Managing Subscriber Relationships with High Art Organisations in Today’s Digital Landscape
This study explored the relationship between Melbourne-based high art organisations and their audience, including subscribers and nonmembers. The digital landscape has impacted the way organisations think about and interact with their members. This study was grounded in a relationship management framework to map out general perceptions of the high art industry as well as expectations for relationship building and maintenance methods. Interviews were conducted with representatives from The Australian Ballet, The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), Cinema Nova and Ranters Theatre regarding their perceptions of the industry as well as their relationship with their key publics. An online survey (N=257) was distributed to subscribers of the MSO and the link shared with members of other organisations. The key finding of this study highlighted that organisations found it more important to have a digital presence over a variety of social media outlets whereas survey participants preferred direct communication (e.g. email) methods. In addition, the findings indicated that relationship cultivation strategies are a better way for organisations to understand how they build relationships, whereas relationship dimensions were more important to assess how subscribers felt about their relationship with the organization. Finally, 21-25 year olds view high art organisations differently to other demographics and, indeed, only some organisations position themselves as elite. The implications for the industry were also discussed.