THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MUSEUM AND THEIR AUDIENCE(S)

Subject: Media
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 14
Word count: 3942
Topics: Social Media, Heritage, Innovation, Popular Culture
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Abstract

The nature of the relationship between a business and consumers is dependent on the quality of services they offer to their audience. In every move they make, the industry should make their audiences a constant reference so that they remain relevant in the current society. These practices do not apply to profit-making businesses alone, but also other organizations such as the museum. The paper will analyze the relationship between heritage attractions. Precisely, the paper will show how the relationship between the two lies in the role they play. The new media is playing a significant role in ensuring that the relationship between the two is sustained. The press is now used by the museum as a platform for sharing information with the audience. For example, the audience can get information from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, the paper will focus on their relationship that is evident in the manner in the role the museum play. Therefore, the economic, social cultural and environmental between museums and the audiences will be discussed in detail. 

Key Words:   Museum, Heritage Attractions, Economic, Social Cultural, Environmental.  

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MUSEUM OR HERITAGE ATTRACTION AND THEIR AUDIENCE(S)

Businesses involved in offering services to the consumers have one thing in common, and that is having their audiences on their minds. The audience is the constant reference points, and this helps the organizations such as museums and heritage organizations to remain relevant in the current society. The relationship between heritage attractions, the museums, and their audiences lie in the role they play among them. Therefore, what these organizations position the audiences, and how they structure their development and thinking around them makes a significant difference. 

Heritage organizations and the museums have radically changed, and this is because the audiences have had an awakening call concerning the value of their money. Precisely, when these institutions are seeking for growth in their respective industries, they are establishing means through which they can maintain and reach out to new audiences. For example, they are now looking into better means of reaching out to new ways or marketing, branding, and attractive voice tones. Some are even going further to devise campaign programs to appeal new audiences. Addressing the relationship between heritage organizations, the museum, and their audiences will help in determining the role the latter play in ensuring a vibrant industry.  

Museums are non-profit making organizations whose role lie in serving the society and promoting their development. Therefore, people in these institutions have the responsibility of acquiring, conserving, researching, communicating and exhibiting the public for purposes of educations, study, and enjoyment (Richards, 2009, p.56). Currently, the museums have a significant role in conserving, researching and exhibiting cultural heritage the respective states. According to Diekmann and Smith (2015, p.171). Some cultures in specific places are different from others, and therefore people from various cultural backgrounds tend to visit these sites for education, research or enjoyment purposes (Viken. 2014, p. 456). Tourism and heritage are interconnected and are a reflection of the image of a particular state and its citizens. Therefore, the relationship between heritage organizations, museums, and the audiences has resulted in tourism, hence enhancing its growth (Viken. 2014, p. 456). The media has played a significant role in improving the relationship between these aspects. 

The new media is characterized by digital technologies and are now used in heritage organizations and museums to enhance the relationship between the parties. Precisely, the press is being used in providing information concerning the exhibitions, events, museum products, the availability of tickets and their prices, and opening hours for these institutions (Antos, Fromm and Golding. 2017, p. 61). Many museums are adapting to the advent of social media platforms such as Twitter, portals, blogs, YouTube and Facebook to interact with their audiences (Antos, Fromm and Golding. 2017, p. 61). The social media platforms are playing a significant role in enhancing the relationship between the museums and their audiences by enabling them to provide services that meet their expectations and at the same time reach out to new audiences. 

The museums are going a notch higher to the extent of having their own websites where they provide a platform for their audiences to air their grievances. Precisely, they are an interactive platform where new audiences consult and interact with the rest of the world (Thomson. 2009, p. 265). Through these sites, the audiences are networked within communities, geographical regions, and globally through special interests, international contacts, social networks, and different cultural communities. Through such initiatives, new audiences come to learn about the new heritage sites and therefore plan their physical visits (Rizzo and Mignosa. 2013, p.282). Thus, it is evident that the electronic era has allowed the museums and heritage organizations to improve their relationship with their audiences and new people are also being reached out in large numbers compared to the past. 

The role played by heritage attraction activities have improved the relationship between it and its audience. It has become a critical factor in tourism and especially in the developing nations. Because heritage attraction activities have enhanced the economic levels among these countries, the audiences have embraced their practice. According to Tilden and Craig (2007, p.23), heritage audiences tend to spend longer times in these sites compared to other forms of tourism. The museums have also cemented the relationship by facilitating the dynamic network of travel attractions and audience services. Heritage attraction sites have also assisted other forms visitations such as agro tourism, cultural tourism, and ecotourism (Honey. 2008, p.443). Cultural tourism encompasses theaters and art museums. In essence, the relationship between the heritage attractions, the museums lie in what each party can deliver for each other. 

