Hello I’m Robin Cantrill-Fenwick, CEO of Baker Richards. As I record this, it’s the the night before my colleague Jamie Alexander, Director of JCA Arts Marketing and I will be sharing our thoughts at TLCC on rebuilding your audience. We’re dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, on Thursday, I’ll have put a suit on and I’ll look a little bit more like that guy in the photo.
Of course one of the areas we’re going to talk about is the criticality of clear communications, that are informed by the behaviours of our patrons.
Communication is every facet of everything we say and do, and everything we DON’T say and DON’T do.
Communication is not just what you intentionally reveal, it isn’t just HOW you are with audiences
It also reveals WHO you are as an organization. What your values are. And right now, WHO you are may be something that audiences are unsure about, or have even had long enough to forget.
This is a whites of the eyes moments between arts organisations and our audiences – there are no illusions, nowhere to hide. It is a moment of maximum authenticity. Audiences can see our vulnerability, but they can also see our power to explain, elevate and escape a grim time in our story as a species, and WE can see both our audiences’ palpable safety fears and risk aversion, but also their burning desire to move on to something better than today.
So, in this uncertain time in the sector’s history, the temptation to lose focus on SPECIFIC audience segments, to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, to send everything to everyone and to UNDERMINE your revenues by dropping prices or dolling out the discounts in the hope that it’ll be a silver bullet, this temptation is palpable, and must be resisted.
Whether your organization is much the same as it was 18 months ago, or completely transformed, you have value. You can engage your hard to reach segments, or democratize access through a wide range of variable prices, without undermining that value.
We’ll have much more to say on this and other subjects at TLCC on Thursday, 10am Eastern, I hope you can join me and Jamie Alexander then.