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Geoff

Job at ROH: "Audience and User Experience Researcher"

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"The work of our Audiences and Media team focusses on growing the love, advocacy and demand for the art presented by the Royal Opera House, so that we can also grow our audience-generated revenues."

 

And they don't think they've done that enough already by the swingeing increases on many of the seat prices?  (Over 100% in some cases, as I confirmed the other day)

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Interested to see that they want 'to promote a culture that delivers outstanding experiences for real people'. What other sort of people are there??!

 

Amazing how much jargon can be fitted into one job ad. Was this written by a real person??!

 

 

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Standing in the Stalls Circle last night for the mixed bill, it was noticeable how much more relaxed (i.e. in terms of general attire) and diverse the Stalls audience seemed than usual.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or indeed an Audience and User Experience Researcher, to suspect this may have something to do with the fact that the top ticket price was £55.

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11 minutes ago, bridiem said:

Interested to see that they want 'to promote a culture that delivers outstanding experiences for real people'. What other sort of people are there??!

 

Perhaps they're expecting AI to start replacing their audiences, as well as their jobs ;) 

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I quite fancy the job. But the description is ludicrously packed with jargon. 

Where do people catch this nonsense-speak? Do they talk like that at home, I wonder?

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Posted (edited)

I find the “real people” line offensive as well as ludicrous. Are they saying that there is a kind of audience member who doesn’t make the cut in that respect?

Edited by Lizbie1
Typo
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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Lizbie1 said:

I find the “real people” line offensive as well as ludicrous. Are they saying that there is a kind of audience member who do doesn’t make the cut in that respect?

 

😂

Does no-one 'higher up' sign off this stuff. Or are there no 'real people' left working in ROH admin.?

Edited by capybara

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2 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

I find the “real people” line offensive as well as ludicrous. 

 

Agreed.   "Excellent verbal and written communication skills" are required, although not yet possessed by the author(s) of the advert, it seems. 

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7 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

Agreed.   "Excellent verbal and written communication skills" are required, although not yet possessed by the author(s) of the advert, it seems. 

 

Well, no doubt this is exactly how they are required to communicate; if you speak/write plain English I imagine your application would be instantly discarded.

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perhaps they avoided using poor people, as they didn't want to appear as elites 🙂

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1 minute ago, bridiem said:

 

Well, no doubt this is exactly how they are required to communicate; if you speak/write plain English I imagine your application would be instantly discarded.

 

yes, you'd have to pack your CV and application letter with as many buzzwords and PR type language as you could, to get an interview  🙂

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From downloading the (rather instructive) pdf attachments at the bottom of this ad one sees the person will report to "Head of Digital Products", whoever that is and whatever they do (make the website worse and then making it a little bit better but not as good as it was before, perhaps?)

 

Not entirely clear but perhaps these people and their associated jargon fall into the realm of the notorious Lucy Sinclair, the ROH's "Director of Media & Audiences". As others have pointed out, before joining the ROH Lucy spent the bulk of her career at the BBC, home of W1A and the best funded generator of jargon in the UK.

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2 hours ago, zxDaveM said:

 

yes, you'd have to pack your CV and application letter with as many buzzwords and PR type language as you could, to get an interview  🙂

 

I thought that was standard procedure these days anyway, so that the applications can be processed by computer?

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Posted (edited)

Are real people entitled to some sort of discount if they show ID?

Edited by Rob S
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Posted (edited)

The advertisement for this new post would suggest that the ROH has received such a large number of complaints about the new website and the activities of those engaged in marketing that they have become concerned that their corporate narrative about "accessibility" is in danger of being completely undermined. The jargon in the advertisement merely disguises the fact that the ROH has little idea of what its core audience wants or will like and how to communicate effectively with it. Isn't it strange that the proposed solution to their problem isn't to dispense with the services of those responsible for fouling things up and souring the organisation's relationship with its regular audience but to create a new job. Presumably the person appointed will be line managed by the person or persons who either were told or formed the impression that their main task was to generate income rather than to provide the services and information which keen opera and ballet goers are entitled to expect from an organisation which claims to be  a world class opera house providing world class opera and ballet performances.

