Monthly Archives: December 2009

Want a live performance event at your venue for Museums at Night?

We’ve had an offer of a live performance event to take place at your venue during Museums at Night 2010, from Tom Searle of Show and Tell. He says:

I’ve previously created daring and innovative comedy and poetry events at the Museum Of London and Docklands Museum. All have received a great deal of press coverage and the most recent (at MOL, July 2009), was attended by 1100 people for a 2 hour event.

My proposal for Museums At Night 2010 is to gather a team of talented writers to write a story inspired by someone or something they’ve seen within the chosen museum. Each chapter will be handed over to a performer – comedians, musicians, storytellers, poets, film makers – to interpret. The museum will be descended into darkness and the audience will be invited to navigate the museum torch in hand. Coming across a different performer along each step of the way, they’ll not only witness each chapter of the story piece-by-piece, but will explore and engage with the museum in an intimate and exciting way.

I’m willing to consider any museum and adapt the premise to suit the needs of the project and venue.

Please contact me at if interested. Thanks!

And a final reminder from me before we break up for Christmas: if you’d like your Museums at Night events to be part of our first PR push into long lead women’s, local interest, and history and heritage magazines, you’ll need to enter them into the Culture24 database by January 8th 2010. Not sure how to do this? Follow this link.

Season’s greetings to everyone – wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year!

The Late Shows in Newcastle and Gateshead win marketing award

Music fans wearing their glowsticks attending The Late Shows 2009

Not only are the Late Shows in Newcastle and Gateshead the biggest Museums at Night events – Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums communications department, who promote them, have just won the Best Integrated Campaign award in the Northern Marketing Awards! Congratulations to everyone involved: you can read the full story on Culture24 here.

Culture24 staff writer Ben Miller went along to report on last year’s Late Shows – his article about the experience is here, and he still keeps the glowstick on his desk as a memento.

Working together with other venues in your city or region can clearly pull many more new visitors in. If you’re thinking of doing this in your area for Museums at Night 2010 and would like to discuss your plans, do contact me on 01273 623336 or

Museums at Night meet Nuit des Musées!

L-R: Ruth, Jane Finnis (Culture24 Director), Jacqueline Chiffert and Frauke Josenhans (Coordination de La Nuit européenne des musées), Rosie

Our continental counterparts from the French Ministry of Culture, Jacqueline and Frauke, came to visit Culture24 in Brighton last week – we’re often in touch over email, but it’s much easier to discuss future plans face to face. 

We compared notes on the similarities and differences between the campaigns we run, and planned to work together more closely in future: you can look forward to reading highlights of Museums at Night events around the rest of Europe on the Culture24 website

Another very positive outcome was the agreement that all Museums at Night event listings entered on to the Culture24 DDE system will be automatically shared with the Nuit des Musées website, meaning that venues planning an event will only have to enter the information about it in one place.   

Not sure how to list details of your Museums at Night events? Learn how to do it here!

First publicity deadline is mid January

With frost on the trees and Christmas festivities in full swing, May seems a long way off.  However, the first deadline for Museums at Night publicity is looming.  The May issues of most glossy magazines (women’s/lifestyle/travel/heritage and history) come out at the beginning of April and their copy deadlines are mid January.  So, if you are planning to do an event, even if you don’t have all the details confirmed, get your basic listing into our DDE database by the end of December to ensure we include you in this advance publicity.  A good illustrative image is also useful as it might make the difference between your event being featured or not.

Get in touch with me if you have any questions about this or anything else to do with the publicity and marketing campaign as getting your event featured is what makes me happy! Ruth

(ps – we’ve put together a PR kit with suggestions for how to get the most out of your involvement in Museums at Night on the Culture24 site.)

Culture24 are essential, says the Guardian!

The Guardian's top 100 essential websites

Culture24 are delighted that the Guardian has listed us as one of their 100 Essential Websites! Messages of congratulations have been rolling in all morning, and we’re all feeling genuinely chuffed to be featured along with such great company.

Writing a Mailchimp newsletter

Our latest Museums at Night newsletter

I’ve spent the last few days putting together our monthly email newsletter for people who are interested in Museums at Night. It goes out to people working at the museums on the Culture24 database, people from the Museums, Libraries and Archives council, who fund Museums at Night, and anyone else who’s interested. (And if you’d like future copies of the newsletter, you can sign up for it here.)

Newsletters are great because there’s a lot of stuff Ruth and I want to communicate! In this month’s one, we list some of the exciting events that venues are planning, to inspire others; share links to our presence on various social media spaces; point readers towards our new pages of downloadable logos and the PR toolkit; and generally subtly remind them that they don’t want to miss out on the Museums at Night fun!

These calls to action are generally pretty effective – in the days following a newsletter mailout, we’ll get lots of follow-up emails and phonecalls, see a flurry of new Museums at Night events entered onto our database, and if I call a venue to ask them if they’re taking part, I generally don’t have to explain what Museums at Night is, because people have recently been reminded.

We use the online service to do this, which makes the process relatively simple and features a cartoon monkey mascot who offers you toasted sandwiches and comedy YouTube videos. One challenge is that because this email is going to go out to thousands of people, you don’t want any mistakes, unclear sentences or broken links. It’s very quick to stick text and photos in, but formatting the message is what takes the most time. Ideally, all the text should be the same size and without a format painter tool, this isn’t easy!

Before sending the mailout out this morning, I sent the final draft to my colleagues for double-checking. Thankfully, someone spotted the excessive number of exclamation marks I’d scattered through it, which I was able to limit to one. A blog, rather than a sector-facing newsletter, is the place to exclaim!

Do you send out newsletters? What works for you? If you’re coming to this blog post via the newsletter I’ve just sent out, was there anything you expected to read there but didn’t see?