Marketing the visual arts in New Zealand: a critical analysis of promotional material by Christchurch's art galleries

Lange, Candy
Johnson, Rosser
Norris, Sigrid
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Master of Arts in Communication Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis illustrates the development of a new methodological tool for arts marketing, called the visibility/involvement model, through a critical analysis of promotional material of Christchurch's art galleries. The methodological tool provides insights into the quality of the art galleries' marketing activities, categorising promotional material according to their level of visibility/public accessibility and required individual involvement. The promotional material was considered according to three different dimensions of meaning: (1.) The textual dimension of meaning (Fairclough, 1992); (2.) The visual dimension of meaning (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996; 2006); (3.) The local dimension of meaning (Scollon and Scollon, 2003). The innovation of the newly developed model lies in the combination of these three dimensions coming from the three different theoretical and methodological areas of thought: Critical Discourse Analysis, Systemic Functional Analysis, and Mediated Discourse Analysis. The model takes the above mentioned three dimensions together in order to categorise and assess a gallery's current marketing approach, and to then recommend a gallery's enhancement of marketing strategies to either deepen or broaden their audience. The visibility/involvement model also provides understanding of a gallery's underlying ideology and can explain why a certain gallery emphasises a particular marketing approach more than another cultural organisation and what implications that might have for future developments. This thesis challenges the view that traditional marketing strategies apply to arts marketing. Following Venkatesh and Meamber's (2006), who account for the cultural production process, drawing on McCracken (1986; 1988), this thesis attempts to engage in a holistic arts marketing approach. In order to attempt a holistic analysis, the thesis is based on analysis of galleries' visual signs, mission statements, and sent-out invitations. A central argument in the thesis is that each class of promotional material implies different properties, and hence requires an altered promotion strategy based on the target audience and the main communicative intention. The concept entails that the audience becomes narrower and more homogeneous from the category of visual signs to the class of sent-out invitations. Likewise, the communication needs to become more personal and specific. The audience layer model, an application of the visibility/involvement model introduced in the final chapter of this thesis, illustrates the relationship between the audience and promotional material.

Strategic planning , Organisational contexts , Organisational culture , Organisational reality , Public relations
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