A Stakeholder Perspective on Heritage Branding and Digital Communication

  • Adriaan De ManEmail author
  • Cristiana Oliveira
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


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.


Portugal Museums Archaeology Social networks 

JEL Classification




The authors would like to thank the museum PR services for their input.


  1. Anholt, S. (2007). Competitive identity. The new branding management for nations, cities and regions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Bertacchini, E., & Morando, F. (2013). The future of museums in the digital age: New models for access to and use of digital collections. International Journal of Arts Management, 15(2), 60–73.Google Scholar
  3. Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Grimes, J. M. (2012). Promoting transparency and accountability through ICTs, social media, and collaborative e-government. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, 6(1), 78–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boast, R., Bravo, M., & Srinivasan, R. (2007). Return to babel: Emergent diversity, digital resources, and local knowledge. The Information Society, 23, 395–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Charitonos, K., Blake, C., Scanlon, E., & Jones, A. (2012). Museum learning via social and mobile technologies: (How) can online interactions enhance the visitor experience? British Journal of Educational Technology, 43, 802–819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Man, A. (2014). The institutional stakeholder and the slippery paths to growth: Heritage-based strategies in Portuguese tourism development. Heritage, Tourism and Hospitality International Conference (pp. 273–282). Istanbul: Boğaziçi University.Google Scholar
  7. Deffner, A., & Metaxas, T. (2010). Place marketing and branding cultural images in Southern Europe: Nea Ionia, Greece and Pafos, Cyprus. In G. Ashworth & M. Kavaratzis (Eds.), Towards effective place brand management: Branding European cities and regions (pp. 49–68). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  8. Drotner, K., & Schrøder, K. C. (Eds.). (2013). Museum communication and social media: The connected museum. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Graham, B., & Cook, S. (2010). Rethinking curating: Art after New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hakala, U., Lätti, S., & Sandberg, B. (2011). Operationalising brand heritage and cultural heritage. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 20(6), 447–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hankinson, G. (2015). Rethinking the place branding construct. In M. Karavatzis, G. Warnaby, & G. J. Ashworth (Eds.), Rethinking place branding, comprehensive brand development for cities and regions (pp. 13–31). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Howard, P. (2002). Heritage: Management, interpretation, identity. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  13. Hutton, G., & Fosdick, M. (2011). The globalization of social media: Consumer relationships with brands evolve in the digital space. Journal of Advertising Research, 51(4), 566–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kaplan, M. D., Yurt, O., Guneri, B., & Kurtulus, K. (2010). Branding places: Applying brand personality concept to cities. European Journal of Marketing, 44(9/10), 1286–1304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kavaratzis, M., & Hatch, M. J. (2013). The dynamics of place brands. An identity-based approach to place branding theory. Marketing Theory, 13(1), 69–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kelly, L. (2010). How Web 2.0 is changing the nature of museum work. Curator: The Museum Journal, 53, 405–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kidd, J. (2011). Enacting engagement online: Framing social media use for the museum. Information Technology & People, 24(1), 64–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Knudsen, B. T., & Waaden, A. M. (Eds.). (2010). Re-investing authenticity: Tourism, place and emotions. Bristol: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Lazzeretti, L., & Cinti, T. (2009). Governance-specific factors and cultural clusters: The case of the museum clusters in Florence. Creative Industries Journal, 2(1), 19–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Looseley, R. & Roberto, F. (2009). Museums & Wikis: Two case studies. In J. Trant & D. Bearman (eds.), Museums and the Web 2009: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2009. Consulted May 4, 2015.
  22. McKercher, B., & du Cros, H. (2002). Cultural tourism: The partnership between tourism and cultural heritage management. Binghamton: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  23. Medway, D., Swanson, K., Neirotti, L. D., Pasquinelli, C., & Zenker, S. (2015). Place branding: Are we wasting our time? Report of an AMA special session. Journal of Place Management and Development, 8(1), 63–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Morgan, M., Lugosi, P., & Ritchie, J. R. B. (Eds.). (2010). The tourism and leisure experience: Consumer and managerial perspectives. Bristol: Channel View Publications.Google Scholar
  25. Parry, R. (Ed.). (2010). Museums in a digital age. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Parry, R. (2013). The trusted artifice: Reconnecting with the museum’s fictive tradition online. In K. Drotner & K. C. Schrøder (Eds.), Museum communication and social media: The connected museum (pp. 17–32). Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Proctor, N. (2010). Digital: Museum as platform, curator as champion, in the age of social media. Curator: The Museum Journal, 53, 35–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Raszkowski, A. (2014). Place marketing in the process of territorial identity creation and strengthening. Journal of European Economy, 13(2), 193–204.Google Scholar
  29. Russo, A., Watkins, J., Kelly, L., & Chan, S. (2008). Participatory communication with social media. Curator: The Museum Journal, 51, 21–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ryan, J., & Silvanto, S. (2010). World heritage sites: The purposes of politics of destination branding. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, 27(5), 533–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Srinivasan, R., Boast, R., Becvar, K. M., & Furner, J. (2009). Blobgects: Digital museum catalogs and diverse user communities. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(4), 666–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Throsby, D. (2010). The economics of cultural policy. Cambridge: University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Treem, J. W., & Leonardi, P. M. (2012). Social media use in organizations: Exploring the affordances of visibility, editability, Persistence, and association. Communication Yearbook, 36, 143–189.Google Scholar
  34. Weilenmann, A., Hillmann, T., & Jungselius, B. (2013). Instagram at the museum: Communicating the museum experience through social photo sharing. CHI ′13 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1843–1852). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  35. Yeh, J.-H., Chang, J.-Y., & Oyang, Y.-J. (2000). Content and knowledge management in a digital library and museum. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51(4), 371–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zenker, S., & Martin, N. (2011). Measuring success in place marketing and branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 7, 32–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Arab Emirates UniversityAl AinUAE
  2. 2.Universidad Europea de CanariasLa OrotavaSpain

Personalised recommendations