Personalisation and performance are two of the great mantras of public service in this our 21st century.

How are we to measure the service provided to their customers and the overall performance of our great publicly funded cultural institutions?  They receive significant sums of our money and it is important that they relate to us as we wish to be related to.

Take three examples and the public funding they’re received this financial year, 2011/12 (according to the Arts Council for England and Department of Culture, Media and Sport web sites).

  • The National Gallery – which is receiving £26,744,000
  • The Royal Opera House –receiving £26,342,464
  • The Royal National Theatre – receiving £18,285,780.

If, and why shouldn’t you since you pay for them, you want to register online to buy tickets or receive information from them your account can be personalised.

The National Theatre asks you if you wish to be addressed as

  • Mr
  • Mrs
  • Miss
  • Ms.

The National Gallery, obviously a slightly more academic institution, offers

  • Mr
  • Mrs
  • Miss
  • Ms
  • Dr.

The Royal Opera House invites you to select one of the following (deep breath)

  •  Mr
  • Mrs
  • Ms
  • Advocate
  • Ambassador
  • Baron
  • Baroness
  • Brigadier
  • Canon Captain
  • Chancellor
  • Chief
  • Col
  • Comdre
  • Commodore
  • Councillor
  • Count
  • Countess
  • Dame
  • Dr
  • Duke of
  • Earl of
  • Father
  • General
  • Group Captain
  • HRH the Duchess of
  • HRH the Duke of
  • HRH The Princess
  • HE Mr
  • HE Senora
  • HE The French Ambassador M
  • His Highness
  • His Hon
  • His Hon Judge
  • Hon
  • Hon Ambassador
  • Hon Dr
  • Hon Ldy
  • Hon Mrs
  • HRH
  • HRH Sultan Shah
  • HRH The
  • HRH Prince
  • HRH Princess
  • HSH Princess
  • HSH The Prince
  • Judge
  • King
  • Lady
  • Lord
  • Lord and Lady
  • Lord Justice
  • Lt Crd
  • Lt Col
  • Madam
  • Madame
  • Maj
  • Maj Gen
  • Major
  • Marchessa
  • Marchesa
  • Marchioness
  • Marchioness of
  • Marquess
  • Marquess of
  • Marquis
  • Marquise
  • Master
  • Mr and Mrs
  • Mr and the Hon Mrs
  • President
  • Prince
  • Princess
  • Princessin
  • Prof
  • Prof Emeritus
  • Prof Dame
  • Professor
  • Queen
  • Rabbi
  • Representative
  • Rev Canon
  • Rev Dr
  • Rev Mgr
  • Rev Preb
  • Reverend
  • Reverend Father
  • Right Rev
  • Rt Hon
  • Rt Hon Baroness
  • Rt Hon Lord
  • Rt Hon Sir
  • Rt Hon The Earl
  • Rt Hon The Viscount
  • Senator
  • Sir
  • Sister
  • Sultan
  • The Baroness
  • The Countess
  • The Countess of
  • The Dowager Marchioness of
  • The Duchess
  • The Duke
  • The Duke of
  • The Earl of
  • The Hon
  • The Hon Mr
  • The Hon Mrs
  • The Hon Ms
  • The Hon Sir
  • The Lady
  • The Lord
  • The Marchioness of
  • The Princess
  • The Reverend
  • The Rt Hon
  • The Rt Hon Lord
  • The Rt Hon Sir
  • The Rt Hon the Lord
  • The Rt Hon the Viscount
  • The Rt Hon Viscount
  • The Venerable
  • The Very Rev Dr
  • Very Reverend
  • Viscondessa
  • Viscount
  • Viscount and Viscountess
  • Viscountess
  • W Baron
  • W/Cdr.

Since all publicly funded bodies are under pressure to  (a) personalise their service to their customers and (b) demonstrate value for money it is clear that the Royal Opera House is the most effective of the three organisations on the basis of the common sense performance indicator of cost of public subsidy per personalised title offered to subscribers

  • Royal Opera House – cost of public subsidy £202,634 per title offered
  • Royal National Theatre – cost of public subsidy £4,571,445 per title offered
  • National Gallery – cost of public subsidy £5,348,800 per title offered.

It all goes to show that opera has finally cast off the false charges of elitism unfairly levelled against it.  If they could only add some more options to their list – Admiral, Lord High Admiral, Holy Father, Warrant Officer, Shop Steward? –they could improve their performance even further.

Or have I missed the point somehow?

I was alerted to this nonsense in a Tweet I received the other day from someone whose name I didn’t make a note of.   Thank you anonymous Twitterer.

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