What is the Future of Knowledge Transformation?
Cultural institutions need to amplify their role in online content creation.
While there is a strong movement for institutions to be present on various online channels (especially social media), more significant steps are needed to establish them with a global impact.
The internet presents a massive opportunity for anyone to create and publish content. However, only a few knowledge transfer institutions manage to do so with a high reach.
If academics are wondering what to do against the mass of poorly researched - or made up – content, then using their skills and knowledge combined with the technical possibilities of today’s content distribution online might be a great step forward as it holds excellent opportunities.
I would argue that the current trend to mistrust “the media” presents an important opportunity for institutions to rise as the source of credible content. This is specifically true for smaller, lesser-known knowledge institutions, like museums, universities or art foundations.
Multiple factors might help to fuel this transformation:
Establish Digital Reach as a Core Number
If institutions put the sole focus on “traditional” KPIs such as visitor numbers, they reduce the role of digital communication to merely a marketing instrument and disregard the opportunities these channels pose for knowledge transformation and education.
A person educated about the content of an exhibition/program in any form online has the same value as a physical visitor.
This fact should be reflected by establishing the online reach of unique visitors into the core reporting and goals of the institution.
Resources for Digital Should be Integrated into the Program
Integrating online communications into the (curatorial) program opens a different view on digital content creation and enables the access of varying budget methods.
Presenting content online can be easily intertwined with an exhibition on-site. For an example on how this can be implemented, check out https://art.treat.agency/detail/hdgoe.
Open up to a Sponsor
Plenty of brands are looking for content creation and possibilities that give them a chance to position themselves near a cultural/academic level. By including a brand into the content creation, both parties can profit from each other: the brand becomes an integrative part of a meaningful project, and the institution finds a partner that enhances their online reach and can pitch for a bigger budget.
Get a Partner and Let Go
I have seen a lot of resistance when it comes to including digital communication experts (or agencies), especially from (old-school) curators. Their main argument is the questionable reputation of the medium. But that depends what you do with it and is not defined by itself. A partner – yes, just like us – can help you maintain the integrity and build up your reach. Every institution’s goal is to communicate their program to the largest proportion of the target audience. So, our goals do match.