The Millennials’ Orchestra: Competing for Attention

“The Millennials’ Orchestra” series of blog posts are not meant to be opinion pieces, but rather founded in research, which I gathered and reported as part of my graduate capstone project from 2012-2013. This is a personal blog and does not represent the views or opinions of my employer.

The Millennials’ Orchestra: Competing for Attention

Orchestras and New Media, a report by arts marketer Marc van Bree, discusses the rapid
evolution of technology in contemporary society and the implications for Millennial engagement with symphony orchestras.122 From company brands and magazines to radio, TV, and websites, 21st century populations are exposed to a great complexity media with ever-increasing frequency.123 Contrary to the idea that Millennials are using and communicating through technology in place of one-on-one interaction, instead Millennials use technology and new media channels to enhance their social experiences.124 Social media networks are inherently interactive and can become powerful marketing and engagement tools for attracting this “always connected generation”125 to the work of symphony orchestras.126 As the graph illustrates below, the likelihood of online engagement with Millennial audiences is considerably greater when compared to audiences from older age cohorts.127

Audience Insight LLC, Classical Music Consumer Segmentation Study:

Audience Insight - Electronic Media by Age CohortNote: The electronic media measurement of participation in those activities includes all dance, and not just ballet. Visual arts participation includes those who either observed programs about artworks, artists, or museums through electronic media and/or who viewed artworks online.128

122 Marc van Bree, “Orchestras and New Media: A Complete Guide,” 56, 2009.
123 Ibid.
124 Ibid.
125 Pew Research Center, 2010, “Millennials: Confident-Connected-Open to Change.”
126 Ibid.
127 Alan Brown (Project Director), “Classical Music Consumer Segmentation Study.”
128 Ibid.

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With so much competition for our attention with mobile devices, social media, and online entertainment and information, orchestras are smartly starting to incorporate these tools and channels into the way they communicate and engage with their audiences.  As a continuation of this discussion, my next blog post will focus on inter-connectivity of Millennials through technology and new media channels and how some nonprofit arts organizations, orchestras included, are integrating these modes of communication and interaction into their practices and performances.

Have you interacted with an orchestra that encouraged the use of mobile apps or social media?  What was your experience?


