Let’s Use This Opportunity To Rid Ourselves Of Some Bad Habits

As groups are beginning to gear up for concert activity in one form or another in the post-pandemic environment, it’s worth taking advantage of some opportunities to shed ourselves of bad habits.

Case in point, streamlined program notes and marketing content offers an opportunity to excise the Adjective That Must Not Be Named (Beloved) and its friends.

I’m only just starting to see post-pandemic marketing materials emerge and so far, it’s an odd mix. Some groups seem to be de-evolving into the primordial sludge of “greatest-art” adjectives while others are embracing the idea of being far more inclusive than ever.

I’m particularly interested in finding and showcasing as many examples of the latter as possible so if anything crosses your desk, please send it along.

In the meantime, this is one instance were cancel culture is all kinds of appropriates so let’s fire up the #BanBeloved initiative. If you come across the B-word in performing arts marketing copy, flag it on your socials using #BanBeloved.

Every time an orchestra uses the word beloved in marketing material, a kitten dies. Click to Tweet

#banbeloved

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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