Business Improvement Plan

The XYZ Museum is a non-profit institution located in a multicultural metropolis, specializing in local history and housed in one building.

Funded by the state through various grants and private donations, XYZ has a mix of resources and donors whom it answers to. The majority of the donors are wealthier Anglo-Saxons, which challenges the selection of exhibits as there must be a balance struck between what the public wants to see and what donors will fund. The marketing department keeps a close watch on their ever-changing dynamics of the demographics, which has received a surge in immigrants from South America. XYZ must monitor current social trends in order to identify potential ideas for exhibits/tours. As XYZ’s county continues to have one of the highest increases in population in the nation, it is a challenge to decipher what would drive up memberships and new numbers for visitations.

The organization must design and implement a number of new offerings to remain on the public radar, in addition to maintaining the funding from donors. Programs and exhibits featured at the Museum fail to draw substantial numbers as compared to other local museums. XYZ needs to appeal to multi-socioeconomic patrons using attractions that are more diverse. Presentation and format of marketing also needs to be overhauled. Said institution is in danger of losing credibility and funding.

Considering the multicultural city from which it derives its history, only a multilayered approach can work. Instead of targeting the wealthy potential patrons, the institution needs to consider wider spectrum of possible markets. School children, college students, history buffs, and interested citizens all need to be welcome. The key element of Reformation is in serving the community’s interests.

A review of membership lists can certain those interested in the institution. Using the new substations, a marketing plan can be formulated for the top three perspective patron categories. Questions to consider include how potential patron receives information (Internet, paper, or word-of-mouth) or which local culture could be featured as an exhibit. Identifying interested groups and thereafter providing a contextually intriguing premise could draw large crowds. An example of this would be the recent selection of Port Royale, Jamaica with its historical reputation as the wickedest city in the on earth in the 1800s. The Jamaican community turned on full force on opening night. In the know citizens discussed the showcase; media outlets reviewed the museum’s offering while simultaneously advertising the institution. Great interest amongst the Caribbean assembly made it part of their social programs. Membership spiked during this time and advertising needs were met through reviews.

This interest yielded higher visibility within cultural circles and increased interest in future productions. Intellectually diversified information could lead to greater stimuli almost guaranteeing the elusive college-age sector of the population. There are over 12 substantial universities in XYZ’s county. The museums profile needs to be raised as a serious multicultural conduit to local history targeted patrons need be analyzed when planning future events.

The best approach in such a divided internal community is turning the task oriented focus into a process-centered environment. XYZ must be able to see the big picture. New leadership should be placed at the institution with a particular push made towards raising the Education department’s profile given the considerable number of higher learning institutions and an overwhelming numbers of schools that could utilize a new curriculum. The current President would benefit from hiring a new Education department head, preferably a principal with a background in business

If someone from neighboring communities could be hired to serve as the new head of the Education department, they may bring their old education contacts to cement the reputation of XYZ as a partner in education. The Museum will not be able to gain academic credibility with its inattention to the academic community as displayed through use of a non-FCAT friendly curriculum. In addition to a principal/teacher as a department head, a conglomerate of primary, secondary, and college-level professors needs to be formed. A panel of educational professional should be formed to advise departments of the underlying educational opportunities. This revamping will also serve to build audiences for events. A teacher is more likely to use this avenue in their lesson plans if it caters to their interests and academic needs. The museum is missing a substantial portion of core devotees through outdated practices and curriculum, which needs to be reformulated or revamped to modernize and attract patrons. Students are resources in terms of future memberships.

The annual fundraiser of the Art Festival is an outdoor craft show that once was popular before eBay and the like. Vendors clamored for spaces and collectors stocked up on their Christmas shopping once upon a time. Now, the event is seen as archaic as the internet has revolutionized the craft business. Time has come to revitialize fundraising. Many museums struggled before the 2008 economic collapse as by nature, they do not deal with social causes that promote a sense of urgency with fundraising. XYZ primarily relies on non-donor donations through their website and keeping large donors happy with offerings more to the patrician leanings. Government subsidiaries are not an abundant as before;new fundraising ideas must be devised. Two ideas:

1.   Hold a pioneer dinner in which foods would be served from when XYZ’s city was established. To entertain guests between courses a quilting match, spelling bee, a pie baking contest (then to be offered as dessert) and finally courting games to be performed by volunteers. By showcasing the past activities of the region many will be interested and community involvement would pique the interest of all ages. This will draw citizens who may not know the history of the city.

2.   Another creative avenue XYZ could offer to organize affinity groups museums which raise and donate fundswithin their professional network. Groups could include teachers, lawyers and doctors. XYZ could in return host networking events on-premise and give certain privileges to members such as specialized tours and events which focus on their professions. One offering could be Pioneer medicines or stage a mock trial based on the judicial system of yesteryear.

