This Is Why I love My Readers

After publishing last Tuesday’s post on the Utah Symphony’s Rock Stars marketing campaign I was braced for at least some degree of snark but across every single social media platform where discussions ensued, I couldn’t find a trace. In today’s chimp-navigated, troll-powered social media environment, I have to say that genuinely put a smile on my face. Moreover, so much of the feedback was fascinating.

And since it unfolded across multiple channels, I decided to tie in a few of the highlights. But before we look at those, here’s another shot from that campaign at the orchestra’s website:

FWIW, I’m just going to assume the organization secured permission from KISS to use their makeup designs (yep, they’re trademarked).

One piece of feedback that struck me most also reinforced how easy it is for those on the inside to completely miss the big, obvious things the people we’re trying to sell to pick up right away. Joe Patti summed it up perfectly:

Well duh. If you see one of the musicians wearing David Bowie makeup, it makes sense to assume the promotional image is connected to some sort of Bowie tribute event.

I didn’t even think of that the first time I saw the campaign because my mind went right into the type of granular discussions arts admins tend to enjoy over high alcohol content beverages.

Chantal Incandela offered up similarly insightful feedback via Facebook.

You can also read the comments to the original post. I’m still very interested to hear your feedback so feel free to share your observations here or via social platform.

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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