Connect10: How are London’s Ragged School Museum and the Museum of Soho competing for Terry O’Neill?

In our second article highlighting the promotional and outreach efforts of venues involved in the Connect10 competition, we look at the two London venues vying to win iconic photographer Terry O’Neill – the Museum of Soho and the Ragged School Museum.

Where will you send Terry for Museums at Night? Cast your vote here.

 Tony Shrimplin, Chair of the Museum of Soho, reports:

As soon as we heard we were finalists in this years Museums at Night Connect10 competition our trustees and volunteers swung into action. This is our first time and it’s going to be memorable!

We initially set about using our mailing lists letting Friends of the Museum, colleagues and associates know we needed their vote and for them to forward the info to as many people as they could, hopefully creating a snowball effect.

Social media has been key in getting our events promoted, we have a Twitter page and were able to announce we were finalists pretty quickly. Facebook has also been used by our friends and families to promote our event.

We really are a community group and were able to enlist people power from burlesque dancers to window cleaners, businesses and residents who have all helped us spread the word.

We also have a unique resource in the West End in having a large, interactive, touch screen in Sherwood Street W1. The screen promotes the area by having galleries and articles showing Soho in a historic context. It’s a local amenity that residents and visitors alike are invited to submit content to. We announced the event on our screen and added a QR code directly linking smart phones to the voting site, so that passers by could take part in the public vote.

Our local newspaper The West End Extra has been notified and we expect something in this week’s edition.

I persuaded one of our trustees to dress up as a woman (not very difficult) and canvass for votes on Friday night, but alas no one batted an eye – this is Soho after all.

I however have been walking up and down Dean Street over the week-end with gorgeous burlesque girls on each arm in my fur coat. When asked about our poll position I was left stumped! But that’s another story…

This has been a great exercise for us, as we’ve never had to move so quickly and it is great to see the support we can get when needed.

Erica Davies, Director of the Ragged School Museum, reports:

To galvanise our advocates to vote for us and spread the word, we began by emailing our friends and supporters.

We’ve sent press releases out not only to our local newspapers but also to a TV programme – aiming high!

We’re using Twitter and Facebook to maintain interest in the competition and remind people about how they can vote.

A screenshot of an exchange on a Facebook page

An example of how the Ragged School Museum use their Facebook page to interact with their fans

We’re also very thankful for Twitter as it’s a great shortcut to talk with people: when we had a dramatic water leak last week (it was like a fountain) Twitter was the only place we could go to. Very soon we had loads of suggestions and recommendations for plumbers, and the problem’s been sorted out now!

Vote in Terry O’Neill’s Connect10 poll here – where will you send him?

The competition is open until Monday March 5th, and the winning venue will be announced on Tuesday March 6th.

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