The Adjective That Must Not Be Named

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-023There must be something in the water but regardless the reason it is tough not to miss the sharp uptick in the number of orchestra press releases coming in using the adjective that shall not be named…the b-word…beloved.

If there’s a better example of old school “greatest-art” era promotional jargon that needs to go, I can’t think of one. Consequently, the time has come for a field-wide embargo and to that end, I’ve started the hashtag #BanBeloved at Twitter and encourage everyone to meme the living daylights out of this one.

I kicked it off yesterday with this one:

Keep the ball rolling with your own tweets; if you come across a B-word PR point it out with the #BanBeloved hashtag; you get the picture. If everyone chips in it shouldn’t too long to extract the B-word from our collective PR vocabulary.

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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10 thoughts on “The Adjective That Must Not Be Named

  1. “Beloved” has been used so much that I don’t notice it anymore, However, what about “legendary” for a musician who is not only still alive, but under 40? Why not say famous, or well-known? Or, “touring like crazy, trying to keep his/her name out there so they can keep getting gigs”?

  2. “Sustainable,” in its most common use as boiler-plate propaganda, threatens or kills more careers and orchestras.

  3. If you do them in word, there are some mass file search tools and if they are online, I can show you how to use the mass search and replace script 🙂

    Funny story on that, for a period of about eight months early on in Adaptistration’s history I mistakenly set up an auto correct in word that changed “manager” to “manger” and it flew under my radar for that entire time.

    Thankfully, that search and replace script took all of about 10 seconds to mass correct all of those instances. 🙂

  4. I wish I knew how to Twitter, because your thing about god killing another kitten appeals to my dark sense of humor! And as a writer, I appreciate the point about over-used words, especially the sentimental ones. And then there’s the whole apostrophe situation.

  5. Yes, I agree about “sustainable!” (As in “we are going to invent a new sustainable business model for the 21st century,” says the artistic institution who then just goes on doing the same old thing they’ve always done.) I’ll take “beloved” any day over that!!

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