#MuseumLove: Working Together to Promote Local Cultural Institutions

Kate Meyers Emery, George Eastman Museum, USA, Hannah Barry, Rochester Museum & Science Center, USA

Published paper: #MuseumLove: Working together to promote local cultural institutions

As digital engagement specialists in today’s world, we are faced with an ever-changing landscape. New technologies are introduced regularly, each day we face pressure to re-capture audiences and exploit the new hashtags, and the answer to “how to engage millennials” seems to shift hourly. In mid-sized and small museums, this role is often filled by a single individual, so we’re often left tweeting as fast as we can just to stay in place.

In this paper, we bring together three online engagement specialists from diverse backgrounds, different departments, and different museums to open discussion about the benefits of co-promotion, instead of competition, between mid-sized museums. In particular, we want to focus on three topics, using examples from our own experiences:

1. We propose that by emphasizing a broader #museumlove on social media, we are being advocates of not just our institution but cultural organizations around our city. Instead of focusing on pulling attention away from each other online, we promote visiting multiple museums and emphasize our individual uniqueness.

2. We propose the #museumlove creates an opportunity for open discussion between institutions. In order for co-promotion to work, we need to have knowledge of each others’ museums. This also leads to broader discussion about the work we are doing. By sharing successes and failures with other local cultural institutions, we can grow in a way that we wouldn’t be able to within our own institution.

3. We propose that co-promotion allows for the humanization of our digital accounts, which creates a stronger connection to the audience and visitors. By creating in-person connections with one another and with key influencers, we are able to create more meaningful connections that lead to more prolonged engagement online.

Co-promotion has had a positive impact for our area and institutions, and we aim to generate discussion and open this subject to the floor.

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