Taking Stock

May was a busy month for both mentor and mentee. Suzanne opened Maharaja: The Splendors of India’s Great Kings (on view through August 19), and I prepared to open Jasper Johns: Variations on a Theme and Antony Gormley: Drawing Space (both through September 9), as well as a new museum cafe, Tryst at the Phillips. To manage the sheer volume, we gave our May mentorship exchange a miss and took a little break from blogging. But silence can be deceptive. Throughout the month, mentorship was especially on my mind as I noticed changes in my work, evidence of Suzanne’s guidance and ideas sparked by our conversations. Some highlights:

  • I packed my latest press release with hyperlinks, program highlights, and relevant citywide events
  • Accessibility and welcome is the core of a summer ad campaign I’ve been involved in, which positions the Phillips as the “place to be” and features extended hours every Thursday night (social networks are fully integrated)
  • We paid it forward with a guest post about mentorship on the Emerging Museum Professionals blog
  • I now augment press releases with timely blog posts (coordinated through a new layer on Google calendar)
  • Plus, spring yielded a flourishing first vegetable garden for the Wichmann family. I’d be remiss not to note Suzanne’s encouragement on the work-life-balance front.

For Immediate Release

With less than two weeks to go until our first formal Google+ powwow–Topic: The Communications Plan–we need your input. We’ll talk strategy, schedule, written & electronic materials, social media, press room, list management (via Vocus, as we coincidentally both subscribe to the service at different levels, but we’re interested in other systems that work for you), harvesting clips and coverage, and measuring results.

We’d love to hear from you on all of the above, but let’s zoom in on a monolith at the heart of this topic. I’m curious: does the press release still work for you?

Communications professionals–Do you still craft them? Has your format changed? Have you turned to other methods for disseminating news? Does it depend on the topic?

Journalists–Do you read them? Are they equivalent to SPAM in your inboxes? Do you count on them as informational resources? Would you prefer to receive news in other ways? Does it depend on the topic?

Please take the poll and, if you have time, elaborate with detailed responses in the comments section.