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Sarah Norrish: One of our big considerations is how we invite young people to walk through that front door.
Denise Ellitson: The first thing obviously is to really get a good understanding of what the exhibition is about, and then it’s thinking who is the audience for this.
Sarah Tinsley: We will have early discussions with the marketing team about, in a sense, the look and feel of the exhibition, and therefore the look and feel of how we’re going to promote it.
Jude Simmons: The very first thing that we do is that we have to know what the story is, what is the exhibition about, what is the content.
Eleanor Macnair: We search for a news angle, has it been seen before, what’s unusual about this, is this the first time the works have been brought together or examined.
Denise Ellitson: There’s not a formula you can do every time, you have to look at the audience.
Jo Clarke: There’s a core audience that come in whatever the weather, whatever’s on display. But actually every show enables us to target different groups of people as well.
Sabina Rahman: We have to start thinking about what kind of marketing tools we use, so one will be like eflyers, one will be an actual exhibition that we can actually use as a communication tool to let people know what the exhibition’s about.
Female Student 1: Websites, Facebook, that kind of thing draws numbers in very quickly.
Female Student 2: Not everyone has internet access. Young children, say 10-11 year olds, their parents may not be happy about them going on Facebook sites and social networking. We do need to remember to do the posters, do the leaflets, and do the advertising as well.
Ian Gardner: They have an image meeting where they pick the lead image, what we think is going to work well from an marketing point of view. Obviously the creators want to get involved with what they think is the most important image in the exhibition. Sometimes they’re not always the best looking things, so there’s a bit of argy-bargy with who gets their way.
Female Student 3: I’d swap Robert Graves for someone like Byron, I don’t think he’d immediately recognisable, even though it’s a beautiful image.
Denise Ellitson: With Underground posters, on average the ones along the corridors people look at for about three seconds, so you’ve got three seconds to get people’s attention.
Jo Clarke: You definitely need to be flexible, you definitely need to be prepared for hard work. There is a misconception that it’s a very glamourous job.
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I didn’t realise there was such a thing as a press officer, I thought people just turned up.

Learner, Sheffield

How do you get people to see an exhibition? The poster you see on the tube, the interview on the local radio, or the special event in the town centre will have been planned as part of a strategic marketing campaign. Press and marketing officers create a buzz around exhibitions and events.


Marketing researchTake a successful marketing campaign and deconstruct it. Why does it work for the target audience?


Marketing planningMarketing requires strategy and forward thinking. What are the key things you need to organise to make your campaign a success?


Marketing implementationA campaign needs fuel to keep going. What needs to happen to sustain the momentum of the campaign after launch?


Marketing evaluationWhat evidence have you gathered? Have you achieved your aims and objectives? What feedback have you received? What can you learn for your next campaign?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Write a Press Release?

Katie is Communications Officer for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. Ask her your top 10 questions about writing a successful press release.

  1. What's the point of a press release?
  2. Where do you begin?
  3. What else needs to go in?
  4. What style of writing do you use?
  5. How do you make it sound interesting?
  6. What about including images?
  7. Who do you send a press release to?
  8. When's the best time to send a press release?
  9. How do you send them out?
  10. What's your top tip?