So many good people interact with us online and walk through our doors at the Centre for Stories, and so we’re pretty proud of the little community we’ve grown. Collaborations often turn into comradeships and patrons become friends. Short Talks is a series of interviews highlighting the remarkable people who have connected with us at the Centre for Stories. Some are writers, poets, and storytellers, and others are arts workers, community leaders, and small business owners.
We invite you to get to know our friends a little more.
Today, we meet Georgia Malone – a pillar of the Perth arts industry with over 20 years’ experience as a communications and marketing specialist.
How have your 20 years of marketing and event planning experience within the Perth arts scene shaped your view of the arts culture here?
My experience in the arts starts much earlier; performing as a child and going to the theatre from the age of four. I have always been a jack of all trades, finding different ways to get involved outside the usual path. Where I am now is a culmination of a career of different experiences, grounded in theatre. I have worked in visual arts, dance, theatre, multi-arts, festivals, all of which have different challenges. I’ve worked with small independent theatre companies; major performing arts companies; and international arts festivals. This diversity in experience has meant I am able to approach many different opportunities.
Having worked in both Sydney and Perth, the industry here is strong and diverse and lead by powerhouse women. I’m proud to play a part in that, however small. Perth’s arts scene is supportive of one another with strong networks of support. I see the industry as a producer rather than as a creative and I am truly privileged to be part of it.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I don’t really see what I do as a passion, it’s more intrinsically part of who I am.
It’s one of those things – I’m not sure what else I would do. I know what I’m good at and I find pride in smooth, successful events, I like that people don’t necessarily know who I am and that what we do looks easy.
If I thought about what I do, it would be to facilitate creative ideas of artists and creators. I also support organisations when they might be stuck or in need of support.
I get joy in hearing people organically talk about events and projects that we do, knowing that we had a hand in that, to enrich their lives and make them think.
What does storytelling mean to you—and why is it important?
Story telling is at the core of who we are as human beings. It’s what engages us and connects us.
For the Disrupted Festival of Ideas, the program is put together to tell a story of its own. To have a theme that acts as an anchor with branches of ideas that are challenged, subverted and questioned. It’s what people do with these stories, the call to action, that makes Disrupted a great event. Audiences take the call and connect, act and effect change.
Marketing itself is storytelling, finding the right hook and right angle to intrigue and engage audiences.
What are your favourite aspects of consulting? What do you love about it?
Consulting is a funny term and doesn’t really explain what I do… but I’m not sure what the word for it is!
The best part of our current set up is having the capacity to work with many different clients at once, not being tied to one workplace. Boredom can be a real trap for me and this way, I’m never bored! I recently had a bit of a lull where I just had two clients, so I signed up for some post-graduate study – need to keep using my brain in different ways or I think it will atrophy! Ha!
You have been committed to building audiences for the contemporary arts in Australia. How much do communications and marketing play a role in this?
Marketing isn’t something I studied, rather something I fell into and realised I was good at. I don’t think I could do product marketing as that’s not where I come from.
The key thing is arts marketing is NOT the same as product marketing. The arts isn’t a commodity, it is an experience. It’s essential to remember this if wanting to engage with new audiences. It’s not good enough to just tick the boxes, do the same thing show by show and expect a different result. Marketing strategy is essential and often forgotten. People get so focused on making the poster and social media posts without thinking first about why – why should people go? Why is my show different? Why should people part with their hard-earned dollars? (which is often more than just the ticket price; think transport, babysitting, food, wine).
Your role as an arts marketer is to give potential audiences what they’re after, to show them new experiences that will add value to their life.