The Alliance has put together these publicity tools so you can make the most of your advocacy efforts while also advancing our shared cause. These tools can be used by those coming to Washington, D.C. for Museums Advocacy Day, as well as those advocating from home during Museums Advocacy Day. The more voices making our case in the media on or around Feb. 24, the better our chances of making this a truly national advocacy day for museums.
For those who have a small communications staff—or no communications staff—please find below details for using these tools to your best advantage.
Each of these items can be customized, so you can showcase your museum first and foremost, which is also critical to the success of publicity efforts because it helps to show the direct impact of your efforts—and of museums—in your community.
If you decide to use the publicity tools, check in with the Alliance (Kristin Guiter: 202-288-5624), so that we might coordinate with others in your region doing the same.
Also don't forget to consider how you can include Museums Advocacy Day on your website, social media, or in your museum's newsletter, blog or other communications.
If you have 5 minutes, try this:
Social media is an accessible and valuable way to participate in the nationwide effort to speak up for museums. Work with your organization’s social media manager to like and follow legislators who represent the museum and funders (local, federal and state agencies) that support museums. You can learn a lot about a person or organization’s priorities and interests by connecting with their social media.
Follow AAM’s Facebook and Twitter, and use #museumsadvocacy in your advocacy posts. Share positive messages about your interactions with legislators and public figures, and tag them accurately in your posts. Share items on your own feeds, too. You may be surprised by the responses you get!
What are your favorite moments at a museum?
We want to hear from everyone on Feb. 24. Get your members and followers involved as well and ask them to share their stories using #MuseumMoment.
How have museums engaged in Museums Advocacy Day in the past?
Check out the 2013 and 2014 Storify.
If you have 30 minutes, try this:
Designed to let your local media know you are coming to Washington, D.C. as a citizen-lobbyist to make the case for museums. You can e-mail this to your local media with a brief, personal introduction from you, conveying your availability for interviews or commentary before, during or after Museums Advocacy Day. You should send to the media at least two weeks beforehand and, as with all these items, follow-up via phone and/or email.
If you have an hour, try one of these:
This provides the media with some ideas how they might cover your advocacy efforts. This can be used alongside or as a follow up to the main press release (above). The media will often take your suggested story ideas and adapt them to better suit the editorial approach of the media outlet.
Read by influentials, op-eds give you the opportunity to be both persuasive and authoritative. These draft op-eds include placeholders for you to insert information and statistics relevant to your own museum, community or region. Ideally, it should be submitted to the editorial page/op-ed page editor at least two weeks before Museums Advocacy Day.
You can pitch radio the option of recording a public service announcement with you, for them to air at their discretion before, during and after Museums Advocacy Day. Be prepared for editing on the part of the station; it is often necessary in order to fit the station’s format. PSAs often need to be reviewed by the station weeks in advance.
If you have two hours, try this:
Local radio (particularly your local public radio station, if you have one in your community) is a prime target for coverage of your advocacy efforts. Execution of some of the ideas contained in this pitch message will require time-sensitive commitments from you, as well as asking you to play reporter. You should get this to the news editor of your local station (if not public broadcasting, all-news stations are a possible target) at least two weeks in advance. If the station is interested, be prepared for some back-and-forth to work out the logistics.