The National Arts Marketing Project, provides information, tools, and practical ideas to design high-quality, cost-effective marketing programs and strengthen arts organizations. Our Advisory Committee provides expert guidance and constantly seeks new resources and information to keep the site relevant and useful.
It is a challenge to produce effective marketing strategies for our public art projects and programs.
Public art administrators and artists are faced with limited resources; we all wish we had more time, money, and capacity.
How do we go beyond our websites and Facebook pages and get the word out about our public art projects?
This two-part post (check out part two tomorrow) is a compilation of methods from New England-based public art administrators. One fail proof marketing formula does not exist; public art projects and budgets, locations, and audiences can be vastly different.
Consider these suggestions a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story and use what works for you.
1. Post on your website. The Boston Arts Commission features projects with interviews and community photographs on its website. Connecticut Office of the Arts Art in Public Spaces Program Manager Tamara Dimitri wants to “build an army of supporters” and help protect her program, so she plans to provide information about the importance of collecting art on the Office of the Arts’ website.
2. Spread the word in press releases and newsletters. Vermont Arts Council Program Director Michele Bailey uses press releases to get community input on a project and announce unveilings; however, she laments that press releases only touch a small audience. This brings up an important question: how do we communicate to those outside of our circle and engage the general public? Check out some of the innovative methods in the next post. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week we launched a new regular series on ARTSblog that spotlights the staff here at Americans for the Arts. While Kristen Engebretsen happened to give an excellent podcast interview, not everyone has those opportunities; but, it got me thinking about coming up with a fun/interesting way for you to learn about the people behind the organization.
And that brainstorming led me to “Ten Questions with…” in which I will ask everyone the same questions and see where it takes us.
Of course, I then realized I have to start with me since it will encourage the rest of the staff to share. With all that in mind, here is the debut of “Ten Questions with…” as I have interviewed myself:
1. Describe your role at Americans for the Arts in 10 words or less.
ARTSblog editor; writer; part communications/part web team member; internal reporter.
2. What do the arts mean to you?
As I often say, I used to have musical talent—until my voice changed. I also acted a bit in middle school, high school, and one brief appearance in college. But, I have to admit that in addition to being something I enjoy attending or wish I had more talent or courage enough to try, the arts were a refuge for me as a kid. While struggling with your identity during that critical time period everyone reacts differently. For me, I had the whole The Tears of a Clown thing going on—I seemed happy on the surface, but felt very isolated on the inside. The arts, in this case mostly music and television, made me feel less alone. That’s one of the big reasons why I feel passionate about the arts and arts education. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m a strong believer that arts and cultural organizations should explore the practices of for-profit companies, and assimilate what works. Take the popular burger chain Five Guys. I heard about Five Guys launching in my city from my friends. “You have to try the burger…awesome…” they said. I have tried it, and it is a great burger experience. I also noticed interesting consumer psychology at play, and began to think about how these ideas could be adapted to arts and cultural organizations.
Every Five Guys location has its walls covered with huge media testimonials about the awesomeness of the food. Consider:
“FIVE GUYS SERVE HEAVEN ON A BUN” – Tampa Tribune
“Voted Best Burger in Florida” – Best of Florida Awards, ’08, ’09, ’10 Florida Monthly
Under the large banners are smaller articles. You can’t sit in the location without noticing. These signs are not there to get people into the store. But once people are in the room, the signs project a social influence on the user experience.“Other people really like these burgers (and you will too)” they are saying. Cue the concept of the “social norm.” Read the rest of this entry »
In the last decade alone, any business without a web presence—without an online, interactive website—was simply, not in business. Or wouldn’t be for long. The government and nonprofit sector soon learned their way around the internet too.
Now the Pew Charitable Trusts, specifically the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a major survey covering 2007–2011 and involving 1,256 arts organizations, reported that: “The internet and social media are integral to the arts in America.”
The survey found:
- 81 percent of the organizations in this survey say the internet and digital technologies are “very important” for promoting the arts.
- 78 percent say these technologies are “very important” for increasing audience engagement.
- 65 percent say digital technologies are “very important” for fundraising.
There seemed no question that web presence was “important” or “very important” although not everyone is persuaded—yet—that an internet strategy is a priority. Those reporting also felt that such technologies “disrupted much of the traditional art world” by changing “audience expectations, put[ting] more pressure on the arts groups to participate actively in social media and in some circumstances, undercut[ting] organizations’ mission and revenue streams.” In fact, 40 percent believe that “attention spans for live performances” are being negatively impacted. Read the rest of this entry »
As your first week of 2013 gets closer to an end, Americans for the Arts wants to be sure to wish you a Happy New Year! Cue music, lights, photos!
The 2012 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, which ended on December 9, featured the perfect marriage of arts and business. Hundreds of high-end companies hosted private parties; pop up exhibitions and roving ads on cars, carts, and even people. Millions of dollars in art sales, restaurant meals, hotel rooms, and luxury car rentals exchanged hands.
