Monday, January 25, 2021

Digital Engagement Consultancy Opportunity

Wakefield Museums & Castles is looking to appoint a freelance digital consultant to develop a digital engagement strategy and action plan for the next three years. We want to review our current position, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the heritage sector, and develop an ambitious yet realistic strategy that will enable us to engage people with our collections in new and innovative ways.

In 2018, Wakefield Museums & Castles became a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funded by Arts Council England, to help them deliver their goal of ‘great art and culture for everyone’. Our current funding is in place until March 2023. One of the key aims of our NPO Business Plan is “to build a strong and diverse digital offer to raise our profile and improve the visitor’s experience and access to our collections and sites”. 

Over the past two years, we have made progress in achieving this aim; developing content for a new stand-alone website, developing the digital skills and expertise of our staff, and starting a programme of digitisation for our collections and historic documentation. However, it was the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of our museum sites that really pushed us forward in our use of digital. We quickly transitioned to a virtual offer, repurposing our Discover the Extraordinary blog to serve as a central hub for all our digital resources, and significantly increasing our social media output. We experimented with different types of content and platforms, always with the aim of maintaining access to and engagement with our collections and sites and keeping them at the heart of all of our content.

We would now like to undertake a review of our progress and use the valuable lessons and skills we have learned to develop an ambitious yet realistic digital strategy that will focus on digital audience development and engagement with our collections in new and innovative ways, over the next three years and beyond.

We want to:

  • Understand, increase and diversify our digital audience;
  • Increase engagement with, and accessibility of, our collections and sites through digital and be able to measure this;
  • Encourage creativity and community involvement with our digital activities;
  • Explore how we use digital interactions at our museum and castle sites;
  • Provide an online museum experience for those unable or unwilling to visit our sites in person;
  • Enhance the digital skills, expertise and confidence of our team, and effect a culture change in our organisation whereby digital becomes part of everyone’s role.

We are looking to appoint a consultant to help us devise a digital strategy and action plan, including:

  • Analysis of our current and target digital audiences (as distinct from our footfall audiences), and a methodology for measuring and evaluating digital impact, which might include benchmarking, analytics, KPIs etc.;
  • A strategy and streamlined process for developing and creating collections-based digital content, to reach new and more diverse audiences. This could include virtual tours, digital exhibitions and learning resources, videos, podcasts, games, mobile apps, live-streaming etc., featuring on our own website and/or third-party websites, including social media platforms;
  • An options analysis for future use and development of our Collections Online facility, including the introduction of open licensing;
  • The potential for user-generated digital content, including curated collections, exhibitions, tours, contributions of memories/information;
  • Digital interpretation techniques for use at our museum and castle sites, or at alternative sites in our communities, which could be anything from virtual reality experiences to touchscreen kiosks, and may involve third party developers;
  • The technology, hardware, software, tools and equipment needed to achieve our digital goals;
  • Staff training and skills development, ensuring everyone has the right level of digital capability and competency.

How to apply:

Please submit to the following documentation:

  • A CV or resume of your previous experience, qualifications, skills, references etc.
  • An indicative project plan, showing how you would meet the objective and outputs of the project. This should be no more than 4 sides of A4.
  • A simple budget showing how you will be using the available budget and how you will fit the timescale for delivering the project.
  • You may also include photographs or testimonials from previous projects if you feel they will be relevant to your application.

If you are shortlisted, you will be asked to attend an interview, via Skype, where you can expand upon your proposal and give a presentation to the project board.

Closing Date: Monday 15 February 2021, 9am

Interviews will take place in the week commencing 22 February 2021.

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