In addition, exhibits should give special consideration to the minority groups of the city. The African-American community has verbalized their dislike for the lack of intelligent portrayals in the permanent gallery. The problem has been the museum does not seem to capture the interest of minority majorities of the city that can be helpful by giving them a voice and home base. If the African-American community can be recognized through a new piece of sculpture, the community may be more eager to frequent and feel pride in their heritage besides numerous photographs of Bahamian African slaves gracing the wall which infers that the only role African-Americas played in XYZ’s county‘s history was servant.

The visitors lured in by the Port Royale exhibit downstairs in the main gallery were clearly irritated by the lack of constancy in the upstairs division. If a major group feels underrepresented, one must imagine how other minorities must feel in not being properly represented. The African-American section needs to be retold with dignity. Input from the members of the community or a formation of future educational panel should be taken into consideration. However, the bottom-line is that XYZ’s multicultural communities need addressing. There are groups within groups within the city limits of Jamaicans, Haitians, Bahamian, Ecuadorians, Venezuelans, Cubans, Americans alongside those who identify with the African Diaspora. If the citizens can be represented in the organization, their historical existence would be authenticated. It could be a win-win situation for the African-American community and the Museum. These shifting demographics need to be monitored periodically to make sure that strategy shared vision systems and the rest are in alignment with the internal external realities. XYZ’s city is seen as a predominantly Caribbean/South American Ellis Island. The Port of Miami and Miami international Airport are the modern underground railroads to the Americans suffering from dismal circumstances, political or otherwise. The populace community a majority of Hispanics are as woefully underrepresented as the African-American community; they are only depicted in a gigantic photograph as floating refugees in the gallery. This does not have to be the case. A temporary exhibit XYZ presented a few seasons called Santeria and Ritmos, Santeria is a secret religion with drums used to induce a hypnotic state during rituals. Faithful came from all over the city, Fort Lauderdale and the Keys to the opening night and its subsequent run. Group stressed in all white pilgrimaged to the museum. However, the museum was not prepared as there was a lack of Spanish-speaking receptionists. This potential for a sky high membership was lost because said entity had not anticipated the surge of followers and those merely seeking to satisfy curiosity. Many disciples of the secret religion do not list it as their religion when asked. If the personality of the community had been understood by the museum, a Spanish-speaking helper would’ve been available in addition to being adequately prepared for the potential members. This was another wasted opportunity to connect with the community.

A significant portion of the problem is a lack of interest in serving the minority community. Fundraisers and membership drives are targeted towards a local, expansive, and popular botanical garden’s members who are wealthy Anglo-Saxons living their community and happy to remain so. The physical difference between the botanical garden crowd and the urban sources is that the garden is located in an upscale neighborhood with a tranquil setting whereas the museum is housed on the cultural Plaza, which is home to numerous vagrants engaging in unsavory activities. While they may be potential donors, they cannot be the only members of the community recognized. A more productive marketing approach should be introduced. It should be the museum’s process for evaluating the masses for its offering.

Marketing has been misdirected for the past few years. Numerous opportunities have been missed as a result of the lack of creativity and population considerations. Ads in the paper, radio spots, and mail blasts are excellent staples; however, within the past year XYZ has included more social media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The museum should look for more native advertising opportunities such as September 19 is National Speak Like a Pirate Day, which was celebrated XYZ by doing nothing. Black Caesar was infamous African runaway slave that later turned into a notorious pirate in the region. The legends surrounding this historical figure are quite comical including his predilection for red haired white women that he demanded from each ship. Pirates play a role in developing the sponge and establishing Key West. This aspect is often overlooked by patrons and virtually unknown by school age children. A day celebrating pirates could be steered into other art oddities and aspect of sailor life, such as superstitions that included no women on board.

Events could be centered on this day using preferred promotional materials in the classroom or a ball with patrons dressing as pirates using the popular movie franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean as inspiration.

In summation, XYZ has a wealth of untapped patronage in the surrounding communities. Many seek to be represented in local history. While it is crucial to keep donors happy and streams of funding active, it is also important to cater exhibits to local tastes, which may drive up membership. Marketing efforts should be ramped to include majority minorities in the city. Future exhibits could include SOS Venezuela and the history behind the Goombay Festival. XYZ is a great institution dedicated to keep the tales and items in the past still relevant. With changes in marketing and exhibit offerings, the museum could finally reach its potential, drive up membership, make more connections to the community, network professional and stay relevant. This would be a win-win situation for the institution and its inhabitants.

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