As we face the rapid spread of COVID-19, many museums and cultural institutions made the decision to close their doors to the public.
To address the challenges faced by the museums industry, ISMA has some advice on how our sports museums can keep and improve their work concerning a better and more efficient digital approach. The goal is tremendous: to improve communication with your audience with new content and find new ways to keep it entertained, inspired and more importantly engaged.
Create a think tank in your organisation
Gather a small and creative team and address them with the new challenges you’re going to face. Give them a task: think about initiatives your museum can work on to keep the museum present on people’s minds, what kind of initiatives will your community valorise and think about all of that focusing on digital solutions.
Social Media takes the stage
Some of you have taken to social media to entertain, educate and engage your audience. If you don’t: this is the time. Having your doors closed due to the social detachment measures ordered by public health entities, social media is the best way to keep communication with your public flowing. Create Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Learn how to work with these social networking services – you can find a lot of information online – and start sharing content you think your audience will enjoy. And don’t worry: they will meet you there.
Content is king and the kingdom is now huge
Museums and cultural organisations tend to know their audiences: it’s easy when you are open to the public to create a typical profile of your museum visitor. But these are uncertain times, and with children at home, parents working from home, and senior citizens finding new ways to keep track of their families, your audience is now larger and more tech-savvy. Engage with all of them and offer something different regarding their main characteristics.
This is probably the best way to engage with your public and reach more audience. Virtual tours are a very cool and effective way to allow audiences to experience museums remotely. Put them on top of everything on your website and talk about it on your social media – if you don’t have one, or want to offer something more personalised, record a guided tour of your museum and put it online: your audience will love a one-on-one experience.
If you have the chance and opportunity, create contents to share later on live stream: thematic guided tours, interventions on your collection, kids DIY activities or videocasts with people that are relevant to your audience. You can share content on Facebook or Instagram live. YouTube is good as well, but only if you want to keep your channel updated regularly with new content.
Together we are stronger
The museum and cultural institutions community is huge. Now it’s the time to embrace cross-museum collaboration. Show parts of your collection related to other museums and institutions and tag them on social networks. Challenge other museums to show their collection and create an interaction with different audiences - this will make your brand stronger. The entire community benefits with the sharing of content and resources – we are all facing the same problems.
Don’t forget the old ways of reaching your audience: they will take the main stage during these difficult days. Send newsletters with information about your current activities and show your subscribers you’re working on different ways to engage with them. We will need to work faster and deliver more content, so send newsletters more often and improve their design.
Everybody is talking about the “new normal”
COVID-19 is changing the paradigm of how museums and cultural institutions work. We’re facing big changes and we’re tracking a new path at a very quick pace towards digital engagement which was sparked by the spread of this disease. Each day the COVID-19 crisis seems less ephemeral and we need to be prepared for a “new normal”. All of us are boosting our digital approach, and we should be prepared to turn digital contents, digital activities and experiences, and the constant updating of communication channels, a vital instrument in our strategies. We’re creating the “new normal”.