When I worked as an arts manager, the election season—-particularly presidential years like 2012—-was a time of fear and loathing. Why?
First and foremost, ticket sales and admissions soften or die immediately before and on Election Day. At TRG, we’ve watched this trend play out across the U.S. over the past two decades in client sales results from markets of all sizes.
An inescapable consequence of major election cycles is campaign advertising—-a driver of America’s economic engine that is bad for arts and entertainment.
The flood of campaign advertising every other October sucks opportunity out of our promotional campaigns. (Just ask anyone in Florida right now where the Republican primaries alone are having a major impact.)
Campaign advertising drives up the price and limits—-in some markets eliminates—-the availability of advertising time on radio and TV. Email inboxes, postal mailboxes, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts are stuffed beyond capacity. The normal roar of media clutter hits overload.
It becomes nearly impossible to create a viable marketing message capable of cutting through. No matter the quality of what goes on stage or in the gallery, patrons are less likely to hear about it. Read the rest of this entry »