In compiling information for ECPN’s outreach-themed poster, we felt that it would be useful to showcase some of the online tools that emerging conservators have used to reach their target audience. The number and variety of web-based media platforms available is impressive (and somewhat daunting), but as outreach tools they have helped many conservators increase their visibility. To select the right tool (or tools) it helps to understand what each platform has to offer.
Basic tools – How are they different? What do they offer?
- Websites are static, online resources for in-depth information. They can be constructed easily without code using programs like Adobe Dreamweaver and SiteMaker. Check out: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/dreamweaver.html , http://www.sitemakerlive.com/en/index.htm
- Blogs function like online journals, and can feature real-time updates, journal-style entries and editorials. Blogs allow for sharing (images, URL links) and the ability to “follow” other blogs. Popular platforms include Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr. Check out: www.blogger.com , www.wordpress.org , www.tumblr.com
- Social and professional networks are online communication platforms based on user profiles. They can feature “feeds” of real-time updates, messaging, networking and sharing (images, URL links). Popular platforms include Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Check out: https://www.facebook.com/ , plus.google.com , http://www.linkedin.com/ , http://pinterest.com/
- Twitter is a message-based social media platform built on live, 140-character “feeds” of real-time updates, and allows users to ‘follow’ other Twitter users. Check out: https://twitter.com/
Consider linking your social media pages to draw your target audience to your primary information platform. For example, ECPN officers often copy the URL of new ECPN blog entries and post them on the ECPN Facebook page’s wall. The same can be done if you have a professional website that you would like to make visible to a wider audience.
Finally, check out AIC’s new Public Relations Toolkit, currently in development on the AIC WIKI, for more Web-Based Media platforms and outreach strategies: http://www.conservation-wiki.com/index.php?title=Public_Relations_and_Outreach_Resources