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Lecture 7

ADM3326 Lecture 7: National Gallery of Canada_Three Year Pl..
ADM3326 Lecture 7: National Gallery of Canada_Three Year Plan.pdf

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University of Ottawa
Raluca Balan

NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA: THE THREE YEAR COMMUNICATIONS PLAN This case was written by Audrey Doyle, Martha Musicco and Professor Michael A. Guolla for the purpose of providingmaterial for class discussion. It is designed tobean illustration of a managerial decision and makes no claim regardingthe effectiveness or ineffectiveness of anymanagement issues. Anyreproduction is prohibitedexcept with permission bythe authors. Copyright 1998 the Universityof Ottawa. Revised 2001 Ursula Thiboutot, Head of Media Relations and Marketing, was discussing the marketing activities for the National Gallery of Canada with a co-worker in July 1998. With the end of the Picasso exhibition, Ursula felt that marketing communications should focus on the permanent collection. While the Gallery’s image had improved with successful “blockbuster shows” like Picasso, Ursula knew she had to communicate all the Gallery’s products, services and programs with limited human and financial resources. Ursula was aware that Pierre Théberge, the new Director, expected the Gallery to increase its public outreach by appealing to local visitors and their families to continue reaching record attendance levels. As Ursula considered her recommendations for senior management, she began to see the need for a detailed three-year integrated marketing communications plan that would go beyond the usual one-year plan. BACKGROUND Founded in 1880, the National Gallery of Can1da is the country's premiere visual-arts museum and is located in Ottawa, Ontario. The Gallery has a legislated mandate to carry out four broad activities: collect, educate and communicate, accommodate, and administer. In general its strategic operational priorities are to reach out to the Canadian public throughout the land and to optimize the financial situation. Since its inception, the Gallery had sought to develop its holdings in a well-researched and scholarly manner. Prior to the 1990s, the Gallery was located in a downtown office building and reported to the National Museums of Canada Corporation. Consequently, the Gallery and other National Museums had limited decision-making authority on organizational structure, programming, and related activities. 1 The National Gallery of Canada also includes the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. 1 The 1987 Withrow-Richard report strongly recommended that the Canadian Government devolve itself of the National Museums of Canada Corporation and restructure the four national museums into Crown Corporations. The Museums Act received Royal assent on January 30 , th st 1990 and was quickly proclaimed on July 1 . Recently, the Gallery celebrated its 10-year anniversary along with the support of 5,000 visitors participating in the festivities. Paralleling this transformation, the Government of Canada commissioned the construction of a permanent building for the National Gallery of Canada. On May 21, 1988, the Gallery opened its new home near Parliament hill overlooking the Ottawa River. It received both critical and popular acclaim for its building, an architectural jewel designed by the world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. The opening attraction was a spectacular and well-attended Degas exhibition. This set the stage for many exhibitions, Egyptomania, The Queen's Pictures, Corot, The Group of Seven: Art for a Nation, Renoir's Pictures and Picasso: Masterworks from the Museum of Modern Art that reaffirmed and strengthened the Gallery as a significant tourist attraction of national importance. Collectively, these “blockbuster shows” have raised attendance to record highs of over 600,000 visitors per year. The Gallery has had its share of difficulty with its success. Some purchases were highly controversial due to their abstract style, high-cost, and non-Canadian origin (i.e., Barnett Newman's Voice of Fire in 1989 and Mark Rothko's No. 16 in 1993). In 1991, an exhibition of the Czech born Canadian artist Jana Sterbak created a media debate and upset a portion of the general public because one piece was better known as the "meat dress". More recently, the Gallery's appropriations from the Government of Canada were reduced from a total of $32 million 1994-95 to $25 million in 1998-99. PRODUCT There are three essential components that comprise the Gallery product: the permanent collection, special exhibitions (i.e., “blockbuster shows”), and peripheral services. The strength of the Gallery lies in its collection of art, architectural splendour, accessibility to the public and staff expertise. The total collection consists of over 45,000 works of art. The building offers spacious galleries and quiet courtyards which showcase approximately 1,500 works at any one time that reflect a rich diversity of styles, origin, and historical periods. The collections are divided into four broad categories; Canadian Art (pre-1970), European, American and Asian and Modern Art (pre-1970), Contemporary Art (Canadian and International, post-1970), Prints, Drawings, Photographs and Inuit Art. Three to four times a year, Gallery curators rotate the works on view. More specifically, installations in the Contemporary galleries change approximately three times a year; the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs galleries change four times a year; the Inuit galleries change around twice a year; and the Asian galleries twice a year. European, American, and Historical Canadian collections rarely change as they represent the entire collection. The selection of art on view for a given period of time accounts for seven percent of the total holdings. Each selection of the permanent collection is installed according to various themes. A list of installations planned for 1998-99 is presented in Appendix A. 2 The Gallery presents special exhibitions, often called blockbuster shows, which are organized by