A Stakeholder Perspective on Heritage Branding and Digital Communication
How does an archaeological museum understand its function in a digital environment? Consumer expectations are rapidly shifting, from what used to be a passive relationship with exhibition contents, towards a different one, in which interaction, individuality and proactivity define the visitor experience. This consumer paradigm is much studied in fast moving markets, where it provokes immediately measurable impacts. In other fields, such as tourism and regional development, the very heterogeneous nature of the product to be branded makes it near to impossible for only one player to engage successfully.
This systemic feature implies that museums, acting as major stakeholders, often anchor a regional brand around which SME tend to cluster, and thus assume responsibilities in constructing marketable identities. As such, the archaeological element becomes a very useful trademark. On the other hand, it also emerges erratically on the Internet, in personal blogs, commercial websites, and social networks. This forces museums to enter as a mediator, authenticating contents and providing credibility. What might be called the digital pull factor poses specific challenges to museum management: what is to be promoted, and how, in order to create and maintain a coherent presence in social media? The underlying issue this paper tries to address is how museums perceive their current and future role in digital communication.
KeywordsPortugal Museums Archaeology Social networks
The authors would like to thank the museum PR services for their input.
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