Make Time to Make Money – TRG Arts

  1. 250 signed up for this afternoon’s webinar! Are you one of them? There’s still time to register–we’ll start at 2 ET
  2. 250 signed up for this afternoon’s webinar! Are you one of them? There’s still time to register–we’ll start at 2 ET
  3. #trgrx Webinar starts in 1 hour (2 EDT)! Get TRG’s take on balancing time & priorities: #auddev #artsadmin
  4. Welcome to all now online for the @TRGArts webinar “Make Time to Make Money”. The hashtag is #trgrx – looking forward to chatting!
  5. Data, knowledge, solutions, results for arts organizations in the US and abroad @TRGArts #trgrx
  6. Reviewing “Top of Mind 2013” results @TRGArts — Conclusion: (The arts) need to refocus on what gets results… #trgrx
  7. The next hour, @TRGArts prescription for “Taking Time to Make Money” #trgrx
  8. Get organized and take the time to prioritize your work #trgrx
  9. And @ricklestertrg takes the stage on the #trgrx webinar. He says “stop doing everything.”
  10. Consider your patrons, analyze your revenue sources, etc. then use your priorities as a framework going forward #trgrx
  11. Best advice in a webinar, ever: stop doing everything. I wish I could. #trgrx
  12. Create a “stop doing this” list — analyze your activities and results, tailor your to-do list, motivate your colleagues #bigpicture #trgrx
  13. Choose sustainability re: programs for future growth #trgrx
  14. Goal: sustainable income for orgs long-term future #trgrx
  15. Sticky, high-value patron relationships through deeper engagement and coordinated, focused arts management #trgrx
  16. Make time… #trgrx It’s subs renewal time, Do I even have time to do this webinar?! 🙂 OF COURSE!
  17. Your work effects everybody! Think about all departments, reconnect with donors, engage with volunteers #trgrx
  18. Agreed! Time to prioritize prioritzing!! RT @SaraMKelly: Best advice in a webinar, ever: stop doing everything. I wish I could. #trgrx
  19. Personal (& ideally, organizational) mantra — Good data in, good data out #trgrx
  20. @TRGArts Thanks for all the RTs! Enjoying the webinar so far 🙂 #trgrx
  21. Develop an #actionplan that reflects your priorities, based on what’s required for your org to succeed and sustain arts over lng term #trgrx
  22. “Data analysis generated ~ 60% improvement…” #trgrx
  23. .@ricklestertrg: “you don’t have to be an IT person to know what’s going on with your data”
  24. Good leaders need to be brave, but also focused, because there is distraction everywhere. #trgrx
  25. Change is difficult…embrace stewardship and be a brave, brave leader #trgrx
  26. It’s hard, but it is also possible. Change is evolutionary. Change takes time. Have confidence and trust that you’re on right path #trgrx
  27. Be a brave leader. Stop doing everything. Steward clean data smartly. Get results. #trgrx
  28. Facts and data do INDEED provide a better picture and provide correct view of past. No more anecdotal driven decisions. #trgrx
  29. What do you do if your focus, your messages aren’t supported? #trgrx
  30. Does your org have a number to galvanize around? With that clarity, your decisions become easier! #trgrx
  31. Understand your revenue sources and their impact on your organization. #trgrx
  32. Mission has to be #experienced – engage staff in conversation on importance and relevance of your patrons #trgrx
  33. Patrons are not just marketing, not just development. They are part of your mission. #trgrx
  34. #understand — so much involved in this one word (awareness, analysis, priorities, direction, mission) #trgrx
  35. implementation driven by data and tied to revenue streams; relevance and impact #trgrx
  36. Audience development vs. patron management – understand the differences and build objectives and budget around it #trgrx
  37. Biggest takeaway from #trgrx Use Data to inform building and supporting the Patron list.
  38. Arts organizations don’t need new audiences, we need more repeat audiences #trgrx
  39. @TRGArts #Question: How can symphony orchestras most effectively engage Millennial generation audiences/donors on a long-term basis? #trgrx
  40. Thank you for this empowering and informative webinar! #trgrx
  41. Really enjoyed the #TRGRX webinar today. Esp. like the advice to plan & invest in every campaign like you do a subscription campaign.
  42. Surprise! “No arts organization needs new audiences.” Keeping audiences coming back has the higest ROI. #TRGRX
  43. Getting the #trgrx webinar recording together & re-listening… @ricklestertrg & @jrobinsontrg did a great job!
  44. Thanks! Glad you could make it! MT @emadram: Really enjoyed the #TRGRX webinar. Esp. the advice to invest in every campaign like sub camp…
  45. @TRGArts You’re welcome. Thanks for a great webinar!
  46. @TRGArts Thanks to great #trgrx hosts! @ricklestertrg
    @jrobinsontrg I appreciate the follow-up and Tweet shout out.

Google+ moves up in the popularity polls, taking second place in social media

“Facebook still has a massive lead, but Google+, with 343-million active users, is now the second most popular social network.” – ZDNet

Not too long ago, I wrote about Google+ taking the bronze in social media and its potential for enhancing community engagement with nonprofit arts organizations.  It was recently reported that Google+ has now taken second place, claiming the silver medal in social media.

  • What are you ideas for Google+ engagement in the arts?
  • Have you taken advantage of Google+ Communities and/or Hangouts with your audiences?
  • What are your goals regarding social media arts engagement for the new year?

Can’t wait to hear from you!  Thanks for stopping by.

Source: GlobalWebIndex at

Getting Engaged This New Year?: Try Google+

If you’re planning to get engaged in the New Year, consider Google+…for business, that is.  Businesses who wish to commit to long-term relationships with their fans should consider the newest upgrades to this increasingly popular social media platform.

Earlier this month, Google+ surpassed 500 million users. On Friday (Dec 28, 2012), HubSpot‘s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog highlighted the platform’s newest features.

Google+ is changing for the better, with The Next Web reporting that Google+ Business Pages now have the ability to interact with all Google+ users, regardless of whether users have added the business page to one of their Circles.  Furthermore, Google has also indicated that a new Google+ analytics platform is on its way, slated to be launched ‘in the coming weeks.’

