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Promoting and marketing the Museum

A key project during 2010–11 was the development and application of a new brand to reflect the Museum’s aspirations and vision. Following a tender process, Generation Alliance (gen.a) was selected to develop the new brand, which uses speech bubbles, conversations, emotion, energy and the line ‘Where our stories live’. A brand colour palette, imagery, typography and composition were developed to reflect the tone, personality, style and character of the Museum. The brand rollout will continue in 2011–12.

Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route attracted more than 120,000 visitors and is the most popular exhibition ever presented by the Museum. It was promoted through a national print and television campaign targeting locals, tourists and art enthusiasts. A high profile event program helped to build awareness and strategically market the exhibition to special interest groups.

Tourists represent 70 per cent of visitors to the Museum, so they are a critical element of the Museum’s marketing strategy. This year the Museum focused on strengthening its relationship with the Australian Capital Territory and national tourism sector, to help build Canberra as a tourist destination, to position the Museum as one of the ‘must-see’ attractions in the national capital, and to build the brand profile among national and international audiences through partnerships and active marketing. In April 2010, for the first time in many years, the Museum participated in the Australian Tourism Exchange, Australia’s premier tourism trade event and the largest international travel trade show of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Advertising and market research

In accordance with reporting requirements contained in Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the Museum annually reports expenditure on advertising and market research. Expenditure by the Museum in 2010–11 is summarised in the following chart:

Media advertising
Canberra Times $15,200
Federal Capital Press $17,100
Grey Canberra $129,605
Prime television $361,287

Note: Canberra Times and Federal Capital Press are the same vendor.

Note: In accordance with Section 311A(2) of the Act, only payments over $10,000 are reported.

The Museum and the media

Major media interest in the National Museum of Australia in 2010–11 focused on the record visitation set by Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route, the popularity of Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia and a number of strategically placed media interviews and speeches by Director Andrew Sayers, outlining his vision for the Museum. These included major speeches at the Lowy Institute and the National Press Club, and a series of opinion articles written for major metropolitan newspapers.

Audience figures are provided to the Museum by Media Monitors and draw from circulation and audience numbers provided by newspapers and independent audience measurement agencies. Over the course of Yiwarra Kuju, media coverage reached a total audience of 4,208,837. This comprised a print readership of 3,796,837, radio listeners totalling 204,000 and a television audience of 208,000. The exhibition was also widely reported in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait media. Coverage for Not Just Ned reached a media audience of more than eight million.

In 2010–11, the Museum provided an enhanced range of products for the media which included copyright-cleared photographs, curator essays offering a deeper explanation of exhibition objects and acquisitions, and object biographies. Media material is now available on the Museum’s website and has resulted in more detailed and informed stories about the Museum in the media.

National Museum of Australia Press

National Museum of Australia Press was established in 2004 and supports the strategic priorities of sustaining research and scholarship, engaging national audiences and enhancing exhibitions, programs and services. It does this through publishing scholarly and special interest titles, as well as books for general adult readers and exhibition catalogues.

In 2010–11, the press published seven books, which included four exhibition-related books, two scholarly co-publications and one book for general adult readers. It also published two issues of the Museum’s scholarly journal, reCollections: A Journal of Museums and Collections, and a number of corporate publications.

In response to the growing demand for digital publications, the press converted three scholarly titles to multiple e-reader platforms and six books into iPad formats. The press will continue to digitise its publications as part of its publishing program.

The year’s highlights included the following publications:

  • Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia, a companion to the exhibition of the same name, explores the impact the arrival of thousands of Irish to Australia, since 1788, have had on Australian history. This book brings together a collection of rare and precious objects, documents, paintings, drawings and photographs to tell one of Australia’s greatest stories.
  • Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route: In 2007 nearly 70 Aboriginal artists travelled up the Canning Stock Route on a six-week return to Country. Over 100 canvases were painted on that expedition, which were acquired by the Museum in 2009. This collection became the basis of the Yiwarra Kuju exhibition, and this catalogue, which includes full page colour plates of every artwork in the collection. Yiwarra Kuju was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Association’s ‘Best Illustrated Book of the Year’.
  • Hell’s Only Half Full, written by Kerry Clarke, tells the colourful story of Victorian pioneer–settler Lucy Little (Nan) through the lives of three generations of her family. It is a gritty yet engaging story of strong, resourceful women dealing with abject poverty in an unforgiving environment. Acute observations and insights combine to paint a rich portrait of a woman, a family, a community and an era. This book was the winner of the Museums Australia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards in the book category, and also received an Honourable Mention in the American Association of Museums Book Design Awards.
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