Johan Lindblom considers how a more strategic and creative approach to communications can play an even bigger part in marketing. This article was first published on Idek, a blog based in Sweden.
How do we evoke interest around our content across different channels? Perhaps we need to try to create creative communication channels instead of just 'information'?
How can we create more effective communications in the museums and heritage sector? The topics that we work with are rarely hot news for the media. When we get great exposure in traditional media usually this involves news of threatened heritage or cutbacks. But we should be able to create greater social relevance and get broader media exposure.
The local media around Sweden features news on exhibits and activities from time to time - but it usually occurs on radio and in the shadow of national news. Cultural institutions ought to be well placed to create connections between history and the modern world - yet we take so little space in contemporary discussion. Sure, I'm generalising a bit. But I often find that there is something missing.
The reasons for this vary of course but perhaps something is missing in our communications with the outside world. As much as we talk about the story's power (e.g. the story of an exhibition), it is not often very clear in the marketing of our exhibitions, activities or experiences.
I think the story - the content itself - must play an even bigger part of marketing to create conditions for more strategic and creative communications with the outside world. Efficient and dynamic marketing can consist of an interplay between knowledge, context and communication. We must therefore make sure we create a more appealing design when it comes to content - and we must work with all layers of context available. By context I mean all touch points with our audiences - context such as the surrounding content when you consider the placement of an ad in the newspaper or the news feed in Facebook.
What I often miss when it comes to museum and heritage industry communication is content that arouses my interest. We are often good at saying that we are open, accessible and the name of the exhibition but very rarely do we offer any kind of dramatisation of what the content is about. Storytelling has long been a buzzword in the heritage sector but honestly, how many good examples of it have we seen?