Digital Strategies Programme Update
Between August 2013 and March 2014 Museum Development East Midlands has delivered the Digital Strategies Programme, facilitated by freelance Consultant and Project Manager, Fiona Marshall.
Eight museums from nineteen applications were selected for Fiona to work with. The programme aimed to identify where and how digital technologies could enable the museums to achieve their goals. Fiona provided individual mentoring support and held group workshops to build knowledge and help participants to develop an effective digital strategy and prioritise ambitions.
The eight museums were:
- Strutt’s North Mill, Belper,
- Kettering Museum and Art Gallery,
- Boston Guildhall,
- DH Lawrence Birthplace,
- The Workhouse, Southwell,
- Swannington Heritage Trust,
- Sir John Moore Foundation; and
- Sharpe’s Pottery Museum.
Some museums came with a head start, already savvy with social media or collections well on their way to being accessible online, while others started from scratch. In the early phases of the process Fiona detailed some of the common themes uncovered on the Museum Development East Midlands Digital Strategies Programme Blog, such as:
- Wanting plans to be strategic and sustainable
- Improving digital marketing, including e-newsletters
- Interpreting usage statistics from Twitter and Facebook etc
- Using digital technology in galleries and exhibitions
- Improve access to collections.
Now at the tail end of the programme we are piecing together the overall impact, here is only a fragment of what the Digital Strategies Programme has achieved:
- With the additional support of MDEM grant funding for professional photographers for Kettering Museum and Art Gallery, 600 items from the art collection have been digitised and will now be more accessible
- Boston Guildhall has established a social media presence, gained new skills and confidence, and updated their Collections Management System to become accessible for staff and the public, while investigating the opportunity to become entrepreneurial and ‘make money’ from their collections
- Encouraged Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, although only in the early stages of their project , to set up a retail committee to get an online shop up and running.
- DH Lawrence built up contacts within the programme, developed their knowledge of best practice and had the opportunity to share their problems with other museums.
- With additional MDEM funding for equipment, Strutt’s North Mill has explored how they could better assist with tourist enquiries
- Sir John Moore Foundation is developing a digital strategy for the site and focusing on specific digital interactive elements for a coffee shop area using items from their collection.
- The Workhouse, Southwell ran a social media day for the programme learning how to deliver training and facilitate discussions with other programme participants. This knowledge has since been cascaded to staff.
- Swannington Heritage Trust have developed their digital strategy and prioritised raising awareness of Swannington’s heritage through production of a new website, QR code trails, films, social media and a possible Geocache trail.
- Fiona facilitated two workshops at The Workhouse – one evaluating the impact of social media and another on creating and using audio for oral histories and visitors’ stories. Read the blog here.
- The programme was brought to a close with one final workshop, held at DH Lawrence Heritage Centre on 25 March 2014, entitled ‘Digital technology for visitors’ a range of speakers were invited, including Derby Museum, ATS Heritage and Glassball. Read the blog here.
Follow up with Fiona’s work with each museum and find out more about what happened at each training event on the Digital Strategies blog at http://museumsdigital.wordpress.com/.
The future of Digital Strategies
MDEM are pleased to announce that Fiona will be working with us again during 2014. Fiona will be available to provide essential digital advice for museums and not-to-be-missed training events.
If you have a digital enquiry, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org watch this space for further details of training events .