Guerrilla Marketing for the Museum

I do apologize that there’s been a lack of home decorating/improvement posts around here recently. Maybe this blog is undergoing an identity crisis. Or maybe my love of home improvement is just lying in wait until The Boy and I move to an apartment that actually needs work.

I’m also in the midst of struggling with my career goals, and how to make them a reality. My current job is extremely administrative–I’m in charge of a national museum assistance program. I would love, though, to get back in to a museum, preferably as a curator. The problem though, is how I convince potential employers that my administrative experience is applicable to curatorial work in a small to mid-size museum.

Starting soon, I’m going to be volunteering at a local historic house, doing everything from giving tours, to helping figure out the status of old loans, to helping with programs and exhibits.

One of the issues that this small museum has is visitation. It’s slightly off the beaten path just outside of DC, which makes it challenging for it to attract visitors, other than those who are obsessed with the family connections of those who lived there. The current director (and only full-time staff person) has been doing amazing work in trying to get the museum on to peoples’ radars in the area. She developed a new program for Halloween with the help of a couple of my friends who have also been volunteering there, and they’re looking to improve upon it for this year.

Which brings me to this.

What a brilliant idea for museum marketing! Most small museums probably couldn’t hire actors or get permission from a shopping mall to have people on horseback or sliding down ropes and the like, but it’s something that could be done on a smaller scale in any public place where there are a lot of people. Find a busy public park or downtown shopping district on a Saturday, and have people in period clothing (volunteers) suddenly appear, come together into some sort of vignette related to an upcoming event or exhibit, and maybe have someone in normal clothing with flyers or a sign promoting the museum and the event!

The event that’s being done at this historic house relates to Victorian mourning and the Civil War, which I think would make for awesome, attention-grabbing vignettes!

So yeah…I’m full of crazy museum ideas right now. Now if I can just get someone to implement them in a way that I can put on my resume… 😛


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