Beyond “Busy” —
Expanding the Contents of Your Story

Today’s guest blog post is written by Travis Jones, Summer 2017 Marketing and Lead Dev Intern, Patron Technology. 

If someone asks you about work, you’re likely to say, “it’s busy.” So now, that person will walk away knowing that you’re busy, but not much else about you. Unless you add more to it, “she’s busy” becomes your life story. However, “I’m busy designing the marketing campaign for the world premiere of our next show,” leads to a different and more fulfilling conversation.

Adding content to your story allows other people to create a better picture of what you do. They might remember that you work in marketing or that your organization is putting on a world premiere.

The same is true for organizations. When people talk about your organization, they will discuss what they see or hear about it. In this context, “busy” means the stuff your organization does publicly: your exhibitions, shows, events, etc… But is that all your organization can claim to do? Most likely, there are also artists rehearsing, designers creating, and education programs running that people don’t see, but are just as interesting. Every bit of information you share with your patrons helps complete the story in their heads of what your organization does.

What story would your patrons tell about your organization? If you were to ask them to describe your organization what do you think they’ll say? What is the response you want to hear? Will they say everything you want them to say? Take the patron’s perspective to see if your organization comes across the way you think it does.

Now you may have some answers, but if they’re not what you expected, you’ve got some work to do. You probably need to review the kind of information your customer receives. This is not to say your customer is receiving bad material, more likely they’re not receiving enough. But how can you, in your busy week, possibly come up with more content?

Truth is, you already have it. Gene Carr, our CEO, talks about this in his article on content marketing. Essentially, the best way to get your customers to know what your organization is doing is simply to tell them! You could post a photo of a designer adding detail to a costume, share a video of an opening night party, or use Instagram or Snapchat Stories to document the load in of a new exhibition. Use your website, newsletters, and social media pages to share bits of information that expand your organization’s story.

If given the right information and stories to tell, your patrons can become your greatest advocates and marketers. Patron recommendations go a long way as a form of advertising. So, if you want people to write you into their life story, give them something to talk about. Expand the contents of your story with details that create a more interesting picture. That way, when they tell their friends about you, it’ll go much farther than just “busy.”

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