Pay Attention To New Spam Policies Going Into Effect This Month

Last month Drew McManus posted on ArtsHacker warning about changes that Yahoo and Gmail are implementing this month that will shunt a greater number of emails to spam folders unless you take steps to mitigate the issue.

Any users in your database and mailing lists with addresses ending in or require the following:

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) authentication: if you don’t already have


Keep Spam Rate Under 0.3%: Maintain a pristine reputation, experts recommend aiming for below 0.1%! 0.1%-0.3% is the warning zone: hover in that range too long and you still risk having your messages blocked.


Double-Check Your DNS: Confirm your digital addresses match your domain, like matching your website and email platforms.


If your organization sends more than 5,000 messages per day, you’ll encounter some additional requirements:

If your organization gets flagged, it means ALL of your messages, regardless the source, coming from an email address with your primary domain will get blocked by Google and Yahoo with no potential to reverse the decision.

Obviously, I chopped out a lot. Drew provides a fair bit of additional detail, but if you don’t know what SPF and DKIM are already, I am not sure his explanation will help. I looked those terms up and still didn’t know if we were compliant or not.

Fortunately, my marketing team was on it. When I forwarded the post link to them, they let me know our bulk email service provider has been warning about this for awhile and they had made the appropriate adjustments. Unfortunately, I was so relieved I forgot that I wanted to post about this issue a couple weeks ago to let more folks know.

Definitely take the time to read Drew’s post and investigate whether you need to take action to avoid problems, including cleaning up your lists and revamping your emailing practices.

New (And Critical) Email Deliverability Changes For Gmail & Yahoo

Music To Your Beers

I was kinda thrilled to hear the melodious voice of conductor Bill Eddins on the Marketplace Morning Report this morning. Bill had written the Sticks and Drones blog here on Inside the Arts alongside Ron Spigelman for a number of years.

Bill was on Marketplace talking about MetroNOME, the brewery he started in St. Paul, MN. Their goal is to funnel proceeds from sales into local music education programs.

Eddins and his co-founder, Matt Engstrom, aspire to grow their business to the size of a small regional brewery. When their goal is realized, they plan to filter funding from the brewery toward local music education programs.

“We believe that we would be able to funnel as much as half a million or even maybe a million dollars a year into the local music education programs here in the Twin Cities metro,” said Eddins.

MetroNOME has already racked up close to 400 performances at their brewery, including a concert with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. True to his music education philosophy, Eddins recruited a trio young musicians, two of whom were too young to drink his product, to play with Marsalis.

Eddins admits he and his partner don’t necessarily have the acumen and experience to take the organization to the level it needs to in order to generate the funds required to support local music education, but he believes there are people in the Twin Cities area that can help make it happen.

They do, however, have a secret ingredient that provides a competitive advantage. I encourage everyone to watch the video on their homepage. It starts out looking like a typical brewery video, but it takes an entertaining turn. My thanks to Drew McManus for nudging me to watch the video.

Dayton Live’s Fun Beyond The Scenes Videos

You probably aren’t searching the Interwebs for trenchant observations on arts administration the day after Christmas. But still, you can learn a little something from some entertaining videos colleagues have created over the last year.

So allow me to give a shout-out to Dayton Live’s Chief Creativity Officer, Gary Minyard for the audience etiquette video he and his team, (and dog), created for younger folks planning a trip to the theatres:

I wanted to see what else they may have put out during the year and found a compilation of “Tiny Dressing Room” concerts that the casts of touring shows sang. Obviously a take off on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, but no less fun:

Minyard had also done a video about all the venues Dayton Live runs in an informative, engaging manner. This video from August was probably something of necessity because the organization held a big re-branding announcement in March 2020…basically the day before everything shutdown for Covid. Once things were up and running again, they probably saw the need make another effort to introduce people to the organization and its spaces.

A Good Communications Staff May Be Costly, But Not Having One Can Be Even More Expensive

At various times I, and others like Drew McManus have written about the importance of having a good crisis communication plan.  The marketing department should be focused on more than just trying to engage the community in participating in events with which you are involved, but also thinking about how they will go about communicating other information about the organization. The pandemic showed a lot of arts organizations the importance of how you message on topics like cancelled shows, refunds, masking, social distancing, etc.

But it is just as important to have developed a certain level of engagement with the community so that they are paying some attention to communications about more mundane topics like traffic and parking diversions due to construction and parades, or perhaps the growing plague of web sites masquerading as your venue and selling tickets at obscenely high prices.

The Communications Division of my city shared a presentation they put together a number of years back for the city council when they were making the case for having themselves established as a standalone office rather than a sub-department of the city manager’s office.

I think it does a good job of illustrating all the problems that can result from not having a good ongoing communications process and infrastructure. While some of them may sound specific to municipalities, it isn’t a terribly big jump to the concerns of community members engaging with an arts organization.