This year’s massive six-day extravaganza featured thousands of the world’s top galleries showcasing art work worth more than $2.5 billion. The growing economy and booming arts market translated into sales for the week that exceeded $500 million.
The Basel spinoffs included 22 satellite fairs that converted Miami into a rambling art lovers paradise. From South Beach to Wynwood, from North Miami to Coral Gables, from Pinecrest to South Dade—there were museums, galleries, and unique spaces featuring thousands of works of art, special events, and cultural happenings.
Corporate marketing executives took notice. The way brands connect with consumers takes many forms. Partnering with an event like Art Basel and the related activities provides the opportunity for direct contact with new customers.
Hundreds of companies were looking to capture the attention of the 500,000+ arts aficionados that descended on Miami and Miami Beach for the week. Brand managers rented museums, galleries, warehouses, gardens, and clubs to showcase their products in an artsy atmosphere. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone loves a top 10 list. Sure, it seems the lists are everywhere this time of year—to the point that you’d think that we’ve over-saturated the market for them, right? Wrong.
The best evidence that I can give you to prove that top 10 lists bring people to your site is that four of our top 10 most viewed posts this year contain the number 10 and, as you will see below, our top 3 new posts published in 2012 contain the number, too.
Thankfully, though, that’s not all we’re about here on ARTSblog.
So, the Top 10 Most Viewed ARTSblog Posts created in 2012 are:
Moderated by Jerry Yoshitomi of MeaningMatters LLC with panelists Rosetta Thurman, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Michelle Witt, it addressed the use of stereotypes and other “shorthand” in marketing.
In short, stereotypes are the boxes in which our brains sort information to simplify the world around us. Because they’re the easiest, quickest way for storytellers to create a character in our heads, they’re everywhere—from sitcoms to, of course, marketing messages.
I had one overwhelming takeaway from the session: Marketers are creators of public perception and need to take that responsibility seriously.
At the beginning of the session, we were asked to think about a time that a stereotype had bothered us. After sharing that experience with a person nearby, we were invited to share our frustration with the rest of the room.
It fascinated (but didn’t surprise) me how many of us were just downright frustrated by assumptions that have plagued us or our art. From exoticism and heteronormativity to common perceptions of art forms like opera, we were all frustrated about something. (The term “HULK SMASH!” was even used to describe one person’s feelings!) Read the rest of this entry »
While sitting in the second row of seats looking at heat and confetti maps of sample websites, I was reminded of the number one reason I love attending the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMPC): all these smart people are sharing information that I get to go home and use, and everyone else will think I’m a genius.
OK, maybe not that last part, but how lucky can we get with colleagues who are willing to help us out like this? I’m as much of an internet nerd as the next new media manager, but it seems that there’s a new resource or tool every week that promises to track, update, monitor, and help you do something with your website, and I can’t be the only one who doesn’t have oodles of extra time to be cruising the internet testing new tools.
In the measuring and improving your ROI session, Caleb Custer and Dan Leatherman presented a metrics-driven and scientific method-inspired “try, learn, think” cycle for testing and implementing changes to an organization’s website.
By using tools they introduced as well as now old standards like Google Analytics, they urged us to “prove the user’s expectations right and they will feel more in control” (paraphrased from Jakob Nielson) and therefore happier with their experience with your site.
Plunk, Clue, Crazy Egg, and others were offered as options for testing user interface, and there were resources for tracking links, segmenting visitors, optimizing landing pages, and then even more about email layout and design, A/B testing…and so on, and so on…and more. Read the rest of this entry »
I made a friend at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference who told me that she had come to the conference to “recharge.”
This was Monday morning, after two full days of breakout sessions and two late nights of conference festivities, and I may have looked at her like she was crazy. “Recharge?” I asked her. “But I’m exhausted!”
She clarified: “I needed to fall in love again with what I do.” Ahh, now I understood.
I knew what she meant and I think the sentiment may be shared by many of my fellow conference attendees. Like them, I work hard…and a lot.
I also work freelance, which means that I’m juggling the competing demands of six or seven clients at any given time. Add to this keeping up with laundry and trying to go on dates with my girlfriend, and it’s rare that I have a spare moment to reflect on why I do what I do.
This professional self-reflection is crucial, however, as the conference weekend reminded me.
The sessions were, for the most part, excellent. The keynotes were fantastic. The networking was valuable. I feel like I’ve come away concrete tools, supportive connections, and useful insights.
But what I’m most happy to take away is a renewed love of what I do. Read the rest of this entry »
This was my first time attending not only the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMPC), but also any conference. I am very happy to conclude that my experience was amazing and I would recommend this to anyone that is in any marketing field (and also if you are a student)!
I was asked to write this post-NAMPC piece to deliver a student perspective on the conference…here it goes!
Engagement, Mission, Alive, Active, Participatory, Stickiness, Contextualization, Spry, and Pray…all the words that come to my mind when I think of this past weekend (the list is endless!).
