Blog Posts for arts marketing

Audience Raising: Invitation to "Project Audience"

Posted by Matt Lehrman, Mar 26, 2009 0 comments

On-line events calendars and community arts portals – like those created and run by numerous arts councils, service organizations and other local partnerships – are widely recognized as today’s “state of the art” collaborative strategies for raising visibility and increasing arts and cultural participation.

Today, I'm delighted to share news (and invite participation) in a Mellon Foundation-funded “planning process” – www.ProjectAudience.org – whose aim is to envision the next generation of technology and practices for such collaborative, community-level audience development work.

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Institutions as Media Outlets

Posted by Chad Bauman, Mar 24, 2009 2 comments

In this moment of substantial change, most companies are looking inward to determine what adjustments need to be made to their business models to flourish in today's new economic climate. Significant shifts need to be made to address the new reality, and that new reality includes taking a hard look at how consumers get information about the arts.

Since the mid-1980s, newspaper circulation has been declining in the United States, but the current economic crisis has thrown gasoline on the fire, causing huge losses for newspapers nationally. Just recently we have seen four major newspapers cease print publication: the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Rocky Mountain News, the Tucson Citizen and the Christian Science Monitor. Additionally, four newspaper companies including the owners of the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer, have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Even before the rapid failure of many printed newspapers, arts coverage in many daily newspapers was shrinking, going from 912 column inches on average in 1998 to 702 column inches in 2003 according to Reporting the Arts II, a study conducted by the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University.

A huge shift in communications is about to occur away from organizations pitching stories to mainstream media for coverage and toward setting up institutional distribution channels to cover stories themselves. We have seen this in the past decade as the ways we communicate with our customers have become cheaper, quicker and more segmented. We now have e-mail lists, websites, direct mail, telemarketing, social networking, online video distribution, podcasts, photo streams, and blogs. Some large organizations can currently reach more than one million people using these distribution channels. Considering the New York Times has a circulation of 1.6 million, these distribution channels which used to be considered on the fringes of communications have become almost as powerful for some companies as their local newspaper.

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The Incredible Shrinking Media Part II

Posted by Scarlett Swerdlow, Mar 03, 2009 0 comments

In January, the Atlantic posed a scary question: "What if the New York Times goes out of business --like this May?"

The answer is even scarier:

It’s certainly plausible. Earnings reports released by the New York Times Company in October indicate that drastic measures will have to be taken over the next five months or the paper will default on some $400 million in debt. With more than $1billion in debt already on the books, only $46 million in cash reserves as of October, and no clear way to tap into the capital markets (the company’s debt was recently reduced to junk status), the paper’s future doesn’t look good.

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The Incredible Shrinking Media

Posted by Scarlett Swerdlow, Feb 09, 2009 4 comments

When it comes to press outreach and relations, doesn't it feel like the more you do, the less you get?  The more advisories and releases you send, the fewer reporters and critics there are and the less space there is to cover the arts.

I had the opportunity in January to participate in a panel convened by the League of Chicago Theatres and the Chicago-based Community Media Workshop titled "The Incredible Shrinking Media and What It Means for Your Arts Organization."  We reflected on the obstacles and opportunities facing artists and arts organizations when it comes to both traditional and new media.

Gordon Mayer of the Workshop moderated, and broadcast superstar Sylvia Ewing, Catey Sullivan of examiner.com, and Kris Vire of Time Out Chicago were our other panelists.

The Incredible Shrinking Media Event

Chicago Public Radio recorded the event: http://tiny.cc/shrinkingmedia.

A sampling of insights and stories shared:

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The year in social media, myths and pointers

Posted by Kate Crowley, Feb 02, 2009 1 comment

Myths and pointers about social media that kept me on track in 2008.

This year was the year I finally tackled many social media sites to connect with arts audiences. When speaking with other professionals in the business, the question always arises: "What's the best web 2.0/social media site?"  The answer is all of them and none of them. What many arts marketing practitioners seem to misunderstand is that there's not going to be one application that be the solution to filling a social media void. In fact, the best approach may change each month. In 2008 we saw the rise of Facebook and Twitter over Myspace and other such applications. But now that everyone's grandma is on Facebook, what's the next hot web 2.0 tool for you to use to connect with audiences? That remains to be seen, but here are some social media myths and pointers that kept me on track in 2008, and which seem relevant in 2009.

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Raising Audiences: "Sur-thrival"

Posted by Matt Lehrman, Jan 28, 2009 3 comments

Economic recovery is coming.  Whether it is months or years away we must not lose confidence that recovery is just beyond the horizon.

So let's focus on on the task at hand.  To our organizations and to our field, our responsibility is to do more than merely survive (though survival itself is surely a significant challenge.)

Our present job is to emerge from these hardships smarter and stronger than we are now.  Let's focus on "Sur-thrival" - the act of investing today in efforts that will bear abundant fruit in the future.

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