Monday, July 18, 2011

A few thoughts on 'responsible' entertainment management

The concept of responsible entertainment is not a new one, indeed entertainment and morality have been uncomfortable ‘bed-fellows’ since the first stories were told and songs chanted that may have caused offence to particular audience members. More recently and particularly in the tourism field, the term ‘responsible’ has been given a largely environmental and sustainability remit. However, partly due to the complexity and breadth of the entertainment industry, the concept of responsibility requires a more expansive remit than what it is often associated with in the tourism industry in areas such as aviation, cruising and hotels.

Audiences interact with entertainment in three ways: via a media distribution channel (this covers all media, from paper based literature, to physical audio / visual media, broadcast media and the internet); by attending a live event where a performance is given; and by visiting a visitor attraction of any kind (including museums, theme parks, towers, shopping centres and sports stadiums). The complexity of the entertainment industry ensures that there are no hard and defined borders between these modes of entertainment delivery, in fact the very boundaries of these entertainment modes are blurred by such forms of entertainment as film that can be consumed as a media form and as a live event through cinema, and music festivals / sporting fixtures, which are both live events and visitor attractions. There are numerous other examples such as this, but the point being made by all of the above is that responsibility in relation to the entertainment industry needs to include the full remit of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in relation to the industry in its entirety.

Corporate social responsibility is a term that is used to define how a business integrates, measures and regulates itself in relation to its compliance with both society’s moral code and the law in the way that it operates, including it’s supply chain, operations, promotion and outputs. Responsible entertainment management is a concept that should include (but is not limited to) the following: the product supply chain, including production and sub-contracted labour; the environment and sustainability; audience and visitor safety; and responsible product output, including intangibles such as advertising, music and film, and tangibles such as food and alcohol.

This is a subject that requires a good deal of attention, and is one that I shall be covering in detail my next text book, 'Entertainment Management: Towards Best Practice', due out in 2012, which I will be both contributing to and editing along with my colleague Dr. Ben Walmsley.