This is a strange time and it’s tempting, as a heritage site, to hunker down and wait for it to pass. But in doing so, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with your audience and offer them a bit of support.
1. At the moment everyone is keen to feel human connection. Now is a great time to do a community project – you just need to rethink how to do it. What part of your collection can you ask people to respond to at home and share on social media? How can you bring all their contributions together later?
2. You’re an important part of your community, even when your doors are closed. How can you help? Who in your community are feeling isolated or struggling? Can you run small community discussion groups online so people feel more connected?
3. What support can you give to home learning? Share simple downloadable colouring in sheets, easy to do activities, quizzes and craft, or think about offering a weekly class that children can tune into to take the pressure off parents. Remember to make it fun, though.
4. Share your content online, but do it in a positive way. How can you use this as an opportunity to share content in a new and exciting way? Can you use AR to bring it into people’s homes? Can you upload regular short films of your curators focusing on why a particular object is important or interesting?
5. Inspire and enrich. In difficult times people want hope and humour. How can you bring that to them through your social media? The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences are teaching their dinosaurs knitting and asking them to wear masks.