 

As a friend pointed out not so long ago the work which is now undertaken by a multitude of people with fatuous titles was once performed by a handful of staff under David Webster's direct control who managed through their knowledge of the world of opera and an understanding of the audience and its expectations to create a world class opera company with a chorus, orchestra, essential support staff, comprimario and house singers from scratch within the space of twenty years or so. This would have been no mean achievement in itself but during the same period Webster through employing the right people managed to stage world class productions and rehabilitate a number of major works which until that time had not been considered as being part of the essential operatic core repertory. I am told that on occasion Webster actually went up to the opera lovers in the cheap seats to apologise for staging a production which had obviously failed, acknowledging that those responsible for staging the piece "had not got it right". Of course apart from employing people who knew the opera business and how to do their job and having a ready made resident ballet company  the real difference is that Webster, almost certainly because of his commercial background running a department store, understood the value of repeat purchasers and had set out to cater for those who came back time and time again. He is said to have identified those who occupied the cheap seats as the house's core audience who attended because they loved opera and ballet rather than for the theatre's social cachet. Perhaps if those responsible for marketing had not become fixated on that part of the audience who attend the Opera House for an annual treat or to celebrate a special birthday it would not be advertising to recruit someone with this particular skill set. But in deciding that its primary objective was to maximise its income in any way it could including applying an apparently arbitrary pricing policy and that its primary role was as a caterer rather than a place where opera and ballet are staged it has managed to alienate rather a lot of people.

 

Perhaps the ROH should begin by asking itself why it has recently become incapable of communicating effectively with its repeat purchasers and keeping them happy? It did not have that problem two or three years ago.What has changed recently and who has created that change? In other words identify those who have created the current situation and dispense with their services and, if they are not one and the same person, dispense with those of the staff who signed off the new website which even now shows that the ROH's priorities lie in catering rather than live theatre. It needs to review what all its support staff actually do and get rid of those who are little better than hangers-on. It seems to me that when you strip the jargon away this new post encompasses activities which a well managed marketing department rather than one controlled by a Director of Media and Audiences would already be undertaking. A well managed marketing department would be able to communicate effectively with its potential audience because it had people with the requisite skills employed in it. It would understand the needs of its core audience and how it thinks. It would not need to recruit someone specifically to undertake work which is essential to its core function but then obviously as the marketing function is controlled by a Director of Media and Audiences it has clearly only just been discovered that the ability to persuade the occasional visitor to the opera house to buy a dinner or two is not quite enough to generate the income it needs.

Edited by FLOSS
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Funny, I read this and thought 'great - they've understood they have a problem with understanding what their audience needs - maybe they've read about it here - and they're hiring someone to sort it out'.

 

Agree about the 'real people' though.

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1 hour ago, Jane S said:

Funny, I read this and thought 'great - they've understood they have a problem with understanding what their audience needs - maybe they've read about it here - and they're hiring someone to sort it out'.

 

Yes, I thought that when I first saw this. Then I read the words.... And as Floss has said, the ROH has so far generally had no problem understanding and serving its audience. What went wrong, in the very recent past? That question can only be addressed at a senior level, not by doing more research at this sort of level and with no acknowledgement of what has gone wrong and why.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe they need both?

 

Also, I'd disagree that the ROH has had no problem serving the audience till recently!

Edited by Jane S
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36 minutes ago, Jane S said:

Maybe they need both?

 

Also, I'd disagree that the ROH has had no problem serving the audience till recently!

 

Perhaps I should more accurately have said 'few significant problems'. At any rate my own perception of the ROH has been generally positive, most of the time, until the last year.

 

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I absolutely love the filename of the attachment at the foot of the page.

 

Whatsitgottodowithyou.pdf

 

You really couldn't make this stuff up. could you?!

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12 hours ago, taxi4ballet said:

I absolutely love the filename of the attachment at the foot of the page.

 

Whatsitgottodowithyou.pdf

 

You really couldn't make this stuff up. could you?!

 

Quite why Stonewall (whose document this is) gets such priority is beyond me. One might just as well attach similar agenda-driven texts from, I dunno, VoteLeave, the Catholic Church or my local greengrocer. But then I am not up to date with modern-day HR law - or indeed the forms the ROH is obliged to complete - so maybe clients of the Arts Council have no choice in the matter. 

