As one who has worked for a variety of clients in different industries, including the arts, I’ve come to see a variety of how organizations work, and frankly, don’t work from an operations standpoint. Some of my observations are about processes, others are about their product. What works? What doesn’t work? As far as marketing goes, I want to share with you five steps to take when on-boarding your new marketing hire.
Surely, we’ve all been there as we start our “first day of school” at a new job. Hopefully, this post will give you some pointers for your marketing team and even other departments in your organization.
Introduce them to other departments
Your new arts marketing hire should be comfortable talking to other departments in your organization, so I would start with other departments first. The simple fact of the matter is that when telling your organization’s story, your new hire should be comfortable with going to the scene shop to get new ideas for social media or your next email campaign. The same thing goes for your costume shop, lighting design, or any other technical aspect of your theatre or organization. Just now I’m thinking about how your theatre group could tell the story of casting your upcoming show.
The benefits here are that you’re immediately breaking down silos in your organization in favor of a cross-departmental organization. And, your new hire will see how he or she will fit into the overall organization as well.
Introduce them to your community and audience
Your organization has two constituencies. First, your actual audience who come to see your performances, art shows, etc. Second, the community of people who live and work in your city, county, or other region. To the new marketing hire, they should have a sense both of your audience and community so that they can start thinking about how to engage both. In a recent article on Americans for the Arts by Cristyn Johnson, Johnson sets up the differences between the two well. As an arts marketer, they need to also understand the greater context that their organization is in so that they also understand their role in the organization.
Introduce them to other arts marketers in other organizations
I’ve been reminded of this lately, that good business is built on creating lasting relationships with other people. I think that sometimes we forget that the old fashioned network is the best thing for us in our jobs. I would suggest, if your new hire doesn’t already, help them get to know others in the field so that they can benefit from the relationship and start building a network of resources from which to call on.
Make sure their workspace is ready upon arrival
I remember one time I started a new job and they didn’t even have my computer, email address, or phone set up the day I arrived. It felt rushed, chaotic, and poorly planned. No one deserves to come to their first day after a series of interviews, reviews, and stress to be greeted to an unaware IT department of their arrival. Both you and your new hire have worked really hard to get to where they are now.
I would suggest the following:
- Completely set up their computer with all the necessary applications
- Set up their phone with a fun and inviting voicemail greeting that they’ll hear before setting their own message
- Ensure they have basic office supplies, i.e. staplers/staples, pens pencils, post-it notes, etc.
- Depending on your organization, wouldn’t it be neat if everyone received a laptop bag or backpack that’s embroidered with the logo of the organization?
- What about a branded notebook for them to take notes on their first days of work?
- Everyone loves a new coffee mug or tumbler when arriving at their new office. (And, you’ll save on paper products in the office too!)
Show them your processes and workflows
Now the real work begins. Assuming a mid-size organization, you’ll have projects already running and processes already in place. There’s work to be done now! Show them all the relevant apps that are used, documented processes to follow when doing their work, what they’ll be responsible for, etc.
Finally, remind them of their result areas
Hopefully, you’ve had a couple rounds of interviews where your new hire knows what success looks like for them in their new role. If not, maybe step back a bit and think about that and get back to them with new information. But, hopefully you and your new hire know what’s expected of them in their new role. What could be some key result areas be?
- Increase ticket sales by % in this season
- Increase email subscriptions by % in Q3
- Secure three influencers for upcoming show promotions
- Decrease operating costs % in next calendar year
- Increase social media audience % in next year
- Earn __________ social media certification by next month
These are some suggested key result areas that you might have them focus on. Of course, it depends on your organization and what your goals are.
It certainly looks like there is a lot to do when bringing on a new arts marketing hire. While it may seem difficult, remember that you want your new associate to be well prepared and ready for their exciting new career. You also want them to be able to do their best work on day one.
When you have hired your new arts marketing associate, be sure to introduce them to other departments in your organization, introduce them to your community and your audience, help them get to know others outside your organization but in the same field, ensure their workspace is completely set up and ready, familiarize them with the processes and projects being worked on, and remind them of their result areas.
How does your organization on-board their new hires? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.