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Communicating with the community

Promoting and marketing the Museum

Application of the new brand to reflect the Museum’s aspirations and vision was a key project during 2011–12. The implementation of the new brand, which uses speech bubbles, conversations, emotion, energy and the line ‘Where our stories live’ has been completed.

The temporary exhibitions program for 2011–12 has been a primary marketing focus with three major exhibitions and a Focus Gallery exhibition opening during the year. The major temporary exhibitions – A New Horizon: Contemporary Chinese Art, Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions and Travelling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World – have provided strong visitation, evidence that the marketing strategies and creative campaigns, which were developed in-house for all exhibitions, were successful.

Partnerships with targeted cultural communities and special interest groups were also key aspects of the Museum’s marketing strategies. Wholesale distribution of Travelling the Silk Road tickets to national accommodation properties provided the Museum with promotional opportunities, which resulted in increased ticket sales.

This year the Museum also focused on developing a tourism marketing strategy that will provide strategic direction for the Museum for 2012–15. The strategy focuses on four key priorities: to build tourism marketing infrastructure, boost brand profile in tourism markets, nurture strategic relationships with tourism businesses and organisations, and develop tourism products. As part of the first stage of implementing the strategy, production of a promotional tourism video was undertaken. The video extends the new brand, emphasising the National Museum of Australia as the place ‘Where our stories live’. The video will be uploaded onto Vimeo and the Museum website, providing an opportunity for the Museum to be promoted online to national and international audiences.

Following the launch of The Museum in March 2012, the new magazine has proven to be a powerful marketing tool. Distribution has been secured through all Qantas member lounges nationally, the Virgin Australia lounge at the new Canberra International Airport and at nationally branded accommodation properties in the Australian Capital Territory. These properties host government, corporate and leisure businesses that have target audiences similar to the Museum’s.

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 2011–12 is summarised in the following chart:

Firm Organisation type Value
Federal Capital Press media advertising $140,673
Grey Canberra media advertising $32,734
Newspoll market research $20,822
Note: In accordance with Section 311A(2) of the Act, only payments over $10,000 are reported.

The Museum and the media

The National Museum of Australia’s relationship with the public through the media developed and strengthened throughout the year.

The focus of print and broadcast media interest in the Museum was on new acquisitions for the National Historical Collection, conservation work on the vehicle collection, and exhibitions and events at the Museum.

The most popular stories, measured by broadcast audience numbers and print circulation figures, were the acquisition of the John Konrads Olympic collection, the holey dollar and the 1867 Melbourne Cup; the conservation overhaul of the first Holden sold in Australia; the opening of Off the Walls: Art from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Agencies 1967–2005 and the closing of Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia.

In 2011–12, the Museum reached a combined broadcast and print media audience of 55,563,592. This includes a radio audience of 2,636,700, television audience of 4,314,000 and print circulation to 48,613,952 readers.

National Museum of Australia Press

National Museum of Australia Press was established in 2004 and publishes scholarly and special interest titles, corporate titles, as well as books for general adult readers and exhibition catalogues.

In 2011–12, the press published two exhibition-related books, A New Horizon: Contemporary Chinese Art and Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Political Cartoons 2011, and one scholarly publication, Thomas Baines: Exploring Tropical Australia 1855 to 1857. It also published two issues of the Museum’s scholarly journal, reCollections: A Journal of Museums and Collections, and a number of corporate publications.

The press also produced the new magazine, The Museum, which presents information on a diverse range of exhibitions, programs and activities. It is distributed nationally and is published twice a year. The first issue featured striking full-page photographs from the Bipotaim: Stories from the Torres Strait exhibition, a debate on the challenges of defining an Australian national costume and stories behind new acquisitions to the collection.

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