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Blue Star Museums Webinar: Reaching Military Audiences

Blue Star Museums Webinar: Reaching Military Audiences


>>Thank you for joining us for today’s webinar,
Blue Star Museums: Reaching Military Audiences. Today, we will be discussing tactics on how
to reach military families in your community. My name is Sally Gifford. I’m a public affairs
specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts and I will be moderating today’s convening.
We have a few housekeeping items to note. You’re all muted and you will only be able
to hear us. Following the presentations, we will have a question and answer session. Throughout
this webinar, you can submit your questions or comments at any time using the Q&A box
at the bottom of the screen. We will do our best to address as many questions as possible
during the time we have. Please do not use the Raised Hand button. Please also note this
webinar will be posted in the Podcast, Webcast and Webinar section of the NEA website in
a few days so you can refer to it in the future. Again, that’s www.arts.gov. Before our presenters start, I want to thank
all of our participating museums, our 2000 plus participating museums for making such
a big media splash surrounding the May 21st launch announcement. As you see here, this
is just a small sampling of the placements we have seen in the last week. Please do remember to continue to use the
PR toolkit where we have logos, marketing materials as well as sample press materials.
These are all resources you can use all summer long and they are available on our website,
arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. If you have a question about eligible audiences,
you can find the answer in the sample press release in the toolkit and also in the frequently
asked questions which is also in the PR toolkit online. As a brief refresher, please know
that Blue Star museums is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention Common Access
Card – CAC – a Double D form, a 1173 card, or a double D form 1173-1 ID card. Audiences
include active-duty U.S. military, this is Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard,
National Guard, and National Reserve as well as members of the U.S. Public Health Service
Commission Corps, NOAA commissioned Corps, and up to five family members, a spouse or
child, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.. If you are unsure what the Common Access Card
looks like, this link shows you the ID form for eligible audiences. Bottom line, if someone
shows you the proper ID, which is detailed on this link and in the Toolkit, they and
their five family members are eligible. Now, thank you also for using social media
channels to get the word out. On Twitter, we are seeing lots of bluestarmuse hashtags
and we also have on our NEA Facebook page a new contest in which visitors can nominate
a Blue Star Museum in their community. So please go to the NEA Facebook page for more
information on that. Of course, you are all welcome to repost or point to our Blue Star
Blog posts from the NEA website. Those are delivered twice weekly all summer long. Keep
up the great work and thank you again. You can all be very proud of your efforts. With that, I would like to introduce Wendy
Clark, the acting director of Museums, Indemnity and Visual Arts at the National Endowment
for the Arts.>>Thank you so much, Sally, and thanks to
all of our Blue Star museums for your partnership. Without you, this program would simply just
be a nice idea. The museum responsiveness has been incredible. We have 2100 museums
signed up as of today. We really thank you for embracing the program and for welcoming
military communities. At the Arts Endowment, we believe in partnerships
at the national, state, and local level. We also encourage access to the arts to many
different audiences. Blue Star Museums is a great bridge to reach military audiences
or, if you are already working with the military, it is a great way to deepen ties with this
audience throughout the summer. As a positive news story and as a way of engaging audiences
through social media, Blue Star Museums is second to none. Last year, we conducted a
survey at the summer’s to get your thoughts on what worked and what we could improve.
in one question, we asked, What emotional tactics should we had to help you promote
Blue Star museums more effectively? The answer was clear: help us reach local military audiences.
Some of you told us the military in your area was unaware of the program. Some of you were
unsure where to start. Some of you needed advice on how to reach the right person or
the right department on base to help you share the news. We hope today’s webinar will give
you more tools to address these concerns. Thank you and please continue to see us as
a resource. We are available by phone and e- mail with your questions and comments.>>Thank you, Wendy. Now I would like to introduce
a representative of our national partner in the national Blue Star Museums program. Please
join me in welcoming Sheri Robey-Lapan, the senior director of programs at Blue Star families.>>Thank you, Sally. Thank you Wendy. We consider
it a tremendous honor to work with the NEA and a tremendous honor to work with every
single one of the museums participating in this program. As a military family member
myself, I must say to each and everyone of you that what you do and the access you provide
makes a big difference for our families. Blue Star Families, just so you know, is a nonprofit
organization and we are very dedicated to helping military families across America.
