“I once asked Eric Siegel, director of the New York Hall of Science, why museums are rarely innovative shining stars on the cutting edge of culture. He commented that, as nonprofits, museums are built to survive, not to succeed. Unlike startups and rock stars, museums aren’t structured to shoot for the moon and burn up trying. They’re made to plod along.
Maybe it’s time to change that.
The problem arises when the desire to sustain overcomes the desire to be superlative and more resources go to surviving than succeeding.
For some museums, awesomeness has never been part of the mission statement or core services. Elizabeth Merritt from AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums wrote a provocative post on her blog in March about the financial future of museums in which she suggested, among other things, that 20 percent of museums should be allowed to fail in the coming decades. As she puts it: “Museums have an amazing ability to survive in the most adverse environments. They are the cockroaches of the nonprofit world—sometimes it really does seem like you can’t kill them with an atomic blast. Most of the time some improbable deus ex machina saves the day: for example, an unexpected cash gift or a free building. Mind you, this often only saves the distressed museum from closure—it does not cure the underlying dysfunction. The museum may simply struggle along for another ten years before the next potentially fatal crisis.”
The underlying dysfunction that Merritt mentions is often an inability to focus on anything but survival. To make it, museums need to survive and succeed. As an exercise, I think it’s important for museums to list two types of things:
1. Core services that people depend on and need to survive. These include museum jobs in a stable workplace and programs that address a societal gap not provided by other organizations. For example, maybe your museum provides job training for at-risk youth, and your community relies on your consistent ability to do so.
2. Services you provide that make you awesome. These should be the reasons you go to work in the morning. What draws people through your door, gets them excited and connects them passionately with your content?
The desire to survive will always exist, whether you run a small institution or a giant one. Sustainability always emerges as a core value of organizations. It’s human nature to want to keep your job and keep doing what you’re doing. The challenge is to not make it your primary goal.”
By Nina Simon
“[...] Museums use Web 2.0 technology to excite audiences about museum content and gather a roster of “views” and “friends”; users stay connected with a cultural institution in a medium with which they’re familiar. While museums might not target a specific demographic, defining the audiences most likely to take advantage of Web 2.0 applications and marketing specifically to them help drive traffic and the all-important word of mouth.
Does it hurt that it’s mostly a younger generation who pick up Web 2.0? Not at all. James Chung, president of market research firm Reach Advisors, makes it his job to notice how people use technology. “Those who are 65 and over aren’t as dependent on the Internet. Those who are in their late 20s and older depend on the Internet as a tool, while those who are younger live, eat and breathe connectivity. For any museum that wishes to cultivate this younger audience, technology will be a necessary part of their outreach strategy.” The audiences to which museums reach out today will be President’s Circle donors tomorrow. Staying relevant to that growing audience while staying to true to the museum’s mission is integral to a long-term plan.
[...] The value of these applications is often lost under the perception of constant change, privacy concerns and high barriers to entry. Weiterlesen…
“These technological advancements do not come without challenges. Security, privacy, ethics, and legal considerations all play a major role in how these technologies develop over time. The time has come, however, for companies to begin to determine strategies for utilizing these technologies in order to remain competitive in the global business arena.”
Deans, Candace P. und Ali, Nadira (2009): The Enterprise 2.0 Organization. In: Deans, P. Candace (Hrsg.), Social Software and Web 2.0 Technology Trends. New York, Information Science Reference: 44.
“The Web is not going anywhere and will only continue to evolve. More Web applications will be developed and compete for customers’ time and attention. As customers become accustomed to communicating and collaborating on the Web, they may choose to take marketing your brands into their own hands. [...]
Web 2.0 technologies will not replace traditional marketing such as direct mail or TV advertisments, but instead are new complementing marketing channels that many consumers will expect their brands to communicate through. [...] Enabling consumers to participate in each aspect of the marketing mix will help brands remain relevant in todays changing world.”
Bryant, Samantha C. (2009): A Strategic Framework for Integrating Web 2.0 into the Marketing Mix. In: Deans, P. Candace (Hrsg.), Social Software and Web 2.0 Technology Trends. New York, Information Science Reference: 41.
“The consumer defines the brand; a brand is not what a company defines it as, but what a consuer says it is. Via Web 2.0, consumers have numerous avenues to add their interpretation of brands, for better or worse.”
Quelle: Bryant, Samantha C. (2009): A Strategic Framework for Integrating Web 2.0 into the Marketing Mix. In: Deans, P. Candace (Hrsg.), Social Software and Web 2.0 Technology Trends. New York, Information Science Reference: 39.