As a student, I came to NAMPC to primarily explore and listen to some of the TOP professionals in the marketing industry. What I received was something I wasn’t ready for.
Presenters sprawled from all areas of business (banks, agencies, venues, organizations, institutions)—both in and out of the confides of the performing arts, which I felt was an awesome exposure and a true springboard for discussions within the sessions.
Like I said earlier one of the reasons why I decided to attend was to listen and expand my critical thinking in an industry that I’m still learning about, that quickly changed to networking and participating within the sessions—I thought ‘when would be the next time I would be able to ask an audience engaging question directly to Alan Brown?’ So I did. Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to start out by giving you the link to my Storify—My #NAMPC experience via Twitter. I ended up winning the Most Tweets Award [at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMPC)] and I received a fun t-shirt!
I also won by connecting with more people on Twitter and getting to meet some of these people during the conference. It has been a fun and educational experience for me. If you had to miss the conference they promised to archive the keynote presentations soon.
NAMPC had its ups and downs, but mostly ups. However, through the entire conference, this year, like last year, there were some common themes running through most of the presentations.
Instead of a complete play-by-play like I did last year, I would like to leave you with the my most impressionable takeaways and some of my own thoughts (in no particular order):
- You gotta have passion—if you don’t, people will not be attracted to your mission, cause, project, program…Without passion, what is the point?
- Be weird and silly—or in other terms, be true to your own particular self. It’s not about being similar—it’s about standing out.
- Adding your own personality will increase your likeability.
- Have fun! What makes people want to join? Fun! If it is not enjoyable to you, it probably won’t be to your audiences.
- Everyone is diverse in one way or another. These are my personal thoughts: We can learn to reach out to others after we discover our own sense of diversity and understand personally what it feels like to be stereotyped and discounted.
- Keep ego out of the organization.
- Visual impact is necessary! There is so much blah, blah, blah, and not enough “language” of our arts. If you are a music organization, it would be good to have clips and videos of performances and music. If you are an artist, make viewing your art an experience. If you are theater and dance, videos are a must. How can people figure out if your art is for them if they can’t “see” it and feel it? Read the rest of this entry »
“Charlotte in 2012” is becoming quite a theme this year, as we prepare to welcome more than 600 arts marketing and development practitioners from across the country to the National Arts Marketing Project Conference (NAMPC), November 9–12.
The National Arts Marketing Project is a program of Americans for the Arts that, in addition to the annual conference, hosts monthly webinars, organizes regional training programs, and provides on-site workshops on a range of arts marketing topics.
The three-and-a-half day NAMP Conference includes two full-day pre-conferences, four keynote addresses, and more than 100 presenters in more than 50 workshops and discussion groups. Attendees will gain new ideas to build audience, learn ways to stretch even the tightest budget, and discover methods to better engage donors. Past host cities include Louisville, KY, San Jose, CA, Providence, RI, Houston, TX, and Miami, FL.
Method Products Co-Founder and Chief Brand Architect Eric Ryan launches the 2012 Conference as the Opening Keynote. Nina Simon, author and executive director of the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, CA, will invigorate attendees on day two. The Conference closes with author and strategist Rohit Bhargava who will not only share his marketing expertise, but also his new book, Likeonomics, which was just named a must-read of 2012 by Forbes! (Editor’s Note: You can watch all of the keynotes live online!)
Individual session titles will tackle diverse topics like, Innovations That Pay: How Arts Organizations Are Adapting and Finding New Income Streams, Consumer Psychology: New Experiments That Use Science to Grow Your Audience, and The Win-Win: Arts Organizations and Businesses Partner to Achieve More. Read the rest of this entry »
In celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month and the annual Americans for the Arts tradition of Creative Conversations, my colleague Ally Yusuf (Founder & Moderator of #ArtsMgtChat) and I are co-hosting the first national Creative Conversation on Twitter!
The Creative Workforce in the Post-Recession Economy is open to everyone and takes place today (October 17) for one hour starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT using #NatCC12 as the hashtag.
Come share in 140 characters or less, your thoughts, resources and stories about your view on this fascinating topic. We all either know someone or are someone who has been professionally affected by the recession. Whether you are a staffer, freelancer, consultant, employer or recruiter—you probably have something to add to the dialogue.
(Editor’s Note: For a quick primer on how Twitter chats work, check out this ARTSblog post by Kristen Engebretsen.)
As an arts leadership and professional development researcher and advocate, I’ve been profoundly concerned about the effects of the recession on our nonprofit arts workforce. In response, I established the Art Career Cafe which has both a website with job listings and resources as well as a Facebook page to provide an interactive community.
Since its launch in late July, we have over 200 Facebook group members. Many members are young arts professionals with degrees in arts management looking for full time work; others are freelancers who have chosen a less traditional but equally viable path to a creative career. Read the rest of this entry »