This program would not be possible without a collaboration effort with the NEA, each
and every one of the museums and our partnership with the Department of Defense. I want to take a moment and make sure you
all understood your community appreciates you and says thank you for all the access
you have given. Already I have had e-mails about the program this year and so folks are
really excited about making their plans and vacationing and taking advantage of all the
wonderful arts community activities that are out there. As a marketer myself, I understand each and
every one of you would like to have a little bit better access to the military community
and we are constantly doing everything we can to promote to our community. Last year,
we had more than 500,000 folks walk through the door of museums. There are a lot of boots
on the ground that walk to the museums and we would like to see that number doubled.
The effort is, you know, how we make that happen and how do we do that? Just like the
success of Blue Star Museums has been thus far, it’s going to be a collaboration between
the NEA, Blue Star Families, and our museums. One of the initiatives we are launching is
a mobile museums club that will help us reach out to members and hopefully have a little
viral social activity associated with it. In that effort, we will try to collect and
I think we launched our text club, our mobile museum club about 10 days ago and have 250
new text members. We haven’t actually promoted it yet, so I’m starting to think this might
be a good thing. We are going to use this application to showcase participating museums
in different ways and in ways we can promote localized events and create guest blogs and
give something back to the museum community that is working diligently to reach out to
our community. If you have something that is local and you would like us to talk about
it, I encourage you to let us know and help us in our efforts to build this club so we
can message individual messages out to our audience and hopefully get them more engaged
in their local museum community and really participate – you the museums can be one of
many, many things. We have materials that you are welcome to sift through, and put out,
hand out, or showcase signage, or put a Blue Star Museums widget on your website, which
is actually no more than a link, it’s not really a scary widget, which is something
I was worried about. That is one of the ways we are looking to reach our military community.
We’re also looking at local advertising and and will continue to leverage social media
as much as possible. Please know that as with the NEA, Blue Star Families is your partner
in appreciating what you are doing. If there is anything we can do to help and ensure Wendy
can connect all of the above and we can figure out a best way to help. If you look here,
these are the very simple items that we will provide for you if you would like to join
with us in promoting this effort and if you would like to do so, I encourage you to go
ahead and send your e-mail address and we will contact you directly and get you involved
so we can begin to start working on this today. Thank you, Sally, and again, thank you to
all of the museums and the NEA. It is an amazing collaboration.>>Thank you Sheri. Now I would like to welcome
our main speaker, Bruce Moody, a public affairs specialist with military community and family
policy at the United States Department of Defense. Bruce…>>Thank you, Sally. Good day everybody. It’s
a real pleasure and an honor to be here. Just off the top I want to say it is my intention
to be brief because I want to answer your questions. But I certainly want to spend some
time and talk to you about how you and your museums can reach your local military audience.
From the start, I want to say thank you so much for everybody, thank you for Blue Star
Families, what a great partnership this is. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts
for being a part of this and thanks to you, the museums that are opening up your doors
to military families. The past season when we did this, the response we got was tremendous
and it continues to grow. We are just heartened by what we are able to do here. And I would
echo what was said earlier and say the partnerships that are so important, we cannot do it alone
and we really don’t have to. There is talent, there’s resources, there is a reach and there
is also a passion to be involved. To bring that all together in the way Blue Star Museums
has is just tremendous and it’s really pleasure to be a part of that. Let me jump in and just
really quick about me, I am retired Navy. I always worked in public affairs trade and
retired working as a Navy service member and immediately came back to work for the Navy
and shortly thereafter, I got into supporting their family programs. Most of my civilian
experience has been working as a communicator for family programs. I have about five years
experience bringing messages directly to families and I would like to be involved in bringing
messages about Blue Star Museums to local communities and local installations. Where
I come from, which is Military Community and Family Policy, we have a really tremendous
website that I would encourage all of you to go to. It’s militaryinstallations dot mil
and it is a gigantic Yellow Pages for the military. It is used and we really recommend
it to families who are getting ready to move to a place they have never been to before.
