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“Coronavirus turned a visitor into a subscriber”
Khabarovsk Regional Museum named after Grodekov moved to online space due to self-isolation
Coronavirus and the restrictions introduced because of it forced to rebuild the work of many areas of life, including culture. Museums that were left without visitors began to search for other sources of contact, and now attract online audiences. The Khabarovsk Regional Museum named after Grodekov began to work more actively in social networks and on YouTube. Olga Chugunova, the head of the museum’s PR service, told about the changes in the work of the institution.
Olga Chugunova Head of the PR service of the Khabarovsk Regional Museum named after N.I. Grodekova
At the end of March, the Khabarovsk Regional Museum named after N.I. Grodekova translated his visitors into an online format. Long before that, as the head of the PR service, I had an understanding that the media would become our “windows” - social networks and a website. The Khabarovsk Regional Museum named after Grodekov is one of the oldest in the Far East; in April it turned 126 years old. I regard the museum as a living organism, where each item on display is a unique witness of the past. I love everything that “smells of history”. I’ve been working at the museum recently, and the immersion process coincided with the self-isolation mode.
Communication with visitors now goes mostly through social networks: these are accounts on Facebook, VKontakte and Instagram. Museum staff quickly mobilized to work in the current conditions. Here it is necessary to pay tribute to both management and each employee individually. Museum workers again proved that they can work in any conditions. Our museum has preserved itself during the years of the revolution, in the Civil and World War II. Now the adoption of a new one has taken place: virtuality and online visits have become reality. Most of the colleagues have mastered new types of communication - they communicate in social networks with those who are interested in learning something new, have learned how to edit video and work live.
We recorded a lot of video content. Everyone connected to the work: the Museum of Archeology, the Amur Fish Museum and the Historical Building. Fund workers, employees of scientific and cultural education fields have put maximum effort into creating interesting content, because the visitor has now become a subscriber.
Some of our projects have transformed and acquired a different form and sound. For example, in the art project “Old New Voices”, the Grodek people and actors of the Khabarovsk Musical Theater were to read letters and wartime works. For obvious reasons, the event from the museum site was transferred to a television screen, in the process of discussion, the project concept changed, a different information product appeared. As a result, residents of not only Khabarovsk, but the entire region were able to meet him. Moreover, the television project was launched into the online space.
The “Night at the Museum” in the online format is also a completely new approach to events. In my opinion, everything went well. The live broadcasts of the Grodek residents switched from one platform to another, the program partners joined us and answered questions, and the audience actively commented on the broadcast. At the same time managed to withstand the timing. I am sure that “Night at the Museum” was wonderful thanks to the work of a close-knit professional team.
In March, the Grodekov Museum has its own YouTube page. I’m happy with the steady growth of subscribers on the channel and on social networks. For two months of self-isolation, their number increased by 25%. This suggests that we are creating really interesting and high-quality content that the target audience accepts. I consider these indicators as the result of this difficult period. I must admit that now online is the norm. Through virtual tours and events, new visitors come to our museum every day - subscribers, and they are waiting for real meetings offline.