My Blog

Importance of scripting the user

12 November, 2011    

Stories have the felicitous capacity of capturing exactly those elements that formal decision methods leave out. Logic tries to generalise, to strip the decision making from the specific context, to remove it from subjective emotions. Stories capture the context, capture emotions… Stories are important cognitive events, for they encapsulate, into one compact package, information, knowledge, context and emotion.” Don Norman, Things that make us smart  


Enemy of the people trailer

11 November, 2011    

After a 2-year closure for renovations Sheffield Theatres wanted a trailer that would introduce the themes and tone of the new production and act as the first asset on the organisations YouTube channel. The trailer would also be the only asset added to a pre-launch version of the Rehearsal Room website. I wrote and worked with a designer to create a trailer that focused on the central character of the…


Audience development in the arts (part one)

12 October, 2008    

Audience Development is a special type of marketing; “a planned process which involves building a relationship between an individual and the arts. This post is designed to provide a vocabulary and a theoretical basis for describing and considering what it is practitioners ask people to take part in when they offer them a theatre ticket. Audience development activity is central to the success of arts organisations for a number of reasons….


Low-cost online personalisation

12 September, 2008    

Writing about low-cost online personalisation is a bit like attempting online personalisation is fraught with questions. I’ve got to admit, this is the sixth draft of this article. Without thinking it through I launched into a fairly amusing piece about technology not being magic, and how even Harry Potter couldn’t catch all his golden-stats with a ‘Web 2.0™’. It didn’t really do what it was supposed to. Websites and web…


the logos of brand

12 February, 2008     /

Lo·gos (lô’gôs’, lŏg’ŏs’) n. In Christianity, in Saint John’s Gospel, especially in the prologue (1:1-14), the creative word of God, which is itself God. Also called Word. Even without the theological hermeneutics marketers are keenly aware of the powerful creative potential of brands, and of their public face, the logo. But brand is much, much more than simply a logo. Brand is the sum of all the associations a person…


The customer is not always right… no matter what he says

20 September, 2007    

Those who stress negotiated meaning argue that the meanings of texts are neither completely predetermined nor completely open, but are subject to certain constraints. Some commentators refer to influences on the process of making meaning such as ‘a preferred reading’ – which may be represented in the text as ‘an inscribed reader’ or may emerge in ‘interpretative communities’. Individual readers may either accept, modify, ignore or reject such preferred readings,…


Constructivist arts marketing

10 July, 2007    

I believe that the meaning which defines the relationship between the attender (consumer) and the venue is constructed by the attender, in partnership with the marketer. The meaning emerges from the interplay between the text (the brand, marketing and promotional activity) and the desires, beliefs and attitudes of the audience member. The next few posts will describe the process whereby arts marketers can: Use the schemata of brand to build interactive relationships…


Why did you ask me that?

12 June, 2007    

There are substantial dangers to asking the wrong question at the wrong time, and I’m not just talking about proposing here. Developing audiences is like a courtship, a finely tuned ballet in which stages are involved, stages of trust and engagement. You wouldn’t propose on the first date, you might never tell your partner your pin number, some information is dear, but its also valuable. Building the relationships possible to…


Arts Marketing: special, not different

10 May, 2007    

It’s probably said too often. And too often “different” is meant as a pejorative. Arts marketing can be different. It can be good and bad. But when we start to think of arts marketing as special, rather than different, and see its challenges and opportunities we begin to develop specific strategies to make it even more successful. New articles related to arts marketing theory and practice will appear here fairly…