Joining the Museum in May on a three month secondment with the marketing department meant I was thrown into a growing whirlwind of activity and excitement! It’s been great fun and a real buzz as everyone is so animated about the new museum.
I work with The Audience Business, Edinburgh’s audience development agency for the cultural sector, but have been on loan to the museums (!) to work on the re-opening. Through TAB I’ve been involved with the museum for several years and was delighted when they asked me if I’d like to work with them on secondment.
I was brought on board as another pair of hands to help with the exciting campaigns and opportunities around the opening and also to look at strategies for maintaining audiences after the event. It’s been difficult trying to juggle the immediate needs with thinking longer- term as pressing deadlines always take precedent and there is only one shot at the opening. I’ve picked up on a colourful mix of activities from internal displays to media competitions with national titles, from getting the word out to our cultural and commercial partners to organising new banners to take over Chambers Street. Plus even random requests to sort out old road signs and source a Victorian gentleman’s costume for the opening ceremony (thank you Lyceum Theatre!).
Looking beyond the opening to the task of maintaining high visitor numbers: the new museum has so much to offer and I’m considering some of the ways the marketing team can harness this. We are working with a new box office and e-marketing systems to help us to improve communications with visitors and link into our growing social networking activity, which is looked after by the excellent Digital Team. I’m also looking at how we target audiences in future particularly families and young people.
Part of my time has been spent hot desking in the offices of the design and exhibitions team which has been a lively insight into how things really work behind the scenes at the museum! But I’m back in the familiar territory of the marketing department again now and can see all the careful planning coming together for what promises to be the biggest thing in Edinburgh this summer.
I’ll be sorry to be leaving just when the fun really starts. But I know that even after my secondment is over, I’ll be spending a lot of time here. My 9 year old can’t wait to visit and with the new interactive galleries for families this will be one bit of pester power that I’ll happily give in to. Though unfortunately I know I won’t be able to stop myself checking out the ticketing, banners and communications every time I visit.