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Reopening Campaign and Marketing Support For The Sector


If you are planning to reopen when the restrictions are lifted on 26th April, find out more about the reopening campaign #MuseumsAreGo, that MGS will be undertaking on behalf of and with the sector, including the support and resources available for your own marketing activities.

#MuseumsAreGo - Reopening Campaign

#MuseumsAreGo from Museums Galleries Scotland on Vimeo.

To help promote the reopening of the museums and galleries to the public, we will undertake a marketing campaign on behalf of and with the sector to help reassure and encourage the domestic market to visit, as well as support, their local museum and gallery as well as other museums across Scotland.

As with last year’s reopening campaign, following the first lock down, we are proposing a multi-channel campaign, utilising radio (tbc), and PR, as well as paid social media advertising to reach out to and engage with a Scotland-based audience. This proved effective in getting our message out that museums were now ready to welcome visitors back safely. Our Google map, showing where museums and galleries were open with website links, proved to be a perfect call to action and will be central to the campaign again.

We will also be encouraging the use of the following hashtag across all social media #MuseumsAreGo

Last year, we partnered with VisitScotland on their radio campaign which was part of a wider campaign aimed at a Scotland-based audience.  We plan to explore partner opportunities with them again this year to help raise the profile of museum and galleries.

We have also been speaking with other industry partners, and organisations, to ensure our activities and messaging are aligned. 

Target Audience

Scotland residents

Multi-generational: Pre-nesters - without children in household (16-34), Families - with children in household (16-64), Older Independents - without children in household (35-64), Retirement (65+).  

Our campaign will be focussing on a Scotland-based audience. When the restrictions are lifted, and museums can open, we are not expecting visitor numbers to return to normal for some time, particularly with continued restrictions on international travel. We will be depending on the domestic market, for an early recovery, to visit and support their local museums as well as museums across Scotland, as part of a day trip, an overnight stay or a staycation. We also know, from recent research, that Scotland residents are also keen to lend their support to the Scottish tourism industry by staying home. 

Families are likely to be the largest audience for Scotland Spring/Summer trips amongst 'Scotland intenders', with older independents making up the second largest segment, followed by pre-nesters. 

Motivation/key drivers/barriers:

With a timetable now in place from the Scottish Government, with indicative dates for easing coronavirus restrictions, the public are now able to start considering what they might do and when, when it comes to holidays and leisure. As the tourism industry will begin to reopen and  travel restrictions are lifted, people will be able to meet with others, for the first time in months, in outdoor as well as indoor public places.

There remains a general nervousness about travel and a continuing desire to look close to home for holidays with 7 in 10 Scots stating in a recent survey that they are 'very likely or definite', or 'fairly likely', about taking a  ‘staycation’ in 2021, the largest percentage expected between July and the end of September, reflecting an uncertainty around what is going to be possible. As was found last year, people will be booking at the last minute, when they feel the time is right.

People are still looking to avoid busy places, with rural locations continuing to hold the most appeal with the Highlands, in both spring and summer, leading the way for those living within and outside Scotland.  In summer, the Scottish coast and seaside becomes more popular, particularly with Scotland residents. The appeal of visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow is slightly higher in 2021 than was the case last year, but driven by non-Scotland residents. Scotland residents planning a trip to Edinburgh are pre-nesters, or families. 

Outdoor activities also have a greater appeal, at the current time, compared to indoor activities such as visit to arts and cultural venues. However, UK visitor research has also shown that anxiety is now lower than 2020, about using indoors attractions facilities after reopening. 

High standards of hygiene and cleanliness, as well as social distancing are still going to be key considerations for visitors when taking a staycation or visiting an attraction. Visitors want to know what to expect in advance of their visit. They also want to be reassured that there will be a range of places to visit, including places to eat and drink.