What does this mean for social media marketersGoogle+ now enables even greater opportunities to increase engagement with business pages and across the web.

Google+ Business Pages will now have the ability to interact and engage with any and all Google+ users, opening up more engagement opportunities for marketers, and possibly increasing the chances that users will add businesses pages to their Circles.

Coming soon:


What will the new Google+ analytics platform offer?  Measuring your business’s social influence on Google+ will include several useful features, allowing you to identify influencers, create social reports, and listen to your fans.

Google+ Ripples will provide a visual guide enabling businesses to trace and learn from online interactions with their page.  Businesses can develop a better understanding of their social ROI — how Google+ influences your social impact online — with standard and custom social reports.  Information about who the users are and how they are interacting with your page, as well as their demographics and social activities (+1’s, shares, and comments) will be made available.

Coupled with their closed-loop marketing analytics, marketers should have much greater insight into how effective their Google+ efforts are, and be able to drill down into the individual types of content and updates that resonate (and what doesn’t) with their Google+ audiences.

Nonprofit arts organizations can benefit from this type of online interaction and social impact measurement as well.  Increased engagement via Google+ has the potential to foster relationships with and build greater rapport among current and new arts patrons.  Audiences all over the world can begin to learn and interact with your organization, ideally becoming some of your greatest advocates among their families and friends.

The full effect of Google+ and its online engagement features are not yet fully realized or understood, but the possibilities are certainly exciting.  Give your audiences a backstage pass to engaging arts activities in the performance hall and online.  Get creative.  Get engaged!

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If you have any ideas or experiences with Google+ for the arts or business in general, I would love to hear from you!  Please share your thoughts below.

You can also find me on Google+>>

Top 20 in Social Media: Google+ takes the bronze (can be effective promo tool for nonprofit arts – here’s how)

SilverPop – a digital marketing technology provider – decided to research trends in social media growth among the top 20 social networking sites.  The usual suspects topped the list: Facebook takes the gold with a mere 1 billion users and Twitter comes in second with 500 million registered users.  Another somewhat unexpected player has joined them on the winners podium, however.  Coming in third, Google+ gets the bronze.

On Nov 27, 2012, SilverPop announced their findings (data as of Nov. 15, 2012), using a nifty infographic to illustrate the rapidly evolving social networking landscape.  Participants were ranked, in most cases, by total registered users and then grouped into 5 different clubs according to growth patterns.

At the top, social media celebrities Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ mingle in The 100 Million User Club; the increasingly popular location-based, photo-sharing, and microblogging platforms, Foursquare, Instagram, and Tumblr, shine among The Rising Stars; from XING (never heard of it), to Yelp, and LinkedIn, let’s not forget to acknowledge The Steady Freddies, showing steady growth over the past 3 to 5 years;  The Child Prodigies of social media, Pinterest, Soundcloud, and Path, have achieved a meteoric rise to fame despite their young age (between 2 and 4 years old); Friendster, MySpace, and Orkut, which were launched in 2002, 2003, and 2004 respectively, have taken a seat in the Cooling Off club in regards to popularity.

By mid-September of this year, Google+ reached 400 Million users.  Less than three months later, Google+ now has more than 500 million members, which is on par with Twitter in SilverPop’s 100 Million User Club.

*  *  *

Despite initial skepticism, Google+ has grown from 40M users in Oct 2011 to 500M users as of Dec 2012.  Google+ is definitely on the rise and I would like to share my ideas with you for using this growing platform as an effective promotional tool for nonprofit organizations (particularly the arts)!

In recent news, Google+ has also launched Google Communities, encouraging groups to gather around common interests, connect using Google Hangouts and the Google+ mobile app, and explore current or new passions with your communities.

As an emerging arts leader, I am excited at the prospect of using Google+ Hangouts and Google Communities to connect with symphony orchestra and other performing arts enthusiasts.  I think Google+ will prove to be an innovative and effective tool for building relationships with current and future audiences, donors, administrators, board members, volunteers, etc.

Will you join the club?