TOGETHER FOR MUSEUMS
COVID-19 has had a catastrophic impact on museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK. Many receive no public funding and rely solely on the support of donations and volunteers. To help museums across the UK respond to the challenges of COVID-19, we helped Art Fund launched ‘Together for Museums’ a campaign aiming to crowdsource £1m from the British public to directly help museums with the challenges they faced, through ‘Respond and Reimagine’ grants.
We developed a hard working media campaign designed to sustain public interest over a period of several months and ultimately inspire donations.
We launched with a story based on research amongst over 200 museums across the UK, showing that 6 in 10 were worried about their survival and that over 90% said they would need to ‘adapt and innovate’ to survive. To humanise the story for TV breakfast shows, we recruited museum-lover Harry Hill, who conducted interviews free of charge on behalf of the charity.
To sustain the campaign over the following three months, we delivered a drumbeat of regular coverage by announcing the ‘rewards’ that were available in return for donation which included art works by leading UK artists. We used each new artist that was added to the rosta as a hook for further news coverage.
We delivered a second spike of activity in January to coincide with the new lockdown, highlighting the impact that the new lockdown could have on museums. To minimise spend for the charity, we led with a call from Art Fund that museums were ‘fighting for survival’, supported with additional stats from the original set of research. The story generated over 100 additional pieces of coverage.
The news stories were supported with a detailed feature-led programme; we worked with museums who had received the grants to place detailed, case-study across their local media to show the impact of the investment. This was used as an opportunity to call for more donations to help other museums in the region.
The launch story garnered over 200 pieces of coverage – including 50 broadcast hits – and led to a virtual clean sweep of coverage across top tier, national print, online and broadcast media. Highlights included Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News Channel, BBC Newsround, The Guardian, The i, Metro, Evening Standard and many more. The story was also covered by all major regional newspapers, and as well as every BBC regional radio station.
The additional activity to sustain the campaign and second news story resulted in over 100 additional pieces, including the likes of Sky News, BBC, and Daily Mail.