Better Marketing Copy Though GiaS (Girl-In-A-Starbucks)

Joe Goetz is back to blogging at Scanning The Dial and his first foray is a terrific post about the way arts orgs, orchestras in particular, communicate what they do in marketing materials; spoiler alert: it’s pretty drab. Goetz references a 7/1/2015 post from marketing consultant Trevor O’Donnell about applying the Gal-in-a-Starbucks (GiaS) test to marketing materials in order to begin weeding out some of what I like call #BanBeloved copy.

Adaptistration People 162In short, if you can’t get a gal/guy in Starbucks interested in a concert using the orchestra’s marketing copy, then the copy needs to change.

But Goetz goes another step and from his perspective as Music Director for WFIU 103.7 FM in Bloomington, IN he applies the GiaS test to his station’s MusicMaster database, which many announcers use to construct their on-air announcements.

Here we see a whole bunch of information for this particular piece.  Now, imagine how it MIGHT be announced.  One might say (and this is an extreme example) “That was the Concerto Grosso in F Major, Opus 6, Number 2, HWV 320, by George Frideric Handel, who lived from 1685-1759.  Iona Brown conducted the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.”

Yikes.  I don’t think a lot of classical music announcers would say all that, but I’ve definitely heard things like that before.

In the end, writing good GiaS based marketing copy (#GoodGiaS) isn’t all that different from crafting traditional elevator speech material and since it is the time of year when season brochures continue rolling in, the GiaS perspective is going to help cast a new eye on what comes in.

But I’m curious to know what you think. Have you come across any remarkable examples of terrific GiaS based marketing copy for 2015/16 season materials? Is there anything out there that deserves to be thrown into the #BanBeloved pile (and subsequently burned)? If so, take a moment to leave a comment or post something at social media using the #GoodGiaS or #BanBeloved hashtag.

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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