Maximising impact with Social Media: Top Tips

Myself (@paleoManchester) and Rachel Webster (@aristolochia) recently talked about maximising impact of exhibitions with social media at the Museums Association conference in Manchester.

 

Here are our top tips!

  • Be passionate and positive: show off your exhibition
  • Make everybody’s day better
  •  Include pictures on all posts, especially of people having fun
  • Post regularly to ensure a lively feed
  •  Include your # and other people’s
  • Jump on # bandwagons if it works
  • Tag other people who you think will re-post even celebrities
  • Use analytics to learn what content and time works for you
  • Always promote # at events/conferences/openings
  • Re-post relevant content, ‘like’ other’s posts, respond, follow people
  • Keep an eye out for new trends or initiatives and try something new (e.g. Periscope)
  • Have a presence in your exhibition: prompt people and promote your #

And here’s some further reading:

Russel Dornan’s article in Medium on museum personalities

Mar Dixon’s blog

Opportunities and case studies on the MA website: Social Media Trends and Social Media strategy

Useful Hashtags from the Natural Science Collections Association

Do’s and don’ts from MuseumHack

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Think you know dinosaurs? Think again…

Most people are familiar with the dinosaur Velociraptor from the blockbuster film Jurassic Park. Represented in the film as a scary reptile, our understanding of Velociraptors are transformed by a recent discovery. 

Palaeontologists have recently found a close cousin of the Velociraptor that lived in China 125 million years ago showing spectacular preserved feathers. Named Zhenyuanlong suni, the fossil remains of the dinosaur suggest it is unlikely it could fly evidenced by the size of its wings and its feathers were probably used for display. The discovery of Zhenyuanlong suni is important because it changes our understanding of what dinosaurs looked like.

Fossil remains of Zhenyuanlong suni. Credit: Junchang Lu

Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester has the model on loan from Studio Liddell. Created by Peter Minister, the new model now on display, shows how our view of dinosaurs has been transformed.

The model of the Velociraptor is a taster of what is to come as Manchester Museum prepares for a blockbuster dinosaur exhibition. This is part of a new exhibition programme which is being planned as part of the museum’s expansion titled The Courtyard Project. Subject to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, work will commence on The Courtyard Project in August 2018 and will comprise of a larger temporary exhibition space, new entrance, improved visitor facilities and a South Asia Gallery in partnership with The British Museum.

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Object Lessons

An exhibition of stunning scientific models and illustrations now at Manchester Museum

The object-rich exhibition looks at this incredible collection through themes such as Craftsmanship, the Teaching Museum and the Microscopic. It combines George’s collection with the best models and illustrations from Manchester Museum and World Museum, Liverpool.

The beautiful objects blurred the boundaries between art and science and brought together the world’s leading scientists and most accomplished craftsmen. They reflect a moment in time when scientific discovery was rapidly developing, but technology could not keep up with techniques to record such findings.

To make sense of the exhibition we have split the displays into seven themes:

Craftsmanship features the highly-acclaimed Blaschka glass models, created by German glassworkers Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf.

In Understanding the Body models are used to explore the shape, movement and function of the body. A life-size papier-mâché anatomical wild turkey sits alongside an exploded cod skull and early German models used to teach the bite of a rattlesnake.

Recording the Extraordinary focuses on unusual things that are difficult to describe in words. Early illustrations of the Aurora Borealis, sit alongside a plaster moon crater and a globe of the stars. 

Exaggerated papier-mâché flowers and an Edwardian pop-up human anatomy book form part of Looking Inside.

Teaching Museum takes an overarching look at the context in which these models were created. Highlights include Japanese teaching scrolls from 1843 and wax fruits.

Minute details of plants and animals, as well as microscopic creatures are on display in Revealing the Microscopic including Early French flea photographs and models of pollen and penicillin.

Framing Time Some of the first illustrations of the Grand Canyon from the 1870s are shown alongside early reconstructions of long extinct fossils.

 We are also running a conference alongside the exhibition: Unlocking the Vault

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Unearthed

Dear Reader,

My name is Megan Jones, I am a university student studying photography in my last year of education. I have been lucky enough to collaborate with Manchester Museum, in order to create my final year project. For this project I explored the mineral archives within the Earth Science Department in Manchester Museum. My projects purpose was to open the doors to the hundreds of hidden artefacts that are kept behind the scenes at Manchester Museum. As we all know there is no way that everything can be displayed at the same time so a lot of the artefacts go unseen by the thousands of visitors that come to Manchester Museum.

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With over 17,000 minerals in the museums collection I set out photographing as many as possible the projects main intentions were to expose as much as possible therefore I could share the experience I have had exploring the mineral archives. I wanted to push the boundaries that surround museums, how our visits are censored even if we do not realise the museum is deciding what we get to see and what we do not.

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By photographing minerals from the archive I have allowed myself to reproduce the minerals taking them out of their intended aura to create something completely different a reproduction with a different importance by it being a photograph this is something that can be reproduced and reproduced time after time in contrast with the originals locked away behind closed doors, therefore the importance of the images is very different in comparison to the minerals within the museum. My aim was to expose these beautiful minerals to the public allowing them to view the museum as I do, a place that people become inspired, mesmerised and captivated by the beauty one building holds.

unearthed

If anyone would like to see more of my work and my classmate’s final year projects, we would like to invite you all to our exhibitions. Leaf Portland Street Manchester M1 6DW 16th until June 23rd June and also Tuesday 4th July until Saturday 15th July at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery SK3 8AB.

Thank you or taking the time to read about my project any questions please comment below!

Object Lessons exhibition: coming soon

For the past few months I’ve been working on a really exciting exhibition opening on the 20th of May: Object Lessons

#MMObjectLessons

Blaschka Portugese man o’war.  Image courtesy of Rosamond Purcell

Blaschka Portugese man o’war.
Image courtesy of Rosamond Purcell

Object Lessons celebrates the scientific model and illustration collection of George Loudon. Each of these finely crafted objects was created for the purpose of understanding the natural world through education, demonstration and display.

The object-rich exhibition will look at this incredible collection through themes such as Craftsmanship, the Teaching Museum and the Microscopic.

George’s collection will be displayed alongside stunning models from Manchester Museum and World Museum, Liverpool.

Brendel plant models.  Image curtesy of Rosamond Purcell

Brendel plant models.
Image courtesy of Rosamond Purcell

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A busy week of consulting!

Herbology Manchester

All the curators have been out and about over half term, in Manchester and beyond! We’re helping to spread the word about our new museum development plans. We want to hear what people think about our plans to build an extension to the Manchester Museum. It will house a new permanent gallery focusing on the history and culture of South Asia as well as a new exhibition space for host blockbuster shows. If you want to find out more, keep track of our progress on our Courtyard Project blog.

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Restoring the Geology gallery, Biddulph Grange

Thematic Collecting

We recently visited the amazing Geology gallery at Biddulph Grange to chat to Daniel Atherton about its restoration and development.

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