April 01, 2011
Articles and blog posts about social media in the arts and higher ed are so ubiquitous that I wasn’t looking to add to the din. But I’ve been impressed with an arts marketer here in Chicago named Clayton Smith, and when I heard him muse about some of the things nonprofits often get wrong in the social web, I asked him to write a post.
Clayton Smith is audience development coordinator at the Goodman Theatre and an adjunct faculty member in the Arts, Entertainment & Media Management program at Columbia College Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine that you’re at a cocktail party with 100 other people. It’s Friday night, the food is great, there’s an ice sculpture of Groucho Marx on the buffet table, most of your friends are there, and, martini in hand, you’re looking forward to having a good time.
And at first, you do have a good time. You chat with friends who wish you happy belated birthday and tell you funny stories about what they did last weekend. You see a few colleagues who vent a little bit about your boss. A buddy from your college days shows you pictures of his baby in a Van Halen onesie. But every ten minutes, a man you think you know but can’t quite place comes over and tries to sell you a blow dryer.
The first time, you shrug it off. You think, “Well this is a strange place for a salesman to make a pitch,” but he’s nice and he seems harmless, so you politely say, “No, thank you,” and get back to your friends.
Ten minutes later, he’s back. He tells you he has world-class blow dryers and boy, would you be crazy to pass them up! This time you tell him, a little more curtly, “No, thanks,” and go back to your drink.
Ten minutes later, he offers you a two-for one discount. You tell him you’re not interested, please stop asking.
Another ten minutes, and he interrupts to tell you that it’s a special edition blow dryer, available only to people at this cocktail party. You tell him no once and for all and demand that he leave you alone.
But when you go to get another drink, there he is at the bar. With undiminished enthusiasm he says that if you tell three of your friends about his blow dryers, he’ll give you the blow dryer for free, and it takes all the will power you can muster to keep from knocking out his teeth.
By the tenth time he tries to sell you a blow dryer, you scream at him that you do not want to buy his blow dryer, you will never buy his blow dryer, you will tell your friends not to buy his blow dryer, and you finish by explaining to him, in no uncertain terms, precisely what he can do with his stupid blow dryer.
You are officially not having fun at this soiree. ...
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Categories: Arts marketing, Social media
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