Mr. Rogers: Arts Marketing Guru

Ceci Dadisman recently published an article at ArtsHacker titled Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Arts Marketing, I Learned From Mister Rogers.

She lists three primary skills and connects each with tenets of Mr. Roger’s television program. It’s a wonderfully heartwarming read and the second item from that list caught my eye: Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things (Even If You’re Not Very Good At Them To Start).

This is a concept that most of us should take to heart.

Compared to children, adults are horrible learners. It’s not because they’re older and they don’t learn as quickly as children, rather, they tend to assume if they can’t learn something quickly as an adult, it’s probably something they just aren’t very good at.


One of the things I love best about working with Venture Platform clients is the training and support we provide. Pretty much every arts admin I work with thinks s/he is a luddite or isn’t very good at anything web related. But once they realize they have a regular support net to catch them when they fall or get stuck, it doesn’t take long for them to develop some real content management, analytics, and digital marketing skills.

So take Mr. Rogers’ advice to heart and get over your bad self.

Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Arts Marketing, I Learned From Mister Rogers

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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