Archivists as Modern Marketers

Margot Note

Margot Note

May 27, 2024

In the ever-evolving information management landscape, archivists are breaking free from traditional stereotypes to embrace modern marketing strategies.

Marketing is not exclusive to profit-driven enterprises; archivists can harness marketing concepts to promote their services, position themselves as valuable partners, and emphasize their significance within organizations.

Rethinking Marketing

An outdated view of marketing is that it is solely tied to commercial concerns. A broader definition recognizes marketing as a force supporting customer-focused service delivery. Doing so connects producers (archivists) and consumers (colleagues and stakeholders) in archives. The key lies in understanding and addressing the needs of these consumers.

Stories inform users; many can be found in an organization’s archives. The origin story of archival holdings is a fascinating journey through time, shaped by the passion and dedication of individuals who recognized the importance of preserving historical records. It began with a vision to safeguard cultural heritage, influenced by the rich tapestry of the organization’s history. The key accomplishment that stands out is a groundbreaking project that solved a complex archival challenge and impacted the accessibility and understanding of historical materials. This project showcased the problem-solving skills of archivists and their commitment to making the archives a valuable resource. Despite numerous obstacles, the archives demonstrated resilience and a commitment to continuous improvement. The leadership and teamwork exhibited by archivists played a crucial role in overcoming challenges and fostering a collaborative environment. A setback or failure became an opportunity for growth and learning as the archives adapted and strengthened their processes. Innovation and change are ingrained in archival practices, with a notable instance of introducing cutting-edge technologies to enhance preservation and accessibility. The department may have ambitious future aspirations, including expanding outreach, digitization efforts, and community engagement. The steps towards these goals reflect the commitment to evolving while staying true to the core mission of preserving and sharing collective history.

Modern marketing in archives is a departure from the conventional profit-driven model. Archivists focus on user-centric services, ensuring that historical information remains not only accessible but also relevant. This shift is a testament to the evolving role of archivists in fostering meaningful connections within organizations.

Crafting Narratives

Strategic communication emerges as a foundational pillar of archival marketing. Archivists take on the role of storytellers, crafting compelling narratives that communicate the relevance of their services. Archivists create excitement and engagement by sharing stories of how archival resources have informed decisions, resolved challenges, and contributed to organizational success.

Delving into the Archives

Content creation is a cornerstone of marketing strategy, and archivists are leveraging this approach to showcase their organization’s rich history. Drawing inspiration from marketing leaders, archivists are encouraged to dive into their archives. This journey becomes an eye-opening experience for established organizations, unveiling the historical making and marketing of products and services and the reasons behind these decisions. It provides insights into how expressions were influenced by the times and, above all, how products or services evolved through history.

Embracing the Deeper Heritage

Archivists are encouraged to embrace the depth of their heritage. For companies with a long-established history, mining the archives becomes a journey to understanding the roots of their existence. Organizations often find this immersion invaluable. It is not just about the products or services; it is about understanding why they were made and marketed in a particular way and how they have evolved.

Archivists are evolving into architects of organizational memory, utilizing marketing strategies to amplify their impact. The shift towards user-centric services, strategic communication, and content creation demonstrates a departure from the traditional role of archivists. By embracing marketing concepts, archivists preserve the past and shape their organization’s future narrative. Archivists are guardians in this digital age, where information is abundant, ensuring that historical information remains a vibrant and integral part of organizational identity.

Margot Note

Margot Note

To learn more, please join us for a free webinar, Harnessing Marketing Strategies for Archival Services Wednesday, June 12, 2024  at 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern. (Can’t make it? Register anyway and we will send you a link to the recording and slides afterwards). Register now

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