Category: Blog

Social Media Marketing Day

On 26 January 2019 I participated in the Barcelona Social Media Marketing Day 2019. Here are some of the many interesting thoughts that caught my attention.

Images are the new conversations

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015

On 26 November 2018 I participated in the seminar Images are the New Conversations organized by Co-Society. Here are a selection of notes I took during the day.

Images to see: scroll (for instance in a catalogue), encyclopedia (organize information),  sell, control

Images to imagine: motivate, lie (eg fake news), enjoy (like in Tokyo).

Images to search: – eg magic mirror – I use my image. The image of your body you use to choose a product. My image could serve to see who I am (new boarding pass with photo?). – shop around, eg plant net – take a pic of a plant and they say you what it is. Image helps to find something. Next 5-10 years, the mobile will help to search through images. Eg you bring product, it is scanned and it helps to find product. Easier to scan the product to find it. Find object through its images. Same for dating.

Images to understand: – learn. Among all the information that circulates, many times an image explains it much better – can also be graph. – do. Eg cooking instructions in few images. – train. Eg google glass.

Images to brand: Brand – naming + logo. That’s not valid any more! Has changed a lot: many times logo doesn’t appear, we have images!

Many brands have a platform of content creation with the aim of creating a new engagement, better engagement. Content marketing! Many times there is not even the product on the picture.

The future is midlifer! Many brands forget that +50 do understand influencers.

Images have to be sophisticated. Many times images are made on the basis of who uses the social media channel, not the ones who can buy the product.

We spend far more time on social media that are based on images. YoTube and Instagram are the most valued social media channels.Instagram 58x more engagement than on Facebook! So the question is: does my Instagram grid represent my brand?

Transmedia is about how your story flows to engage and transform your audience. Your story.  Before – during – after. Your audience ——- story goal. Transmedia Canvas – method to design a transmedia experience

A scary, but maybe not so unrealistic vision of the future use of images:


Quality assurance in museums – let’s go!

On 16 October 2018 I participated in a seminar on the measurement of quality in museums, organised by the Observatori dels Públics del Patrimoni Cultural de Catalunya, OPPCC.

It made me remind the importance of quality assurance in any institution and company and the little we actually talk about it with respect to museums.

Quality assurance in museums has, roughly, three different aspects:

– quality of user experience

– quality of museum management

– total quality management

With many museums very much focused on the sheer number of visitors, the introduction of a system to measure the quality of their visit is indeed an important first step.

To do so, the Arts Council England has developed a Quality Metrics pilot. The quality of an exhibition is measured by the ones who create (museum staff) and the ones who consume it (visitors). Adding to this, they have set up peer reviews. Great! But far from being new. Years ago, when I worked as a Programme Manager at European University Association (EUA), we dealt a lot with concepts such as peer reviews, quality assurance, institutional evaluation etc. and they seemed much assumed by the university world. EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme, based on self-evaluations and peer reviews, is still successfully running.

Carl Stevens from the ACE with the quality metrics 

Museums, for whatever reason, seem to be much more reluctant to self-questioning and being evaluated by different stakeholders and colleagues.

Measuring the quality of user experience should not go without the evaluation of the museum management and this leads us eventually to the concept of total quality management. It should be the aim of any museum to evaluate not only the quality of its exhibitions and its management, but any aspect related to the museum. This comes down to checking the quality of the work done by our providers, because they too contribute to the quality of our institution.

Museums that have not done any type of quality measurement could indeed start with asking the public about their degree of satisfaction. What’s most important, though, is creating a quality culture within the museum, with good and open communication among staff and commitment towards improving they way things work in the institution.

In this sense, it is to be hoped that quality assurance, peer reviews, self-evaluations and the like will fully form part of the museum culture and, more important, of museum staff. Let’s go!

The hidden force of social media. Or how to use it as a tool for organisational change

The use of social media is usually associated with sharing contents and experiences with people from outside the museum. I would like to raise awareness of the high potential social media has as a tool for institu

tional development, able to foster real and profound change inside the museum.

Remind that social media has always to be part of a larger institutional strategy, which ultimately aims at accomplishing the museum’s mission. I’ would highlighten three key concepts.

Social media is a powerful tool for:

1. Knowledge management to reach internal cohesion.

Members of staff, regardless their tasks or position, need to have sound knowledge about their museum in order to align their specific activities with the broader interest of the institution. In reality, though, most museums are structured in departments with staff little prone to share information. Being transversal by nature, social media is an excellent tool to involve people in the creation of content and distribute the knowledge inside the museum. A museum fostering the use of social media among its staff gains a better connected, hence stronger, team.


2. Continuing education.

Staff development is rarely a well organised and implemented issue in museums.  With an environment evolving fast it is crucial that people receive regular training. Social media is an exceptional tool for continuing education, providing users with information about recent trends on specific issues, debates with colleagues around the world and with interesting material, just to name a few.


3. True internationalisation of the museum.

If a museum wishes to have a strong international outreach, one person doing the job will not be enough. True internationalisation is achieved once every member of staff is able to see his/her work not only in a local perspective, but also through the eyes of users from abroad. Social media is probably the best tool for international communication and interaction.


Do you have any first hand experiences in using social media for the institutional development of your museum?

Towards a sustainable museum education

According to a recent study (in Spanish), one out of three university students in Spain have never visited a museum. It is a surprising data. We actually assume that students should have had more and easier access to museums than any other group of the same age. So what has been going wrong there? Who are the guilty ones – museums, parents, the university, society as a whole?

Assumption 1: Nowadays higher education is more accessible than ever, so people from weak social backgrounds where museum visits are not common are studying at university.

Assumption 2: When these students were small children, so about 15 years ago, many museums still did not have educational departments. Maybe within ten years, most of the students will be able to say that yes, they have visited a museum at least once in their life.

But again, should this satisfy us? I’d say no, because what matters is not visiting a museum, what matters is learning something there, is taking out something, a piece of information, a positive emotion, something that will stay with the person throughout his or her life. In the best case, this memory makes the person come back to this same or any other institution. In the very best case, the person will transmit his or her knowledge and lived experience to friends, parents, own children, etc.

Family visiting the Museu Frederic Marès, Barcelona

A large number of museums do offer educational activities for school children and many museums save visitor statistics thanks to these school activities. That’s all fine, but we should rethink museum education and creating very best cases: we should actively foster a sustainable museum education, one that will live on beyond the individual who receives it.

It’s a difficult task, that’s for sure, but maybe we can simply start by surveying the current museum education, especially the one addressed at schools.

Museums should try to create a culture of visiting museums, something that forms part of people’s life. Too ambitious? Maybe, but we might be able to avoid situations such as these: “Where have all the children gone, Britain’s galleries wonder” writes The Independent a couple of weeks ago.

And we might have stopped wondering by then.