its own curators and in collaboration with museums around the world. These exhibitions of Canadian and international artists tend to be well attended and receive a high profile by the media. Since the late 1980s, the Gallery had built a reputation for a list of successful shows (see Appendix B). The two exhibitions that were the most popular and reached record attendance levels were Renoir’s Portraits and Picasso: Masterworks from the Museum of Modern Art. There were several factors that made Renoir and Picasso instant hits such as the public’s fascination with the artists, the fact that these works were never or rarely seen in Canada, and the extraordinary choice of masterpieces that would make up the two blockbusters. Between June 27 and September 14 1997, Renoir’s portraits, a theme that had never been a separate exhibition, was presented at the Gallery. The 61 portraits featured were accessible and appealing by all audience since they were aesthetically pleasing and reflected people as real life. Renoir broke all previous attendance records attracting 340,000 visitors from the local area, other Canadian provinces, the USA, and other countries. The show also generated economic benefits for the greater Ottawa area of $17.7 million and some $67 million for Ontario and Quebec. Picasso, which was organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was presented at the rd th Gallery from April 3 through to July 12 , 1998. The exhibition surveyed the development of Picasso's work as he pursued his styles and ideas from the early years of the Blue and Rose Periods, through Cubism, Neoclassicism and Surrealism, to his defiant confrontation of old age and death. These rarely loaned signature pieces were available for an exclusive Canadian viewing. Picasso received 253,100 visitors surpassing attendance to Degas in 1988. Future exhibitions similar to Renoir and Picasso are listed in Appendix C. Other activities that took place at the Gallery include putting together education and performing arts programs to enhance the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Art publications were sold in the Gallery Bookstore, throughout Canada, the USA, and Europe. The museum experience also featured a Cafe, Cafeteria, underground parking, and visitor information services. MARKETING’S ROLE AND OBJECTIVES Prior to 1988, the Public Relations and Information Services were responsible for a limited amount of communication activities and was mainly reactive in focus. By 1988, the marketing role was formalized and for the first time a Director of Communications was hired who changed the department name to Communications and Marketing. Simultaneously, an advertising agency was contracted to oversee the advertising campaign for Degas exhibition and the grand opening. The new strategy concentrated on media previews, tours of the building, and giving the Gallery a new profile. In the 1990s the marketing role matured and concentrated on market research, tourism marketing, communications and marketing planning, and creative advertising for exhibitions, collections, and non-exhibition programming. In April 1998, the new Director of the Gallery, Pierre Théberge, decided to change the entire organizational structure. The Communications and Marketing branch became Public Affairs. Ursula would continue in her responsibilities of Head of Media Relations and Marketing, and the departments of Education, Publications and Visitor Services would now also report for the first 3 time all together to the Director of Public Affairs. The entire branch had a total staff of 25 and had 4.5 staff members assigned to the Media Relations and Marketing function. The annual marketing plan reflected the corporate objectives and strategies for public outreach. Being cognizant of these priorities, Ursula identified the marketing objectives for 1998-1999: to reach attendance levels of 600,000 visitors and to continue membership expansion reaching 11,200 by March 1999. She added the following specific objectives for her department to remain ongoing from year-to-year: (i) to continue to raise awareness of the Gallery to existing and new public groups; (ii) to monitor and evaluate all marketing activities to ensure their effectiveness; (iii) to pursue opportunities for promotional partnerships with the tourism industry; (iv) to develop efficient methods of evaluating visitor and non-visitor perceptions. MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS BUDGET AND ACTIVITIES Except for the extensive opening blitz, Gallery marketing and communication budgets had predominantly focused on exhibitions; media coverage for them had been more or less extensive, depending on the show. For example, in 1997 $120,000 was spent on advertising the Renoir exhibition, then in 1998 $120,000 was spent on Picasso. Both shows reached record attendance levels and left a positive image with the public. As a result, Ursula feared that the public had a relatively narrow perception of the Gallery's mandate and lacked awareness of its broad range of programs and services. The proposed budget allocation for 1998-99 was $1,168,183 that would be invested in advertising, the Web site, tourism marketing, media and public relations. The advertising allocation was $401,719 for exhibitions and $122,758 for non-exhibitions. Ursula reflected on the past activities and their results as she began to decide upon the content and feasibility of a three-year integrated marketing communications plan. Media Relations The Gallery received local and national media coverage free of charge (i.e., newspapers, magazines, television and radio) which reported on many aspects of the Gallery's operations, exhibitions, performing arts, education programs, sponsorship, and staff. Media programs such as personal contact, press releases, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), fact sheets, familiarization tours, media previews and conferences were implemented for all exhibitions, education, and special events programming, however, varied according to funding. Media tours were developed for the Director and other key staff such as the Chief Curator who was responsible for the planning of travelling exhibitions in large and small cities across Canada. Advertising The Gallery contracted an advertising agency on a request basis for advertising creative, production, and media buying for various exhibitions and programs, and especially for the “blockbuster” exhibitions like Renoir and Picasso. In addition Ursula worked on campaigns throughout the year to increase the local market’s awareness of the Gallery and to generate visits when blockbuster shows were not scheduled. 