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4th June 2019 Jacqueline Haxton

AMA research finds it’s tough at the bottom

The AMA has published the results of its first benchmarking survey. Following a fantastic response — over 500 members completed the survey — the data has been assessed and the results published in the AMA Benchmarking Survey 2019 report.

The full report includes email open rates and social media benchmarks, and is available for AMA Members. For highlights from the report, sign up to receive the Executive Summary.

The research looked at key benchmarking factors for members to use in their daily activity and planning including: budget breakdown, email open rates, social media channel, and website trends. Details of this can be found in the full report.

It also explored how members feel about their roles and organisations. This data was then broken down against the geographical location of the organisation, culture and art form, and career stage of respondents.

The results show that only 50% of early career level members agree that their organisation is open to change — other highlights from the report show that:

The more senior the role, the more likely respondents are to agree that their views are heard, and that they feel valued by their organisation. Only 50% of early career level members agree that their organisation is open to change – compared to 75% of senior career level members, which may reflect this knock-on effect of whose voices are heard within organisations.

33% of early career members do not agree their views are heard in their organisation, whilst in contrast 30% of senior career members strongly agree that their views are heard.

The research suggests work/life balance varies heavily between career levels, but there are encouraging signs of a growing shift to a cross-organisation approach to building audiences. Although marketing and digital is cited by all levels as being very important in developing relationships with the community — it is notable that there is strong agreement across all art forms that it is a whole team effort encompassing Front of House, CEO, artistic director, fundraising and outreach. 

“The number of early career stage respondents reporting lack of investment in role specific training supports the perception that organisations are not valuing their early career employees”, says CEO of the AMA, Cath Hume. “Combined with feeling that their views are not being heard, there is the real risk of disenfranchising talent at the early career stages, making the sector a poorer place. We know there are challenges within the arts and culture sector in diversifying the workforce, with many barriers in place before even landing your first role. It’s important that we support people’s development in their early roles to help them thrive. It’s about making sure that everyone’s contribution is valued.”

“We hope that you find this research report useful. Whether you want to check how you’re doing against the email open rate benchmark, or compare how your team feels compared to others in similar organisations, we hope you’re able to use and apply these findings to support your work, or make a case for change.”

To read highlights from the full report in the AMA Benchmarking Survey 2019 — you can sign up to receive the Executive Summary. AMA Members get access to the full report.

AMA members can find the full report here: AMA’s Benchmarking Survey Report 2019 — member report. Please note that you will need to be logged in as a member to access this report.

Image AMA conference 2017 © Elaine Hill Photography.

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