Signs That Your PR Problem Is Worse Than You Think

Recently, an advertisement from Microsoft masquerading as an infographic crossed my path which deserves credit because it took a moment to realize it was an ad. But once you get past that item, it becomes clear that it is an attempt to dig up out of a very deep PR hole.

Adaptistration People 095Titled “5 Microsoft Azure Myths Debunked” it is clear to even those outside of IT circles that their product is suffering under the pressure of negative press and if nothing else, it likely triggers a “where’s there’s smoke…” alarm for most potential customers.

To help drive home that point, let’s conduct a little experiment; go check out the adfographic before reading the following material.


Go ahead, we’ll wait J


Welcome back.

I’m curious to know if you found their adfographic oddly familiar. Did it seem similar to the way so many performing arts organizations approach attracting new ticket buyers?

Most of the colleagues I shared this with had that impression to one degree or another and if you take a moment to consider how many ads you’ve seen attempting to debunk stereotypes such as classical music is “stuffy” or “only old people go to concerts” it gets you thinking.

All of classical music’s myth-busting is not unlike the Azure ad; consequently, it makes one wonder how often the field does itself a disservice by adopting a similar approach.

Are there any recent examples you can think of?

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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2 thoughts on “Signs That Your PR Problem Is Worse Than You Think”

  1. Disastrous. It is bogglingly defensive, and that’s why smoke is billowing out of it. The best example, or at least most calamitous and incompetent, ad to ‘sell’ classical music I’ve seen came, unhappily, from the organizers of a concert series headed by a friend of mine. Full-size bus shelter ads with, at the bottom, “From Classics to Fun”. If nigh on stating that classical music cannot, at times, be fun isn’t shooting yourself in the foot, I don’t know what is.

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