A Coffee Mug Runs The Cleveland Orchestra

I received an amusing email from a reader earlier this week in reference to something from the Cleveland Orchestra page of the 1st Annual Adaptistration Orchestra Website Review.

On the Cleveland Orchestra details page I listed the following comment:

“When I used their integrated searched engine to look for “marketing director” the first result was a sales page for a coffee mug.”

Adaptistration reader and orchestra patron Janet from Delaware thought that was very odd so she went to the Cleveland Orchestra search page to see if the coffee mug still came up as the top result in a search for the marketing director.  To her surprise it does; and not only for the marketing director, but for the executive director and music director as well.

As a result, she sent in the following email to the Orchestra and cc’d a copy to me:

I was just at the “adaptistration” web site ranking ad was wondering why Cleveland scored lower than Syracuse for web sites.  I read one comment,

When I used their integrated searched engine to look or “marketing director” the first result was a sales page for a coffee mug.”

The survey was done months ago, but I wanted to see if the site had been attended to, and I came up with the coffee mug page after a search for marketing director.
So that brings up the question, is the marketing department run by a coffee mug or do you have an opening?  And if you do have an opening in marketing maybe you should hire the author from “adaptistration” as they are obviously more meticulous than your web designers.

I have no idea if anyone from Cleveland ever returned Janet’s note, but it would be interesting to find out what they say if they do write back.  In the meantime, I think I’m going to ask Janet to be my PR agent and then send my resumeto the Cleveland Orchestra c/o of the coffee mug.  You never know, it may just call and offer me a job.

Postscript: As an afterthought I searched for “coffee mug” at Cleveland’s website and to my surprise the first result is for “Blossom Grille Dining”(go figure) although it would have been funnier to have the marketing director listed  as the first result. The troupe from Monty Python couldn’t write a better skit.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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