56 Degree Insight – Research agency

VisitScotland Covid-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker

Campaign Objectives and Messaging


  • To make the Scottish public aware of the museums and galleries that are now open again.
  • To inspire confidence and reassure the public that our museums and galleries are safe places to visit.
  • We want the public to feel inspired and passionate about their museums and galleries and consider visiting them again with family and friends as we come out of what we hope is our final lockdown.
  • We want the public to feel empathy towards their local museums and galleries and to show their support not only by visiting but by donating online.
  • Generate positive coverage in local, regional, and national media.



  • Many of Scotland’s museums and galleries are now open, ready to welcome visitors back. Many have green and open spaces. They are safe places to visit.
  • Now is a good time to visit museums and galleries, less crowds so the experience will be improved.
  • Museums and galleries help to enrich our lives. They make us happier, healthier, and smarter. They have a positive place in peoples’ lives, and we need this more than ever.
  • Museums and galleries are for everyone. They make Scotland’s communities better places to live in. Museums strive to be inclusive so that everyone can enjoy and benefit from their work.
  • Museums and galleries are places to enjoy with others – to relax, feel inspired and have fun.
  • Our museums and galleries have struggled during the pandemic and need your support. You can play a part in ensuring that they are still here for future generations.
  • Visit and connect with, Scotland’s museums and galleries (physically and virtually).


The timeline will be updated, as campaign is rolled out. 

April  26

Press release to national and regional press around the reopening of museums and galleries with link to Google map. 

Photography with participating museum; sent to picture desks with reopening message. 

May - June 

Marketing Support Surgeries   


Social media advertising 

PR Activity, including paid for advertorial 

Travel blogger content 

July/August (TBC)

Radio campaign 

Get Involved

Let us know your reopening plans

We know that not all museums and galleries will  be able to open this year. But for those who are planning to reopen, we want to support you with your marketing and to maximize this opportunity as much as we can. To do this, we will need to know your plans around reopening.  This information will be used to update our interactive Google map, signposting the public to museums that are open. It will also help us with our PR activity, and we will be looking to share this information with other organisations such as VisitScotland. 

So, if you have not already done so, please complete our Reopening Plans and Sector Needs survey (closes 26 April) or contact a member of the MGS team, to let us know your plans. 

Update your website

Make sure your website is up to date, as our Google map will be directing people here to find out more information. It will be important to your visitors that physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place. Consider adding a ‘Know before you go’, page to your website, clearly detailing your opening times, what people can experience on their visit, and the health and safety procedures that have been put in place. You can also explore the option of creating a visitor information video that you can add to your website, to show visitors what they can expect when they arrive.

Here are some good examples: Gairloch Museum, V&A Dundee, Summerlee Museum

Also make sure you have signed up for the, We’re Good to Go cleanliness standard, and display the mark prominently on your site, as well as elsewhere within your museum. It's free, and very quick and easy to set up. 

Help spread the word #MuseumsAreGo

When planning your own marketing activity,  ensure your messaging is aligned with our campaign, and check when we have key activity happening, so that you can maximise your own efforts around that time. Remember to also use our hashtag #MuseumsAreGo across all of your social media activity to make sure you are part of the wider conversation. Also ask your online visitors to use the hashtag across their own social media, when sharing their visit to your museum online. You can also download and share our promotional video, welcoming visitors back to our museums and galleries. 

Marketing support

Alongside the campaign, we will be providing marketing support for the sector to help museums with their own marketing activity around reopening – this includes our Reopening Marketing Toolkit and Top tips for a No Budget Campaign. We have also allocated a number of Marketing Support Surgeries, which can be booked online, and will offer a one-to-one, one-hour session to discuss any marketing activity around reopening as well as the tourism season ahead. It will continue to primarily be aimed at independent museums that are more likely to be without any marketing expertise or budget, and may also have reduced staff, following the pandemic.

View the Marketing Toolkit for Museums

Keep In Touch

If you haven't already done so, please let us know if you are planning to reopen. If you have any questions or concerns at all please get in touch. 

Contact: Louise Storie, Marketing and Communications Manager

A child inside the Glasgow Transport Museum, looking at a model of a ship. Credit to Robert Ormerod
Related guide

Reopening Marketing Toolkit

Find out more