Boosting your performance

The Lewis chessmen, Andy Warhol, Mario Testino and Sir James MacMillan: the most iconic objects and the finest artists.

Raising the profile of the arts is second nature to James Coutts. Trading as Opening Lines, with support from other specialists when required, James believes that arts communication campaigns should be contemporary, confident and artistically relevant. We plan and implement communication campaigns, and like to base our decisions on facts so our clients get their 15 minutes of fame.

By planning across all communication channels we ensure that every one helps to achieve the overall goal. To raise awareness of your brand, and to maintain the conversation, we create and distribute written and visual content on digital channels during the life of a project. Often we can be found tracking progress and taking corrective action. Increasingly, we manage campaigns that drive audiences to digital projects such as live streams and crowdfunds.

These are some of the icons we’ve worked with:

Marketing Society ‘Arts and Culture’ Gold, 2012.

Looking ahead, Opening Lines are particularly interested in working with the finest clients in literature (such as the Wigtown Book Festival and Canongate Books), wonder of the world The Eden Project and The Royal Academy of Arts.

Youth Theatre Arts Scotland
“James has raised funds from my worldwide fanbase, managed photocalls and arranged visits to the set to inspire young people. Great things have already happened – £33,000 has been given by 700 donors and James secured broadcast and press coverage for YTAS events.
Sam Heughan, star of US television series Outlander and Patron of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.


Hebrides Ensemble
“James has worked with me on two projects – raising the profile of a world first masterclass that used networks to connect musicians in Europe, and a Scottish concert tour. He attracted an audience from Creative Scotland, national performing companies, arts organisations and composers to witness the masterclass and secured coverage on BBC Radio Scotland. For the concert tour he ran every aspect of the communications campaign, with features in the national press and over 100 tickets sold for the Edinburgh performance.”
Sir James MacMillan, CBE

Culture Republic
“James is an experienced marketing professional who has a broad understanding of all aspects of the arts marketing mix. As a consultant, James will take a brief and follow through on every step to meet the objectives and execute the plan meticulously. He is responsive to the priorities set for any task and will adapt based on the needs of the organisation. I’d recommend James to any organisation looking to get better at their marketing and promotional activity.”
Ashley Smith Hammond, Content Producer
Paul Hanrahan, Marketing Manager

Théâtre Volière
“Setting up the first year of a new, ambitious season of multi-disciplinary events was exciting but at times extremely daunting. James was a perfect addition to the Marchland team! He was enthusiastic about new ideas and challenges but also calm and reassuring when we got ourselves in a flap! He was particularly supportive of less experienced members of the team and worked with all of us in a very open and generous way. He was quick to respond to queries and unfailingly efficient and reliable. I would be very happy to recommend James and we very much hope to work with him again in the future.”
Natasha Wood, Artistic Director

Magnetic North
“James worked on the European Premiere of my show Erewhon. I’m based in New York, so we worked over email and Skype. He’s a great time manager and made transatlantic communication easy meaning everything was in place before I set foot in Scotland. James likes to use research to put together a publicity plan – so we got ahead of the game – but he also knows how and when to hustle – keeping an eye on sales and tweaking when needed. His strong relationships with the press generated reviews early in the run. He identified, briefed and managed our perfect designer and supervised the smart distribution and placement of our posters and flyers. James has the ability to run a coherent strategy across all the different channels required for a solid festival run. He’s as comfortable one-on-one as he is crafting mass emails and posts. Work with him!” Arthur Meek, playwright and performer.

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