From outreach to virality and everything in-between, press is an incredibly nuanced thing. Getting your museum featured in the media can be a huge win for any institution.
Whether you’re a brand new museum at the start of its press journey or an established institution looking to refine your approach, we’ve outlined some of our best tips to help you get started with the three basic parts of engaging with the press:
Understanding where press comes from
Interviewing and the actual process of working together
Calling all museum lovers! There are some AMAZING museums across the U.S. and Canada that are hiring right now. They’re looking for dynamic, creative, passionate and innovative museum professionals just like you. Check out these 5 cool opportunities below and then head over to Museum.Jobs to see more!
The museum had launched a new event series – Museums After Dark – with each event focused on its own unique theme.
Cape Fear wanted to ensure the first event of this year’s series was a huge success. Their goal? To encourage more visitors to come back throughout the year! To help achieve this, they called Museum Hack to help promote the event on social media.
The first event was all about outer space, which paired well with Cape Fear’s Space Place, an interactive exhibit designed to emulate the International Space Station.
The Museums After Dark series allows adults to kick back, relax, and enjoy an evening after hours in the museum.
Using Partnerships and The Power of Facebook To Get The Word Out
Cape Fear partnered with local bottling company, Bombers Bev. Co. and a local radio station for a free ticket giveaway. These efforts combined with other engagement tactics helped increase excitement and hype about Museums After Dark. Using these methods helps to extend the event before it starts and after it ends.
“It was very obvious Facebook marketing works. It just works.” – Amy Mangus, Public Relations Specialist, Cape Fear Museum
4X The Number Of Attendees Compared To Past Events
The effort paid off and pre-event excitement encouraged a record number of pre-sale tickets sold.
The museum saw four times the number of attendees compared to prior events, with more than half buying tickets online ahead of the event. About 25 percent of attendees bought pre-sale tickets on-site, including the day of after online buying closed.
All the cultivated excitement from the Facebook event led not only to a record number of pre-sale tickets, but amazingly engaged attendees! The Cape Fear crew came up with lots of space-themed activities for guests, like making snack satellites, creating egg parachutes, and designing Alka-Seltzer rockets.
Have you experimented with pre-sale tickets for your event? How did it work for you? We’d love to know more!
Social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become a huge part of sharing our lives and connecting with family and friends — but these days, we use them to keep up with our favorite brands, businesses, and institutions, too!
It’s important in this fast-paced world to maintain a solid social media presence, and at Museum Hack, we know there’s more to it than a well-placed hashtag.
We’ve compiled some of our top tips for engaging with fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter to help get your museum’s social media game in tip-top shape!
When it comes to making visitors happy, museums sometimes overthink it. We focus on big, complex projects: thought-provoking exhibitions, unique objects and artworks, exciting events, and eye-catching designs.
But for many visitors, it’s amenities like cafes that really make or break their museum experience. After all, if we can’t look after the most basic human needs of our visitors, how can they trust us to fulfill their emotional, intellectual, and social ones?
We love seeing how our Boot Camp alums are taking what they learned during their time with us and using what they learned to do amazing things back at their own museums.
Jessica Gasbarre, a former Boot Camp attendee, was inspired by her new skills and created the DeTOUR at the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) where she works as the Membership and Engagement Specialist.
The DeTOUR happens on the third Thursday of each month and is an exclusive themed tour that’s both engaging and entertaining.
These tours focus on everything from the crazy personal lives of artists to sharing the inspiration and method to their madness or to lesser known facts about some of more obscure works in the collection. Each tour includes activities, personal connections, and of course mind-blowing stories!
But with February being Black History Month, Jessica wanted to use the opportunity to collaborate with the African American community in Rochester. She invited Shawn Dunwoody, a local artist, to take over the tour.
“Shawn is a local creative in the Rochester community; he is an artist, consultant, and a creative force for change. I told the group that I very much wanted to do a DeTOUR focused on Black History Month, but as a white girl, I felt that it wasn’t my place; I felt Shawn would do the DeTOUR justice. Shawn joked that he was asked because he’s the only African American I know, the group laughed, I started sweating, and the DeTOUR began.” – Jessica Gasbarre
Shawn shaped his tour with storytelling, community building, and sharing the tradition of the Black and African American art in MAG’s collection. He helped uncover some secret stories behind artists’ pasts, emphasized the impact of the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights Movement, and celebrated the awesome accomplishments of modern and historical Blacks in the art world and beyond.
As traditional African drums played in the background courtesy of Shawn’s phone, he brought the group into Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Gallery, and focused on the beginning of Black art, emphasizing the importance of knowing one’s roots.
Throughout the tour, Shawn repeated the motifs of color, shape, and rhythm, applying them to artists in the collection such as Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Alison Saar, Nick Cave, and Sam Gilliam. As Shawn explained how the present builds off the past, he had the group build Lego sculptures in the museum.
For the grand finale of the tour, Shawn led everyone into a private activity room in the museum and one of MAG’s awesome curators showcased a Romare Bearden piece she brought out of storage for the DeTOUR. Shawn spoke about the history of collage and related it back to color, shape, and rhythm. The tour ended with guests creating their own collage images as music played and laughter ensued.
“What a crazy night. Thank you to everyone that came out. Many rules were broken but it was all for the love of art.” – Shawn Dunwoody
The best part? DeTOUR Takeover continued on for Women’s History Month! They celebrated women in MAG’s collection who made MAG-nificent museums, painted perfect portraits, altered our perceptions of feminism in the art world and who gave women the rights of agency.
The most intriguing thing about superheroes isn’t that they leap tall buildings in a single bound or change into capes and spandex tights inside phone boxes. It’s the fact that they help save the world every day – without most people ever realizing it.
That’s why we think small museums are real-life superheroes.
As much as we love the Louvre and go gaga for the Getty, smaller, lesser-known museums provide unforgettable experiences and unique stories for visitors of all kinds – and they’re actually in the majority. More than half of all museums in the United States havethree staff members or less.