They don’t know where the schools are, they don’t know what’s in town, they just need
to really know what they are bringing their families to. You can also use this and there
are a number of different ways you can use this, but essentially, it’s very simple. You
can put in where you are or your states or just pop open the directory. Once you use
that, you will find yourself at a page which provides all sorts of information about the
installations that are near you. In all of these cases, the top left corner of the page
specifically addresses an installation, will provide a phone number either to the base
operator or to the family support center or some general number entry into the installation.
That is a great place to start. They are very accustomed to taking phone calls from people
and directing them to where they need to go. The two organizations I would highly recommend
you contact would be the public affairs office and the MWR office – Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
They are each different offices and they don’t necessarily work side-by-side, so there is
absolutely no harm, and in fact I would recommend you contact the both of them. MWR is an interesting
organization in that they have, they are set up in a way where they have budgeting for
newsletters and marketing material that allows them to dovetail very well with communication
efforts happening over at the Public Affairs office. If you are working with both, you
are maximizing your ability to reach military families. We have a phrase we used a lot called
a gentle nudge. If you contact one of these organizations and you don’t hear back from
them, don’t feel at all bashful about contacting them again. Their inboxes are scary and a
lot of times you are helping them to collate their e-mail by showing up a second time and
saying, gosh, can we talk about this and the person will say, I remember when that e-mail
showed up and then it got buried and I forgot about it and became overcome by events. Please
don’t feel bashful about contacting these offices. I have worked at these offices and
over the course of 20 years of serving I have watched the staff becomes smaller and smaller
and the work remained at a constant,if it didn’t grow. These folks are trying to balance
a lot and I would recommend you give them a call. They still have their installation
newspapers, but they have all sorts of social media they are using. The families really
use the social social media as a lifeline, so if you are talking to the public affairs
officer and you’re providing them information about your museum, a link, or an update as
to maybe what exhibition or programs are being offered, they can put that out on a regular
basis. Just a quick aside about how powerful social media is for military families — a
couple of years ago, there was an earthquake off the coast of Chile. It set off tsunami
warnings in Hawaii. Nothing terrible happened in Hawaii, but there were warnings that sounded
in Hawaii. Afterwards, military families were pulled. What was the main source of information
about base activities and what to do and where to go? The answer was Facebook. ANd that really
caught us by surprise. I’ll tell you, if you are talking to MWR, if you’re talking the
base public affairs office, they are going to be engaging those families with social
media. Military families, because they move around so much, social media is a very powerful
force in their lives. By talking to the installation PAOs and MWR, and you’re really going to have
an entry into that. What kinds of questions do we have? The two offices are the Public
Affairs office and the MWR – Morale, Welfare, Recreation. When you go to militaryinstallations
dot mil, if you find yourself at a page listing a installation, go to the top left-hand corner
and dial that number. That is your base operator.>>Bruce, let me just interject. We did have
a question about how do you get MWR to include museum information in the weekly things-to-do
e-mail you mentioned?>>RIght,. You know, it really is a very human
process. Just call them up. Your installation is essentially a small town. They have a couple
of resources – newsletters and other things – but just call them up and talk to them about
what you have. Maybe you have a website, maybe you have a newsletter, maybe you have an e-blast,
maybe your museum has a som sort of regular communication you are sending out. They would
be happy, one would hope, one would assume, to be on your mailing list so they are getting
stuff they can put into their regular e-blasts. Is there a different person who does this
for each post? That is a good question. If you are calling MWR, if you’re calling the
Public Affairs office, you are getting into the office that takes care of this and they
are all built a little BIT differently. I’ll give you an example: Fort Bragg – Fort Bragg
is huge – in fact, Fort Bragg has several Public Affairs offices on it because they
have several commands just on that piece of real estate. But if you call the main Public
Affairs office – and I know this individual, I had a call with him last Thursday and I
have a call with him next Thursday because we have different projects. They will put
the information out to the other Public Affairs offices. Now in other places – Weapons Station
Earle in New Jersey, tiny little base, it’s one person. So if you call the person, you’re
in. You know, keep it very simple. I’m trying to keep it from becoming difficult for you.
