Most people believe that digital media can benefit their organisations, but when it comes to using these tools, even the biggest, tech savy museums and galleries can struggle to know where to start.
The Digital Engagement Framework was developed by Jasper Visser and myself as a simple to use roadmap to help the sector to approach digital media in a more strategic manner. Over the past six months we’ve used it with our clients and run workshops which have shared the methodology with more then 100 people from a broad range of institutions.
The feedback that we have received is that the system works, and it is gratifying to hear institutions are finding the framework to be a powerful tool to design a digital strategy for museums of all shapes and sizes.
So what is the Digital Engagement Framework?
The framework (above) can be divided in three parts: why, what and how (see figure below). These three parts are about three different levels of your digital strategy: the strategy itself, activities that engage and reach out to audiences, and your day-to-day operational planning.
Why? Every successful digital strategy starts with answering the why-question. Why are you on Facebook or do you invest in a mobile app? You do so, because it will help you organisation achieve its mission. Therefore the DEF starts by asking after your organisation’s digital ambition, goals and values. These may or may not be stated in official documents (like the mission statement) of your organisation. They are essential to knowing what to do next, measuring success and motivating your team, just to name a few of the reasons why every digital strategy process should start with “why”.
What? When you know where you want to go, the next step is to determine the digital activities that might get you there. This is the what-question (“what will you do?”) and comprises two organisation-driven elements (your assets and audience) and two action-driven elements (engagement and outreach). Together these four form the bulk of the DEF and the scaffolding for your digital engagement strategy. The trick in this second part of the DEF is to design activities that reach (first) and engage (second) a particular target audience with a particular asset of your organisation, for instance by providing an artistic hotel app (about which more later).
How? Finally, the how-question helps you determine how to make the activities happen. In this third and final part of the DEF you look at platforms, content and the link between the two. Your audience determines your platforms and content is broadly speaking the digital representation of your assets. All this together helps you come up with an actionable planning for your digital strategies that will make your ambition come true.
You can learn more about the framework and download a free workbook on the Digital Engagement Framework website.