You know best the unique stories your collections have to tell and work hard to preserve those collections for future generations. But how do you take collections care activities from “behind the scenes” to front and center, engaging and educating the public? In this four-part course, you will learn how to advocate for collections care, showcase the important work that goes largely unseen, and get the message out by working with the media (traditional and social) to reach new audiences.
Webinar 1: Advocacy 101
Monday, November 4, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m. (EST)
Instructor: Jeffrey Smith
What is advocacy? What does it entail? Learning how to effectively advocate for collections care is key to helping policymakers and the public gain a deeper understanding of the value of preservation and its role in society. This overview will examine advocacy in the context of the legislative process, from the local to the federal level. Jeffrey Smith will discuss the places to go, who to approach, and what to ask for. He will illustrate the mechanics of legislative advocacy—how to reach out via email, phone, and in person—to empower participants to stand up and speak out!
Readings and Resources:
- National Trust for Historic Preservation Advocacy Center
- National Alliance of Preservation Commissions – Advocacy Review
- American Library Association – Advocacy, Legislation & Issues
- American Library Association – Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit
- See also the main ALA Advocacy University Web page
- Historic Charleston (SC) – Preservation Advocacy
- A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections (Heritage Preservation)
- The first comprehensive survey ever conducted on the condition and preservation needs of our nation’s collections. Survey results have been shared far and wide to advocate for preservation.
- A second Heritage Health Index is underway!
- American Alliance of Museums – Museums Advocacy Day
- Museums Advocacy Day 2014 is February 24–25
- Capitol Hearings
- Daily Congressional hearings, live on the Web
- “In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, legislative information from the Library of Congress”
Webinar 2: Showcasing Collections Care
Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m. (EST)
Instructor: LeRae Umfleet
Visitors to libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies are accustomed to seeing objects on display. Most, though, are less familiar with the work that goes into caring for those objects. Throughout the country collecting institutions are finding creative ways to showcase collections care and engage their local community—and beyond. This webinar will explore collections care in exhibits, special events, and educational programming.
Readings and Resources:
- Resource handout: Includes links to projects mentioned during the presentation.
Webinar 3: Telling Your Story to the Media
Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m. (EST)
Instructor: Anne Edgar
You know that your collection is a veritable storehouse of fascinating stories. But how do you convince a journalist of that? As a New York-based arts publicist who regularly secures media coverage for museums large and small, Anne Edgar will discuss how to capture the attention of the media, especially for those stories that may not at first glance appear compelling. Whether or not you are responsible for public relations at your institution, Anne’s advice will help de-mystify the agenda of the news media and, most importantly, help you view your collections from the standpoint of public interest.
Readings and Resources:
- Timelines for submitting stories from Anne’s PowerPoint
- Beckwith, Sandra, Publicity for Nonprofits, Kaplan Publishing, 2006 ($9.58 at Amazon)
- Working with the Media Toolkit (National Endowment for the Arts)
Webinar 4: Engaging Audiences with Social Media
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 2-3:30 p.m. (EST)
Instructor: Dana Allen-Greil
Strategic use of social media can help your organization tap into enthusiast communities and open up access to your collections and expertise. In this session, learn how to select and use the right social platforms for your target audience, topic, and available resources. We’ll discuss how to leverage free tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, and Google Hangouts to connect with today’s audiences and engage them in meaningful conversations about your work.
Readings and Resources:
FUNDAMENTALS – RECOMMENDED READING PRIOR TO WEBINAR
- Allen-Greil, Dana, and Matthew MacArthur. “Small Towns and Big Cities: How Museums Foster Community On-line.” Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings.
- Bohan, Amanda. “Marketing Your Arts Organization on Social Media.” National Arts Marketing Project blog. July 31, 2013.
- Dilenschneider, Collen. “5 Key Reasons Why Social Media Strategies are Different than Traditional Marketing Strategies.” June 18, 2013.
DEEP DIVE – FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS TOPIC
- Allen-Greil, Dana, et al. “Social Media and Organizational Change,” Museums and the Web 2011: Proceedings. March 31, 2011.
- Allen-Greil, Dana. “Twitter case study: National Museum of American History.” Engaging Museums blog. April 1, 2010.
- Black, S., et al. “Can Twitter Save Bletchley Park?” In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010.
- Dicker, E. “The Impact of Blogs and Other Social Media on the Life of a Curator.” Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings.
- Finnis et al. Let’s Get Real 2: A journey towards understanding and measuring digital engagement. September 2013.
- Kanter, Beth, and Allison H. Fine. The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010.
- Note: This is not a free resource. It is available in e-book or paperback book format.
- Richardson, Jim, and Jasper Visser. Digital Engagement Framework workbook. 2012.
- Ridge, Mia. “Digital participation, engagement and crowdsourcing in museums.” London Museums Group Blog. August 15, 2013.
Jeffrey Smith is president of the Foundation for the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), as well as a member of the BCPL Board of Library Trustees, and board member of Citizens for Maryland Libraries. As a professional lobbyist for both public and private sector organizations, Jeffrey has conducted successful legislative advocacy efforts through direct interaction with government officials at the federal, state, and local levels.
LeRae Umfleet holds two important roles at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. She serves not only as the administrator for the Education and Outreach Branch through the Office of Archives and History, but she is also the chief of collections management. In these roles, LeRae manages how the agency cares for, collects, stores, and exhibits the objects in its custody. LeRae also manages initiatives funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to better help museums, libraries, historic sites, and archives improve collections care and disaster preparedness techniques.
Anne Edgar heads Anne Edgar Associates (AEA), a New York based media relations company that promotes exhibitions, museum openings and expansions, and urban planning initiatives. Among the firm’s current projects are the much-anticipated opening of Renzo Piano’s new museum building on the campus of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth; Colombia’s national art biennial in Medellin; and an exhibition on the art of the future at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Anne is a member of the boards of trustees of the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, London/New York, and the Design Trust for Public Space, New York. For nearly a decade, she has taught public relations and marketing for the arts at New York University in the Graduate School of Art and Art Professions.
Dana Allen-Greil leads digital strategy for education at the National Gallery of Art. She specializes in leveraging technology to help nonprofits engage constituents, demonstrate value, and stay relevant. Her past positions include: Account Director at Ogilvy Public Relations; Adjunct Faculty in Museum Studies at The George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University; Chief of Digital Outreach and Engagement at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History; and Online Communications & Publishing Coordinator at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Dana holds a B.A. in English from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University.