So just to let you know that they are there and ready to help, they just may not know
about what it is you have to offer. I would like to spend a few minutes talking about
stuff you can give to me and with that stuff I can put information out at a DOD level about
your programs. The bottom line up front – what I’m trying to say is, Give us the eggs and
we will make the omelette. Here is what I mean by that. I don’t want people who are
trying to run a museum, trying to keep their daily operations running to feel derailed
because they feel they need to write a press release if they don’t have a PR staff, blog
post, or any of that stuff. if you have never done any of that, it’s OK. You can send us
pretty much anything and we will find a way to use it. We have all kinds of platforms.
I’m going to go over some of them with you. Send us a photo, we can post that photo. Send
us a photo and a link or anything. We can make our way and do all kinds of tremendous
things. Now here’s a slide and I’m not going to go over this in great detail. All I’m just
trying to illustrate one simple point. The little thing there on the left is whatever
it is you give me. Whatever small thing we can plug it in to all kinds of stuff. We have
blogs, newsletters, we’ve got e-blasts, we’ve got Facebook, websites, blah blah blah blah
It goes on and on. If you give us something, we will find a place for it. Let me move on
from there. Militaryonesource dot mil is our website.
It’s huge website, it gets millions of hits and is a tremendous source of information
for military families. We are going to be posting material throughout the summer about
Blue Star Museums on this website. That is one of the places your material can go if
you get it to us. Branching out from militaryonesource dot mil is our militaryonesource Facebook
page. I have to apologize – there is an error in fact on this page because our Likes just
topped 100,000, so we are really excited about that. Not only have our Likes topped 100,000,
but some of those 100,000 include the DOD, Army, the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard
and each of the base public affairs officers. They typically will go to DOD-level feeds
and repurpose them on their own pages. We have a tremendous reach with our platforms.
My bottom line, and I will keep repeating it is, I will provide my contact information
at the end of this, my bottom line is send me stuff and we will get it out the door. What I would like to say with this slide is
that although we are the DOD and we all work in the Pentagon and we have planes and tanks
and boots and that sort of stuff, we know we have to keep it fun and keep it light and
keep people’s attention. That is just the way it is. We are competing against cats.
This is social media. We have cute little cats just ready to divert people’s attention,
and if I write a dry as a bone DOD directive and put it up on Facebook and expect families
and servicemembers to read it, well I’m sorely mistaken. So we do a lot of contests, we do
a lot of interactive things. In fact, we try very hard not to merely post stuff. We try
to make it a conversations, every time. These things like this, fill in the blank Friday,
we do this all the time. We have a FIll in the Blank Friday, a whole list of these things
that we do and we will do this for Blue Star Museums over the course of the summer. This
summer, my family and I went to which Blue Star Museum. People will fill in the museums
that they have been to. We are going to reach a lot of families with a lot of this and we
are going to truly engage them, not just throw information at them. Again, about being fun, this is actually a
tried and tested method of getting involvement from families on Facebook. Incidentally, if
you work in social media, once you get someone to do anything, even as minor as Liking someone,
they are statistically more likely to act upon the advice or product you are preparing
for them. So we really make it our goal, everything that we do, to get people to respond. We have
this guy, Museum Max. We post Museum Max — and we are just starting this today, so it’s not
on our Facebook page – we will superimpose Museum Max on a picture of a museum and we
will simply say, Where is Museum Max? People just go from there. The neat thing of it is
the community works its way to the answer. Somebody says I think it is this museum. The
other person says no, no, no it’s not, I was at that museum and that’s not it. And they
go back and forth and eventually, they narrow it down an anser and get to the right answer.
People have asked me, what are you giving them? Are you giving them a prize? The answer
is, Yes, we absolutely are, we’re giving them kudos! It doesn’t cost us or you a penny,
which is really important these days. It doesn’t hurt my budget and people love it. They love
to be singled out as being the person who has found it. They really compete to find
out what we have been doing, things like, we’ll post a picture of a particular building
on a museum, a building on a base, we will ask people to identify the base and building.
