To celebrate and support International Museums Day in May (#IMD2019) Museums Galleries Scotland is coordinating an awareness raising campaign to help highlight the collective good that museums do and the value they have in their communities. The campaign will involve pro-active media engagement and coordinated social media activity using the hashtag #MuseumsSparkJoy on Thursday 16th May 2019.
We want to reflect the fun, inclusive, and personal nature of museums, highlighting their positive place in people’s lives which is why we’ve chosen this particular hashtag. For those unfamiliar with the term to “spark joy”, it was popularised by the Japanese organisational consultant, Marie Kondo. It is a translation of the Japanese word tokimeku, which describes the fluttery sensation you feel in your chest when you are happy or excited.
Can anyone take part?
Yes, absolutely! You don’t have to be a museum to get involved, one of the key messages throughout the campaign is that museums are for everyone. We’re really fortunate that people who work or volunteer in museums are already pretty passionate about them and love to share what makes museums special to them.
How to get involved
There are many different ways that you can take part depending on how involved you would like to be. If you need some inspiration we’ve provided some themes you can explore to help
As an individual you can use social media to post something using the #MuseumsSparkJoy hashtag to let everyone know why museums are special to you.
As a cultural heritage organisation you can use social media to share what it is about your organisation that sparks joy. It could be your collection, something about your staff and volunteers (or their favourite collection items) or your local community who come to visit! Encourage your visitors to join in too and share what they enjoy about your museum and others.
Making it easier to take part
Have you taken part in a previous social media day such as #ScottishMuseumsDay, #ScotlandsNSCs, #MuseumsGaveToMe or Culture Themes days such as #WhyILoveMuseums day or #MuseumSelfieDay? You can use the free social media analytics tools included with services like Facebook or Twitter to look back over your posts and see if there were any that resonated with your followers. You can use the content of these posts to create something to post for #MuseumsSparkJoy. (If you’re unsure how to access these free tools our guide on online engagement tracking can help you. It also provides some guidance on gathering online data for reporting purposes.)
Thinking up social media content can be really time consuming so you may want to plan and schedule some tweets in advance. You can use free tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to do this. Simply write your posts, schedule them for 16th May and the tools will post them for you.
Part of the joy of a social media day is seeing, sharing and responding to what others have posted so please remember to also join in in real time on the day too!
Exploring the themes for #MuseumsSparkJoy
We’ll be exploring four key themes throughout the campaign. You don’t have to follow them but they may be helpful to kick-start ideas of things you can share.
Museums are inspiring
Aside from being spaces that can fuel the imagination, museums are really great at provoking strong feelings and emotions. They stir memories, provide places for children to understand the world around them and encourage creative expression.
Museums are fun
Organising Festival of Museums showed us again and again that museums are fun places to be in. The events you run are a great place to start if you need some inspiration. You might have images of previous events that show everyone enjoying themselves or perhaps you have a fun upcoming event.
Museums tell stories
There is a story behind every object and it’s explored in the interpretation we create for our museums. Stories captivate people and are traditionally how humankind have passed our history down the generations. Do you have a great story about your museum or an object you can share? What about your own experiences and memories of visiting museums?
Museums make you think
Museums provide historical context and mark the changes that take place to our society. This makes them safe spaces for reflection and debate about current issues. They can also help facilitate a positive change in the world. Is your museum working to address a current issue? Does it challenge conventional thinking and prompt discussion?
We'll be posting from @MuseumsGalScot, @MuseumsSpark and MuseumsSpark on Facebook. You can join in the conversation on social media on Thursday 16th May, by posting images, videos, GIFs, thoughts and memories of how #MuseumsSparkJoy in your life, or how our local museums impact the lives of others. Use the hashtag #MuseumsSparkJoy on twitter and facebook, and help to celebrate our fantastic collections and beautiful museum buildings across the country, and how they spark joy amongst the people who visit. If you still have questions drop us an email or tweet.