4 The 1995 campaign featured newspaper and elevator ads with headlines that read “Draw Your Own Conclusions” and “Come Stare at Our Walls”. The first body copy suggested that whatever your art interests were, the Gallery had it on display in its permanent collection for free viewing. The second body copy had a similar message and listed the specific exhibition themes on display and other information regarding tours and free admission. The placements occurred on the weekend during the winter months from December to March. The 1996 campaign again featured newspaper and elevator ads with headlines that read “Venus Uncensored” and “You’re About to Discover That Van Gogh’s Life Was Not A Pretty Picture”. A visual of a piece of art was included and it took up approximately fifteen percent of the ad space. The body copy for each ad was extensive and described the art or artist. The ad also mentioned that a mini-talk would be held at the Gallery a few days later. Again, the placements occurred on the weekends during the winter months from December to March. Advertising at a national level recognized the priority of three primary geographical areas where the opportunity for visitation is highest: National Capital Region, Montreal, and the Toronto and Southwestern Ontario. The advertising placement strategy was fourfold: Daily and Community Newspapers were generally used to advertise specific Gallery exhibitions and programming in the National Capital Region, Toronto and Montreal and other markets reached through the national editions of the Financial Post Daily and The Globe and Mail. Editorial supplements in national editions were also utilized. Special Interest and Alternative Publications (i.e., Ottawa Xpress, Montreal Mirror, Now Toronto) were used to reach an arts or culture sensitive audience. Out-of-Home and Transit were usually used for the promotion of specific exhibitions, or awareness campaigns for the Gallery Local radio in the Ottawa and Hull markets were used for on-air promotions. Memberships Membership was one method for immediate revenue generation and potential future value since members were predisposed to making donations to the Gallery in both money and time. Historically, memberships averaged between 2,000 and 4,000, peaked to 9,000 with the opening of the new building in 1988 and eventually dropped off significantly. The Gallery developed a plan (i.e., telemarketing, an integrated database system, in-house leads, and customer histories) in February 1997 to reach a total of 10,000 members up from the current membership of 2,800. An official campaign commenced in August 1997. The campaign generated close to 100,000 leads. Sixty percent of leads came from people who had a relationship with the Gallery in the past, namely former or lapsed members, and Renoir or Picasso ticket buyers. The campaign appeared successful as membership numbers increased to nearly 13,000 by 1998. 5 Web Site The Gallery’s web site averaged 11,000 visits a month. It started as a method to display upcoming programs, but has since taken a more interactive and educational focus. In January 1999, the site would be a learning centre for teachers and would include activities and information for people of all ages throughout the country. Television Production In 1997 the Gallery was the only fine-arts museum in the country to have three television series broadcast on three national networks: CBC, for the children's series Painting Pictures and the Chief Curator's, Dr. Colin B. Bailey, presentation on CBC Midday; Radio-Canada for J'aime La Peinture, and the History Channel for Art of History. For 1998, the Gallery anticipated producing a minimum of 12 new presentations with Dr. Bailey for CBC-Midday. Future opportunities included a new series for YTV and vignettes on the European Art collection for the Art of History series. Market Research Since 1989 the Gallery either conducted its own or contracted out a number of market research studies to determine the socio-demographic profile of its visitors and non-visitors during peak- tourism and non-peak periods. Across a number of studies a clear picture of the Gallery consumer emerged consistently. Research conducted during summer exhibitions (Egyptomania and Corot), two summer exit surveys (summer 1995 and 1996), and a visitor survey for the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (1995), all indicated similar results for peak-tourism periods. The surveys concluded that approximately 60% of summer visitors were women, close to 40% were from the local/National Capital Region, 40% were from the other Ontario and Quebec regions, and 60% were university educated. Close to 70% of visitors were aged over 40 years. During non-peak periods, telephone surveys were conducted in October 1993 and March 1995 among adults living within an 80 kilometer radius of the Gallery. They revealed information on awareness of the Gallery itself, the exhibitions, programming, activities, and the free admission policy, plus the frequency of visits and reasons for visiting or not visiting (Appendix D). The summer 1997 Economic Impact Study confirmed that more than one-third of Renoir Exhibition visitors came from the Ottawa (114,600) and Hull (16,500) with another one-half living in other parts of Ontario (71,900) or Quebec (99,600). Other Canadians represented a small proportion of all visitors (11,400), while those from the USA (13,400) and other countries (12,600) combined to represent about one-in-twelve visitors to the exhibition. The Study also concluded that the Renoir visitor was highly educated, middle-aged or older, an
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