Keeping It Simple in a Jargon-Filled World

Posted by Chavon D. Carroll On April - 3 - 2012

Chavon D. Carroll

Have you ever tried to explain why the mirror fogs up in the bathroom when the shower is on to an inquisitive five-year-old? If so, you’ll quickly realize it’s not as easy as you’d think.

It’s one of those processes where you understand exactly how it happens and why, but explaining it in simple enough words to a child who has absolutely no idea or reference point is much harder than you would first think.

I’m often faced with this conundrum in two completely separate roles in my life—as a mother of a five-year-old daughter and as a donor marketing officer for the Arts & Science Council (ASC) in Charlotte, NC.

As odd as it may sound, those two jobs often require some of the same skill sets.

I won’t go into too much detail about my motherhood responsibilities (another day, another blog), but in my position at ASC, I’m often tasked with taking our jargon-filled massive amounts of facts and supporting statements and translating it to donors and potential donors.

It’s not exactly what it says in my job description but in a nutshell, it’s what I do. Read the rest of this entry »

How Strong is Your Social Net? (Part 1)

Posted by Mary Trudel On October - 5 - 2011

Mary Trudel

At last year’s NAMP Conference in San Jose – near the heart of Silicon Valley – my partner, Rory MacPherson, and I announced a national survey to gather input on how arts organizations and collaboratives are faring in the dynamic digital communications landscape.

Responding to input from arts organizations and regional arts collaboratives that are striving to get the most out of the latest digital communications tools and social media, we wanted to take a national snapshot of how arts groups are doing with adoption and integration of new social media platforms into their overall marketing outreach.

We decided to conduct a research project to collect hard data on how groups are managing messaging alignment, resource allocation, and how well they perceive their digital communications and social media efforts are working.

It seemed to us that even those who are leading the field and getting outstanding results are not completely sure they’re communicating consistently, clearly and compellingly, wonder if they are connecting authentically with patrons and fans, and are concerned about how to sustain and improve the effectiveness of what they’re doing. And universally, arts organizations reported struggling to measure the return on investment of their digital efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Teasing Messaging Strategy Out of Research

Posted by Clayton Lord On October - 4 - 2011

Clayton Lord

At the place where marcomm* and advocacy meet, discussing our value in the landscape of possible activities is becoming increasingly important. Because at its core, both marcomm and advocacy are about where someone should put dollars, albeit on different scales.

In the most recent edition of WolfBrown’s e-newsletter, On Our Minds, Zach Kemp wrote about a study published in the Journal of Epedemiology & Community Health (abstract here) on the difference between the types of art that seem to generate the most health benefit for men and women. By looking at what the study calls “creative cultural activities” and “receptive cultural activities” (i.e. art that you do, like painting, singing, etc versus art that you watch, like theatre, concerts, exhibitions, etc) in a large-scale community study, the researchers were able to demonstrate, essentially, that women report more physiological benefits from doing and men report more physiological benefits from seeing.

This may seem a bit heady and esoteric, but I’m always interested in the place where hard science intersects with artistic consumption, as that’s often (if you dig) a good place to start thinking about good marketing. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power 7: A Checklist For Future Business Models in Arts & Culture

Posted by Patricia Martin On May - 18 - 2011

Patricia Martin

Open talk about new business models in the arts is a cultural signal. It’s a watermark that tells us the tides are shifting. Digital culture is eroding some of art’s traditional value proposition.

That’s not what worries me.

This does: Even if the arts can come to occupy a new role in people’s lives, will they will be able to communicate this role to attract new users—especially younger audiences?

Cultivating younger audiences will be important. They are the future. But using marketing messages and tactics from the past to reach them might mean that your organization—no matter what its business model, will not be around to see them join your ranks.  Read the rest of this entry »