An interesting discussion has been raised on LinkedIn by Valentine Maxwell Tansley of The Managing Arts Blog. As Karen in Orange County found, the crucial thing is not to approach these decisions based on finance but on the psychology of the audience you want to communicate with.
Personally, online brochures and email ‘what’s on’s arrive in my ‘work’ space – ie my computer – so I’m often too pressured to open them or do more than skim for anything that leaps out. They’re great for last minute reminders, but the pleasurable part of discovering new art experiences happens much more effectively outside my work zone – ie on paper, that I can browse on the bus or over dinner, and chat about with my partner. That’s when my decisions get made.
Research we did for ACE with audiences in the east of England indicated that many people have these dual behaviours – tech-savy and on the mailing lists, but open-mind decisions happen off-line. It’s all about working out which sections of your audience and contacts base really need print to motivate them – and tailor the print to those people and their needs.