Looking Ahead To Organizational Blogging

After posting a blog earlier in the week about the Edmonton Symphony’s new blog, I received a number of emails from marketing professionals pointing out blogs they currently like and asking a bunch of questions about the nuts and bolts behind starting an organizational blog. Coincidentally, one of my favorite geek blogs, problogger.net, posted a pair of articles about emerging trends in blogging as well as a few fundamental items that won’t change anytime soon. As a result, I’ve come up with some insights…

Among some of blogging’s emerging trends identified by Darren Rowse
over at problogger.net is the advent of multiple author blogs. Although
I don’t think some of the trends Darren identified are more than fads,
I do think this one is one the mark. In fact, since establishing the
blogging exchange InsideTheArts.com,
six months ago two of the three new blogs are co-author
blogs and to date, the format has worked out perfectly. With regard to
performing arts organizations, the one thing they all have going for
them is a host of creative and knowledgeable stakeholders so finding
the right individuals to co-author a successful blog is possible with
the right guidance.

Likewise, among the enduring traditional components of
successful blogging Darren identified are producing worthwhile content
and creating a sense of community where readers feel like they belong.
I couldn’t agree more and although I doubt a niche blog (like culture
blogs) will ever reach the multi-million-a-month traffic level, they do
thrive on offering a sense of defined community by producing unique,
relevant content geared toward their community.

All of this has led me to a conclusion that the business is in
need of guidance when it comes to properly managing and utilizing a
blog for gaining and retaining an online audience. Unfortunately, there
are a host of pitfalls related to blogging that can cause an
organization to end up with a bad taste in their mouth after a failed
blogging experience.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, all that separates most groups from satisfaction and disappointment is the right help.

After four-and-a-half years and 1,400 posts of blogging
experience, the time has come to design a program to help performing
arts organizations create meaningful blogging communities capable of
generating engaging content and places for patrons to belong. I’ll
spend part of this weekend putting the final touches on the program but
I can say that there will be options for groups looking to start a new
endeavor or tune up an existing outlet as well as something for those
looking to take the lead in partnership programs to establish a
multi-disciple cityscape cultural blogging exchange.

The summer season is an ideal time to engage a blogging project and I’m genuinely anxious to get the discussion going next week.

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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