SO we’re going to do the same thing with Museum Max. What we will do as a tag after we have
congratulated them is we provide them a link to Blue Star Museums. It works, it looks light
and it looks frivolous, but it really does work in powerful ways. Twitter, also – I don’t want you folks to
feel like you need to compose tweets for us. If you want to, great, no problem, if not,
you can send us material about your organization and we will turn it into tweets. We reach
a number of people that way. We’ve already set up, we have a Pinterest site. Pinterest,
if you’re not familiar with it, It is an image-centric site. And the images link to other websites.
We have already set up a Blue Star Museums page on our Pinterest site and we are filling
it with images of and then links to various museums that are participating and I would
encourage you to send me an e- mail – that address is forthcoming – and we can add you
to the Blue Star Museum list. Now – the Blog Brigade. This is something
I’m really proud of and I just want to take a moment to talk the Blog Brigade. This is
a blog run by militaryonesource, but the content is entirely from military spouses. We find,
as in any conversation, peer to peer is always the best. Spouses talking to spouses is the
best, that’s just how life is. When you are talking of somebody of a like mind and a like
background, you are more inclined to listen and give credibility to what they are saying.
We have a list on this site is a list of what people need to do in order to write for Blog
Brigade. It is really very simple. You keep it brief, you keep it authentic, you keep
it … you keep it as your story, and there’s a form
on the website to send it in. What we’re going to doing is sending out … We are currently
developing a PDF file, an instruction for how to write for the Blog Brigade. We’re going
to put it up on our website. We will share that link with the group, so if you have a
military family coming to your museum, it would be just terrific to be able to give
them this flyer and say, If you feel like blogging about this, if you feel like writing
about your experiences, about this particular museum, you can do that here. ANd you will
be then in turn be encouraging other families to take advantage of Blue Star Museums. We have another blog – I believe we now have
19 different social media sites that our office run, because we feel it’s important to be
wherever people are. And if they’re someplace we will be there as well. We just keep adding
sites and adding material. The great thing about the Tumblr site is it’s dedicated to
the voices of the subject matter experts, whereas the Blog Brigade is by the spouses.
This is by our leadership, the people running our programs. And you. So if you feel so inclined
to write a blog post, and I will just tell you very quickly, a) call me if you have any
questions about how to write a blog post, it is 200 words or 300 words, it’s your own
voice, your own words, and you are simply telling people what you have to offer and
how to go about doing it. You send that to me and we will put it on the Tumbler blog.
And we can talk further about that. if you have videos, that is great too because
we also have a YouTube channel. We can get that on there as well. That is my contact
information. Bruce Moody, Public Affairs Specialist at Military, Community, and Family Policy.
I’m really pleased to be a part of Blue Star Museums, so please send me an e-mail, email
is probably the best way to reach me. I think what I will do is transition to answering
questions.>>Yes, thank you Bruce. There is so much
to take advantage of and we have a lot of questions. Let’s start off with a question
from Mary Bartlemas who writes, On the military installations website, the one that Bruce
brought up at the beginning of the presentation… Mary asks, How do I contact all of the branches
in our local military or do I need to reach out to each branch or what is a good approach
for a single museum that wants to reach the military in their community? Should they go
widespread or should they go targeted?>>If you are, for example, in San Antonio,
there are all kinds of bases there. Practically speaking, It’s important to realize that one
base, even though it shares a fence line with another base, it probably doesn’t have the
day to day interaction we would like to imagine it having. I would really recommend if there
is a base you want to contact, contact that base. If there are four bases, contact all
four. Call each one of them individually.>>As a follow-up, another person asked — and
here is another answer to another question — PAO is one of many military terms and I
as a civilian am learning them all the time. PAO is short for Public Affairs Office or
Public Affairs Officer. They are the person on the base, on the installation, who handles
external and internal media. You may hear us bandying about these acronyms. We are in
Washington, so that is something we do. PAO is Public Affairs Officer and MWR stands for
the Office of Morale, Welfare and Recreation. So we did have a follow-up question -about
the PAO office: How far in advance do PAO offices work? Do you need to contact them
weeks in advance or months in advance? How does it work?>>First of all, thank you, I’m trying to
wean myself off of acronyms. I know we can speak purely in acronyms and just confuse
each other, and even in the DOD, we tend to confuse each other. All of these Public Affairs
Offices, especially now with social media in addition, it’s just part of their communication
toolkit. You are dealing with an organization that has Twitter that they may be able to
send stuff out today and they may still have a monthly newspaper in addition to that. So,
if you are contacting an organization, an installation imore than two months out, I
think you are in danger of being forgotten, to be honest. If you are talking to them about
a month out from a particular activity or resource, that is probably appropriate. And
to follow up, especially if you haven’t heard from them.>>Thank you, Bruce. Just to repeat, we had
another question, can you repeat the names of the two offices to contact at military
bases? The tow primary offices, as I understand.>>The Public Affairs Office, and Morale,
Welfare, Recreation. You might want to call it MWR because theyu’re gong to be calling
MWR and just assuming that everybody knows it. It’s one of those heavily branded organizations.
