10 step promotional checklist: how to get the word out about your Museums at Night event

Thanks to Geordan at Epworth Old Rectory, who, having entered details of their family fun and candlelit costume tours into the Culture24 DDE database, asked me what else they could do to promote their event and Museums at Night as a whole.

This inspired me to write a simple 10 point promotional checklist for the Culture24 site, which I’m reposting here.

A photo of a Gothic Revival building lit up at dusk

Manchester Museum (c) Steve Devine

1 Have you registered details of your event on our database? If not, here’s how to do it.

2 Good images bring articles to life, and can inspire journalists to write about your venue. Please send high-resolution photos of your museum (ideally at night), or people exploring your collections, to our PR lady Pandora George at pandora@bulletpr.co.uk.

3 For tips on setting up photo opportunities and writing press releases to local media, read and use our Making the Most of the Media PR Toolkit complete with useful Notes to Editors.

4 We’ve produced free downloadable templates for posters and flyers, which you can customise to promote your events, along with Museums at Night logos to add if you’re designing print or web publicity of your own. Download them all here in a variety of formats.

5 The 16-page BBC History Magazine Guide to Museums at Night will be printed soon – people who pick it up will be encouraged to come to the Museums at Night website to find exciting events near them. Would you be willing to put these guides out in your museum, gallery or library for members of the public to pick up? If so, please email Rosie at rosie@culture24.org.uk with your contact details, and how many copies you’d like.

6 Is photography allowed in your venue? If so, would you put out flyers promoting our Flickr competition? It encourages people who attend Museums at Night events to participate by capturing the excitement and uploading their photos to our online photo archive of the weekend, and can lead to great publicity. If you’re happy for us to send you Flickr flyers, please email Rosie.

7 Join up with us on social media! Please follow Culture24 on Twitter, and tell your followers about your event using the hashtag #MuseumsatNight. You can also connect with interested fans of the weekend through the Museums at Night Facebook page, to share details of your plans or even ask for help or feedback.

8 Why not write a chatty guest post for our behind the scenes campaign blog? We’re looking for 150-350 words and a nice image or two, along with a couple of lines about yourself and a thumbnail-sized photo of you. Contact Rosie if you’re interested.

9 PR co-ordinator Pandora George is currently looking for human interest stories about participating museums and galleries to send to feature writers. Do you have any funny or heartwarming stories to tell about your curators or volunteers? What brought them in to your team in the first place – a lifelong interest in the subject, a family connection, a passion for local history? Do you have regular museum attendees who are drawn to an exhibit because it tells a story about their life, or they have an association with it? If you can help, please email Pandora.

10 Finally, would you be willing to help us evaluate the success of Museums at Night 2010? This would involve setting out feedback forms for visitors to fill out after your event, then posting completed forms back to us. We will send you the results from the evaluation at your own venue, as well as the full report (which this year is being compiled by an independent evaluator). We’d like 50 venues to do this: if you can help, please email Rosie.

Have you ticked off all 10 points on the list? Then make yourself a cup of tea – you deserve one!

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