Communication rules are changing, and we see more and more that we have to adjust our models if we want our organizations to stay relevant.


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