Sometimes they call it MWR without giving any thought to what those letters actually
mean.>>Thank you Bruce. We got a couple of questions
about Museum Max. DId you say the Where is Museum Max just started today? Where can people
find that?>>Museum Max will be making appearances on
our militaryonesource Facebook page. I welcome you to nominate Museum Max to visit your museum.
What would really help is if you could send me a really excellent quality image and one
that really shows the identifiable part of your building versus a nondescript hallway.
A good quality image is really the best starting point, followed by the link and contact information
and directions that go along with that museum.>>We have a question for Sheri. When signing
up for Blue Star mobile texting, do you get text-based messages on your local museum or
how exactly does Blue Star Mobile work?>>We had originally we had set it up so there
was a national, with the intent of then having state groups and not necessarily local, but
state groups that followed on. Initially, those text message will go to the entire text
group but once we have a critical mass, we will then divide those into local and regional
areas so we can better target the audience. But remember, military families travel, and
they travel a lot. They travel from one end of the country to the other, and when they
are moving, they do a lot of road tripping when they are vacationing, just because you
have something in your own backyard doesn’t mean the only audience you are going to have
is sitting there as well. Please consider the demographic and hopefully we will have
something that will meet the local needs as well as the national needs.>>Thank you, Sheri. We have another question
which is about the main Blue Star Museums webpage where we have the map – arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
That is where you can find a map with all the states and you click on a state and get
all of the museums in that state that are participating Blue Star Museum members. We
update that. We continue to receive museums who want to be part of the program all summer
long. That is updated on a regular basis. Someone asked us, Can we send you information
past Labor Day when Blue Star Museums ends? mark the answer is yes. What we have done
with the map is after the official BLue Star Museums program runs from Memorial Day to
Labor Day, we continue to highlight museums who have ongoing programs free or discounted
for various military audiences. Sometimes beyond the scope of the Blue Star Museum’s
audience. Feel free to continue to send us information, and it’s a great publicity avenue,
channel, to let audiences know about the all of the great outreach you are doing for the
military all throughout the year and help build awareness for next summer’s Blue Star
Museums. We also have a couple of Facebook questions. There’s one question – can we post
on the militaryonesource Facebook page?>>Certainly. Anyone who has friended militaryonesource’s
Facebook page has the ability to post and that can really be useful when you are responding
to another family member’s post. People are asking questions all the time. If you are
going to post to the Facebook page, though, you’re essentially going to be…it is a lower
tier way of reaching people. You are just among the people who are posting in a response
to something we have put up there, so the more powerful way to reach people is to give
something to us, we will go ahead and post it. Even though it is in our name, we are
still providing your links and your contact information and whatever message that it is
you feel you need to get out to the families.>>Bruce, to follow up on that: Could we put
the slide up with your e-mail information again? Several people were asking for that.
