Engaging younger, more culturally diverse audiences

Trevor O’Donnell offers sage advice for the arts, outlining “a positive set of suggestions for building stronger constituencies – primarily among younger, more culturally diverse audiences.”

He urges those in the arts to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk. Taking a lesson from Obama, the arts must actively seek out new audiences and engage them in relevant and compelling ways — “…start talking to tomorrow’s audiences in a language they understand.”

Marketing efforts should be based on up-to-date information and emphasize the vital importance of the arts in a strategic and rational way. Building a strong connection between new audiences and the arts will help to break down barriers and gain news supporters. The arts must be willing to adapt and be more flexible in their approach. Moral of the story: Attracting younger, more diverse audiences will require marketing efforts and arts experiences that are perceived by these individuals as relevant, compelling, interactive, and engaging. Show them that you know how to speak their language.

MARKETING THE ARTS TO DEATH

Last week I wrote about unfortunate similarities between the arts and the Republican party.

Today I’d like to turn that post into a positive set of suggestions for building stronger constituencies – primarily among younger, more culturally diverse audiences.

Here are six lessons the arts can learn from last week’s Democratic victories:

Build a Bigger Tent

Obama appealed to a broad, diverse constituency. He didn’t just talk about younger, more culturally diverse audiences, he sought them out, engaged with them and spoke to them in a language that resonated with their yearnings.

If the arts want new audiences, we have to stop aiming our persuasive communications at subscribers, members, donors and industry colleagues, and start talking to tomorrow’s audiences in a language they understand.

No More Gut Instinct Marketing

Obama never uttered a word that wasn’t fully vetted by his campaign strategists. He’s a smart guy whose instincts are probably…

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