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On 09/05/2019 at 14:59, FLOSS said:

The advertisement for this new post would suggest that the ROH has received such a large number of complaints about the new website and the activities of those engaged in marketing that they have become concerned that their corporate narrative about "accessibility" is in danger of being completely undermined. The jargon in the advertisement merely disguises the fact that the ROH has little idea of what its core audience wants or will like and how to communicate effectively with it. Isn't it strange that the proposed solution to their problem isn't to dispense with the services of those responsible for fouling things up and souring the organisation's relationship with its regular audience but to create a new job. Presumably the person appointed will be line managed by the person or persons who either were told or formed the impression that their main task was to generate income rather than to provide the services and information which keen opera and ballet goers are entitled to expect from an organisation which claims to be  a world class opera house providing world class opera and ballet performances.

 

As a friend pointed out not so long ago the work which is now undertaken by a multitude of people with fatuous titles was once performed by a handful of staff under David Webster's direct control who managed through their knowledge of the world of opera and an understanding of the audience and its expectations to create a world class opera company with a chorus, orchestra, essential support staff, comprimario and house singers from scratch within the space of twenty years or so. This would have been no mean achievement in itself but during the same period Webster through employing the right people managed to stage world class productions and rehabilitate a number of major works which until that time had not been considered as being part of the essential operatic core repertory. I am told that on occasion Webster actually went up to the opera lovers in the cheap seats to apologise for staging a production which had obviously failed, acknowledging that those responsible for staging the piece "had not got it right". Of course apart from employing people who knew the opera business and how to do their job and having a ready made resident ballet company  the real difference is that Webster, almost certainly because of his commercial background running a department store, understood the value of repeat purchasers and had set out to cater for those who came back time and time again. He is said to have identified those who occupied the cheap seats as the house's core audience who attended because they loved opera and ballet rather than for the theatre's social cachet. Perhaps if those responsible for marketing had not become fixated on that part of the audience who attend the Opera House for an annual treat or to celebrate a special birthday it would not be advertising to recruit someone with this particular skill set. But in deciding that its primary objective was to maximise its income in any way it could including applying an apparently arbitrary pricing policy and that its primary role was as a caterer rather than a place where opera and ballet are staged it has managed to alienate rather a lot of people.

 

Perhaps the ROH should begin by asking itself why it has recently become incapable of communicating effectively with its repeat purchasers and keeping them happy? It did not have that problem two or three years ago.What has changed recently and who has created that change? In other words identify those who have created the current situation and dispense with their services and, if they are not one and the same person, dispense with those of the staff who signed off the new website which even now shows that the ROH's priorities lie in catering rather than live theatre. It needs to review what all its support staff actually do and get rid of those who are little better than hangers-on. It seems to me that when you strip the jargon away this new post encompasses activities which a well managed marketing department rather than one controlled by a Director of Media and Audiences would already be undertaking. A well managed marketing department would be able to communicate effectively with its potential audience because it had people with the requisite skills employed in it. It would understand the needs of its core audience and how it thinks. It would not need to recruit someone specifically to undertake work which is essential to its core function but then obviously as the marketing function is controlled by a Director of Media and Audiences it has clearly only just been discovered that the ability to persuade the occasional visitor to the opera house to buy a dinner or two is not quite enough to generate the income it needs.

Your post appears to advocate that consideration should not be made to the vast majority of public who through taxation, fund the Art Council Grant which helps to sustain the ROH, in favour of the minority who through their location in the UK are more able to avail themselves of the benefits of visiting. I am one of those, which you focus upon, who only attend the Opera House for my Annual 800 mile round trip treat and yet my contribution to Arts Council funding will be much the same as yours, with less benefit. 

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Stevie, I agree in some respects with what you are saying, but on this subject there are two things that bother me about the ROH’s current course: firstly that, apart from the already existing live screenings, no consideration has seemingly been made to those of us who travel from beyond London and the Home Counties (indeed, matinees, which used to be discounted, are no longer so); and secondly that surely it’s possible to address potential new audiences without alienating the existing one.

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There are several things that put me off the ROH. Not least of which is the extreme difficulty in finding affordable tickets. I'm only an occasional audience member (once or twice a year at most) and like many other people we are on a restricted budget. We don't live in London so have to account for the cost of travelling too.

 

Many times I have gone online to look for tickets as soon as general booking opens, only to find that most of the reasonably-priced tickets have already gone - at least all the ones with a decent view anyway. Us ordinary tax-paying folk really don't stand much of a chance.

 

So now we go to the cinema for the live broadcasts instead.

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