The Adjective That Must Not Be Named Is Back…And It Brought Reinforcements

Back in 2014, we started a campaign to eradicate the B-word from orchestra promotional material. At the time, it did a respectable job at keeping things under control but just like a virus that keeps mutating, “beloved” has found its way back. But this time, it brought a gaggle of old school “greatest-art” adjectives along for the ride.

Here’s the latest example from an orchestra’s Facebook post (h/t to a colleague who shares my view, you know who you are!). To be clear, this instance is anything but an exception to the rule for 2017/18 marketing prose.

Why take up all that room with other words? How about simply cutting to the chase with this “great art” adjective turducken:

A near-perfect classic masterpiece filled with magic and poetry beloved by all.

So let’s try this again…from the top, this time with feeling:

[easy-tweet tweet=”Every time an orchestra uses the word beloved in marketing material, a kitten dies.” user=”adaptistration” hashtags=”BanBeloved”]

Keep the ball rolling with your own social media posts. If you come across B-word marketing point it out with the #BanBeloved hashtag; you get the picture. If everyone chips in it shouldn’t take too long to get this outbreak under control.


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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