Like every specialised field, communications in the arts and cultural sector is different. The art world is an increasingly diverse and global community, made up of aficionados, collectors, artists, other institutions, influencers, global curators and specialists, as well as the general public, both local and global. Each of these audiences approach the arts in a unique way with varying levels of information, engagement and understanding. Finding the most effective ways to communicate with this broad audience can elude even the most sophisticated organisation.
In a sector where audience development is the cornerstone to success and longevity, what are the tactical implications of communicating to a such wide and diverse public?
Firstly, at Sinclair Arts we recognise that our client’s audience profiles are continually expanding which means core messages have to be simple, accessible and cohesive without compromising the integrity of their brand or the artistic rigour of initiatives. So whether we’re promoting a museum’s community outreach programme for children, welcoming international artists showcasing their groundbreaking work at a major art market platform, or launching a niche museum to a local community, we work to maintain the core vision and credibility of our diverse client profiles, appropriately positioning their brand and their activation.
Who are you and how does your audience see you? One of the first things we do at Sinclair Arts is help our clients refine and understand their brand so that we can communicate fluently about it. This may seem obvious, but being able to give nuances to messaging in order to reach specific audiences is a skill as specialised as restoration. With arts and culture organisations, brand positioning is multi-faceted because it isn’t just about defining a brand but it’s also about understanding where a brand fits within the global cultural ecosystem.
Giving our clients the ability to better understand themselves, allows them to see how their audiences perceive them, gives them clarity on their stakeholders (in both the short and long-term), and assists them isolating their core messages. A clear profile of a client’s primary and secondary audiences allows us to develop coherent messaging around an activation, whilst also helping us to identify key communications platforms to ensure all public exposure fully represents the client’s brand, is accurate, and creates the right kind of visibility.
Arts & Culture messaging
As the bridge between our clients and the media, and the connection between their message and their key audiences, we understand that each set of messages has varying objectives and targets. Cultural communications messaging is about doing three things:
1. Being informative – often overlooked but absolutely key is informing the public about an event or activation in the community in a way that is universally accessible and interesting. Most of our clients want public and community engagement and it is often the core purpose of their initiative.
2. Accuracy and artistic integrity – highly important for all our clients, and something we excel at in Sinclair Arts, is communicating accurately about artists, curators and the cultural significance of an initiative. Ensuring that we communicate about complex and often abstract creative concepts and artworks by using language that retains artistic rigour whilst remaining accessible is the focus. It also means emphasising the right story angles and unique attributes to maximise media interest.
3. Garnering positive endorsements and reviews – communicating with industry influencers, critics and the global arts community is important for a brands visibility, validity and credibility. Our integrated approach means we work to leverage compelling arts content across communications channels. This is especially crucial for influential industry specific platforms both traditional and digital because it reiterates the significance of an event or initiative and accesses a broader audience profile.
At Sinclair Arts we believe in creativity – and you cannot communicate about the creative disciplines without it. There are endless ways to be creative but we do it with insight and purpose. That means keeping distractions to a minimum in all messaging and leveraging our client’s best assets: stunning images, unique stories, ground-breaking artists, highly respected curators and spokespeople. These allow clients one-of-a-kind insights into how best to approach an activation, helps them work to the highest standard to attract and secure great media coverage and harness social media, as well as drive public and community advocacy.