Consultancy

KatieMuseums

I’ve worn many hats (and raincoats and hissing cockroaches) in my professional life.

WHY WORK WITH ME?

I’m a museum geek who’s passionate about her work – and really good at it, too. I focus on the ways museums and communities connect with one another, from exhibits and programming to social media and evaluation.

My career has taken me to three countries, two continents, and over a dozen museums. I’ve been a staff of one, and I’ve co-supervised a staff of over 100. Chances are, if it’s a museum job, I’ve done it: Cultural Curator, Collections Manager, Exhibit Developer, Visitor Evaluator, and even Elevator Snake Wrangler (it’s a long story).

I know museum work is hard work. Museum work demands equal parts creativity and pragmatism, and the ability to use both the right and left sides of your brain at the same time (and sometimes the ability to dissect a brain. I can do that, too).

But for all the frustrations and setbacks and days when you really regret not pursuing that accounting degree, I know that museum work is amazing. Awesome. Absolutely kick-ass. And so we keep doing what we do.

WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU

I step in to help you accomplish whatever needs to get done. As another perspective, a new pair of eyes, and an extra set of hands, I listen, ask questions, evaluate, make suggestions, and work with you to formulate, execute, and follow through with a plan.

My specialties include:

Interpretive Planning

Today, it isn’t enough just to show visitors what you have in your collection. Visitors are looking for compelling connections – stories and experiences that link them to times and places and people and help them explore where they belong in the bigger picture. The stories you tell and how you tell them, matter.

My role as an interpretive planner is to:

  • Find the “hooks” that make a story resonate with your audience
  • Create experiences that are imaginative, informative and engaging
  • Break away from traditional interpretive expectations (when appropriate)
  • Develop comprehensive interpretive plans that exhibits, programs, and events
  • Lead professional development workshops to help staff and volunteers hone their amazing interpretational skills

Writing and Editing

I’ve left trails of words throughout museums, and I can string more through yours. From labels and brochures to web copy and books, I write strong, compelling, easy-to-understand and beautiful-to-read text in a voice that’s right for you. With my background as a biologist, I specialize in translating science for non-scientists, but I’ve also written about the history of trolley transportation and how to castrate bulls.

I’m skilled in turning technical and academic writing, which (let’s face it) can be on the dull and dry side, into sharp and engaging reads. And, if you have text that’s already written but just needs a bit of polishing, I can make it shine.

Text Translation

As a former military brat and current ex-pat, I know how valuable it is to have English-language translations in your museum. Not only does it attract visitors from English-speak countries, but English is increasingly becoming the language of tourism. Having strong, well-written English resources makes you an attractive and competitive tourist attraction, and believe me – if you write it (in English), they will come.

However, plugging the original text into Google Translate isn’t going to do it. Send me a rough translation of the copy and I’ll work with you to craft strong, beautiful content in a voice that fits your museum.

Audience Evaluation

Do you know who your visitors are and aren’t? Do you know why they visit or don’t? What gets them in the door, and what do they do once they’re there? Audience evaluation is key to planning successful exhibits, developing and improving programming, learning how to connect with your visitors, and often getting those grants you want.

When it’s time to start evaluating, I can:

  • Create institution-wide audience evaluation plans
  • Integrate the evaluation process into your museum’s
  • Develop institutional evaluation buy-in with staff, volunteers, and board members
  • Train staff and volunteers to be successful and effective evaluators
  • Determine the right questions to ask (not just all the questions)
  • Present results that can actually be understood and used

Social Media

Blogging, tweeting, posting, liking, and following aren’t just jargon, they’re legitimate and valuable ways to extend your community online. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can be amazingly fun and effective, but figuring out what to use and when to use it can feel overwhelming.

But it doesn’t have to. As a social media consultant, I:

  • Work with you to determine which online presence(s) are right for you
  • Teach you the ins and outs of the social media tools you’ll need
  • Develop a strategic plan for launching, building, and sustaining your online activity and growing a fan base
  • Help you find and hone your voice
  • Organize a blogging/tweeting/posting plan
  • Provide you with suggestions to improve your current website/blog/Facebook page, etc.

I’ve even been known to ghostwrite copy for museums who needed a little extra help (but, like a good ghostwriter, I’ll never tell who…)

Want to know more? Check out my resume.

For a free consultation to ask questions, flesh out ideas, and discuss opportunities for collaboration,  contact me.

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