There you go – this is your man at DOD.>>Fill up my inbox.>>It’s interesting because we have so many
different social media channels. Bruce mentioned, you know, there are multiple avenues of entry
for the military. We encourage you all to contact the local Public Affairs Office, the
local military installation, local Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office and use these
social media channels. because at DOD, at Blue Star Families, at the the NEA, because
with all of these multiple entry points, you are building up the conversation to help reach
those audiences.>>Can I just make a statement relating to
that? An important statistic that a lot of us in this room are very aware of is that
more than 70% of military families live off base. That includes active duty folks, not
just the reserves and guards. The pictures kind of flip-flop from maybe what it was when
we were growing up. When you are giving stuff to us that we can use on social media, then
we are able to reach these military families who don’t normally make their way to the base
or can’t make their way to the base. Ordinarily, I would not care how people get their information,
but because of being such a dispersed group of people, we say that military people are
in every zip code in our country. We really rely and so do the families rely on social
media.>>Thank you, Bruce. We have another question
— what is the best way to get a hold of veterans groups to notify them of Blue Star events,
exhibits, etc.? Please remember the Bluer Star Museums program, the target audience
is active-duty military, which includes National Guard and Reserve and the other audiences
we’ve mentioned. Please be aware the target audience for Blue Star Museums, please remember
to ask for the CAC card. That is our target audience for this particular program and then
year round, we highlight museums that are conducting outreach for various military audiences.>>Sally, if I could say one little thing
in response. If you have a program you would like to offer to the veteran community that
is unique and not part of this particular program, Blue Star Families will be more than
happy to work with you to get that message out in whatever program you have that you
would like to expand that audience. The audience is there and understand that with so many
wonderful museums participating in this program, without somebody having a card in hand, there’s
a backup process is so difficult and you would not want to have to go through the ticket
process. But know that if you do want to do something special and bigger and broader,
just reach out and let us help you.>>We had another question, What was the name
of the YouTube channel that Blue Star Museums can send their videos to?>>It’s called MCFP – it’s kind of hard to
direct — this particular one … I have the slide up now. This particular one is the story
which the Pentagon channel did of the kickoff event. What I can do, Sally, perhaps is to
send a link to some of our social media platforms to you and shoot that out to the group.>>Certainly, Remember, again, we are encouraging
everyone to use all of our partner social media platforms. If you have not Liked all
of our Facebook pages, please do so because you can post and share and point to using
all of our social media platforms. Getting the word out through many channels is a way
to build conversation. I have a question: We have a VFW in town. Would they have active-duty
contacts? SHeri, is that something you can answer? The Veterans of Foreign Wars, do they
serve an active-duty audience? Is that the right organization to contact for active duty?>>No, they’re not. It’s Veterans of Foreign
Wars – you actually have to have served in a foreign war. You could be active-duty, but
chances are no, you are not going to have the younger population engaged enough to find
active-duty.>>It sounds like perhaps the best first step
is to try to reach your local Public Affairs Office or local military Morale, Welfare,
and Recreation office at your local military installation using the directory Bruce highlighted
during his presentation. That might be the first best step to reach the audience for
this particular program. We have another question. We already answered
this one…Can we post on the militaryonesource Facebook page? The answer is yes. You can
also post on the NEA webpage, on the Blue Star Families Facebook page as well as well.
How do you promote your product’s website blogs, social media to military families?
You know, Bruce, once a museum shares information with you, what’s the answer to that question?>>I am fortunate that I have a team of people,
so they are getting stuff out on all of our platforms all the time. I really mean that
– all the time. One of my staff members is married to a Marine who is in Okinawa, so
they are posting 24/7. Once you get stuff to me, we are putting it in a queue that puts
it our via Twitter and Facebook and YouTube if we have video. Any platform we are have,
we’re getting it out. Just to give you an appreciation for what is happening here, at
the service level, the installation level, these installations are looking for information
they can put out to military and their families and they look to us for stuff they can repurpose.
When we are pushing stuff out through our channels, it is being picked up and repeated
by the services, by the installations and also by other family members. So we end up
through that network having a very tremendous reach.>>Thank you, Bruce. Just to expand on this
question about the different military audiences — please see Bruce and Sheri as resources
for you as well. Sheri with Blue Star Families – feel free to contact Sherry to brainstorm.
