Vulnerability Is The New Black

Joe Patti published a great article yesterday that serves up a good helping of grounded wisdom in the form of reviewing the fundamental difference between promotion and marketing.

“…a [promotional] message of ‘come see this show’ is different from ‘this is a place that provides an opportunity to share experiences with family and friends.’ The latter is part of a [marketing] narrative about attaining what people aspire to rather than selling a single specific product.”

That basic concept is nothing especially new to anyone who works in marketing but it’s a good message to hear at this point in time when so many professionals are feeling fatigued and otherwise overwhelmed. It’s all too easy to begin substituting promotion for marketing and if you aren’t careful, your career becomes little more than grinding through the motions.

To that end, consider allocating time this week for taking stock of your own work. Talk to colleagues and see how they’re feeling; how can you inspire and support one another that goes beyond cathartic griping.

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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