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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!

Medieval textures

Remains of a medieval house in Barcelona, the former house of the veil weaver Joseph Bonhiac. It now houses the Call Museum of the City of Barcelona explaining the former Jewish district.