If I’m looking for non-museum programs, outreach for non-museum programs, feel free to contact
Sherry and brainstorm with her. And to follow up on that as well. we had another question
about veteran outreach at museums. Again, there is an opportunity to talk about the
different programs museums offer and Wendy Clark might have something to say.>>Thanls, Sally. Just to reiterate, if you
do hear from veterans wondering if the program’s available to them in addition to active-duty
military, and as you all know, many museums already have certain programs targeted to
retired military. I would focus on that. Some have special discounts, some have free admission
days, some have gift shop discounts, and it was really conceived with the children of
active-duty who were deployed. That was the initial impetus to help the children of those
deployed to basically fill their summer with meaningful activities the families can get
involved in. That was the impetus for the program.>>Thank you. I have an interesting question
— what is the radial mile from our museum that you recommend we target?>>I grew up in Connecticut. Everything is
close together. Now, if you are in Wyoming, it’s different. I think you have two take
into consideration the environment, the landscape. I would say that whatever the average radius
of travel that your other patrons are using is probably a fairly good indicator of what
you do. I know people in Manhattan who think going to Brooklyn is like going to the country.
And I know people in Nevada who drive all day long to see a friend. It really matters
about the environment in which you are located.>>Just to add to that – I will go back to
the comment I made earlier. Our community travels and they may be hundreds of miles
from you, but if you are going to part of the country, they might say, You know what,
let’s take a stop. We’ve driven too long, the kids need a break, let’s go explore this
museum because we can. DOn’t assume – essentially during the summertime that you visitors are
going to be limited by the proximity to your museum.>>Thank you Sheri. And thank you, Bruce.
We have time for just a few more questions. One person said my computer would not log
on until now. I’ve been listening through my phone. Will there be notes of this webinar?
The short answer is yes because this is an invitation only webinar, we will send you
a link to the archived version of this webinar, so we will have it available for you in a
link. And then … oh, Sheri’s contact information, we have a few requests Sheri for that. I don’t
know if you can pull that up.>>It’s fairly easy, it’s Sheri – S-h-e-r-i
at Blue Star Fam dot org.>>We have one audience information gathering
question: do you have sign in sheets for families who visit museums, something we could put
out at the front desk? I think Wendy might be able to speak to that.>>Thanks, Sally, and thanks for the question.
That is really up to each individual museum. You can track who is using it as you see fit.
We are interested in the numbers we are reaching, but we realize we are asking a lot of you
as it is to take this on. So we don’t want to overburden you with that sort of data,
but it might be a nice touch. It would be useful for you for follow- up.>>Thank you., Wendy. Just to wrap up, we
have so many great resources here that Bruce has talked about, that Sheri has talked about,
we talked about from the NEA side. I hope this discussion has helped you with some tactical
tools to reach out to the local installation and really help build relationships. What
we do at the national level, the NEA, Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, we have
our national level outreach and consumer and trade media and social media channels. You
are welcome to contact Bruce, Sheri or myself or Wendy with any follow-up questions. We
have our national outreach. However, we really do encourage your help at the local level.
It is a great opportunity for participating museums to really connect with a military
audience at the local level. By reaching out to the local military audience, picking up
the phone and calling the Public Affairs Officer or Morale, Welfare, and Recreation officer,
it’s a chance for you to let them know, Hey we have a great cultural resource right in
your backyard and we think your families should take advantage of it. It is an opportunity
for you to cultivate a new audience, to build bridges to the military community. We are
all working on this together, so please see us, BLue Star Families, Department of Defense
as resources in this and please continue to use the PR toolkit that we have online because
we know that staffing can be limited, so we want to make it as easy as possible for you
to get the word out. Please do use all of these resources and our social media resources.
We all have Blue Star Families, Department of Defense, the NEA – we’re all offering wonderful
social media platforms really throughout the entire summer that can help continue to tell
the story of Blue Star Museums and share that story with your local military audience. That
is all the time we have for questions. I do want to thank again our presenters, Bruce
Moody of the Department of Defense, Sheri Robey-Lapan of Blue Star Families, Wendy Clark
of National Endowment for the Arts, who many of you probably already know, and thank you
from myself as well. And, again, feel free to follow-up with any questions. We do send
out regular e-mail notices on PR tools and tactics, so we will include some resources
there as well. That concludes our webinar, and because this is an invitation only webinar,
we will send you a link to the archives. That concludes our program, so thank you to all
of our Blue Star museums for joining us today and have a wonderful rest of your day. Thank
you.


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