Museums and heritage attractions enhance the livelihoods of many audiences thereby improving their relationships. In many countries, the principal activity in strengthening the economy of a nation is tourism. It also brings along benefits that enhance the quality of life to the communities (Perera. 2015, p.3). The driving force for museums and heritage attractions lie in the preservation of history. However, some challenges deter the achievement of this goal. The primary problem is maintaining and preventing alteration of places that contribute to heritage tourism (Perera. 2015, p.3). Some principles have also been established to ensure that the relationship between the museums, the heritage attractions and their audiences is maintained. The first principle is collaboration. Here, it is evident that neither the museums nor the heritage attractions can survive without the presence of the audiences (Perera. 2015, p.3). In fact, as noted earlier, the audience are the main reasons these facilities exist. Therefore, the principle of collaboration ensures open communication between the parties.

The second principle suggests the identification of a fit between tourism and the community. The community living around the museums should be involved in events leading to the attraction of new audiences (Buhalis, Darcy and Ambrose. 2012, p. 9). The facilities can achieve this by offering job opportunities among community representatives. In doing so, the relationship between the institutions and audiences enhanced. The third principle recommends using resources to make programs and sites come alive to ensure that communication between them is effective (Buhalis, Darcy and Ambrose. 2012, p. 9). In essence, communication is the cornerstone for a museum, heritage attractions, and the audience. Therefore, if the principal is not observed and maintained, the chances are that the relationship will not be stable nor enhance the validity of the existence of these institutions.

The fourth principle suggests that the facilities must focus on authenticity as well as quality to attract audiences. As noted earlier, the primary aim of these organizations is to preserve the history and ensure there are no alterations on the same (Buhalis, Darcy and Ambrose. 2012, p. 9). Additionally, Budruk and Phillips assert that since the relationship is inclined on the role they play to the audiences, they should ensure that authenticity and quality of their products are not compromised (2015, p. 169). On the other hand, the fifth principle suggests that irreplaceable resources must be protected and reserved. The principle is related to the fourth one because once the authentic materials are destroyed cannot be replaced. (Buhalis, Darcy, and Ambrose. 2012, p. 9). The principles aim at ensuring that the quality of products in these institutions is not compromised.  

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Today, the strategic plans adopted by the museums lie in the interests of the audience. When an organization meets the demands of the visitors, then it is a guarantee that they will prosper in the current state of events (Cameron and Kelly. 2010, 201). As a result, many museums are now moving away from paying a lot of attention to their content of their collection to ensuring that the experience is their facilities is rich (Cameron and Kelly. 2010, 201). In essence, more resources are spent on discovering ways that make a visit to their premises worthy for different visitors. According to Farrell and Medvedeva (2010, p. 12), museums are using these discoveries in shaping how they interact with the audiences in different ways. Bottom line, the realization that not all audiences share the same interests have enhanced the relationship between the two (Farrell and Medvedeva. 2010, p. 13). In brief, it is the role of the museums to find a variety of experiences, instill them in their facilities, and cater to the tastes and needs of the diverse audience.   

The relationship between the museums and the audiences is best to describe the role it plays to their audience. In essence, many museum audiences are strongly linked to tourism, and the paper has already shown that tourists the main audiences in both museums and heritage attractions (Bertacchini and Morando. 2013, p.60). The diversity of culture that these people can consume at a makes the definition of cultural tourism difficult. Many scholars have argued that every form of tourism must have some cultural aspects (Bertacchini and Morando. 2013, p.60). These range from cultural sites such as art galleries, museums, and at times cathedrals where the audiences experience the atmosphere of the scenery (Bertacchini and Morando. 2013, p.60). Therefore, the museums assume the role of ensuring that the audience can experience the serene atmospheres in their facility.

The primary mandate of museums is to educate their audiences. Initially, cultural tourism only focused on displaying a community’s culture. According to Farrell and Medvedeva (2010, p. 14), things have changed, and new meanings of heritage and cultural tourism have emerged. It is now covering both the intangible and tangible aspects of the culture. The audiences are now taught concerning the history, nature, and cultural heritage of region, city, or a state on different subjects. These elements are also being saved for future generations to ensure sustainability. According to Bertacchini and Morando (2013, p.60), the presence of a museum in a region is an indicator of something valuable where the public is always enthusiastic about sharing. In brief, the analysis has shown that the relationship between the museum and the audiences is to ensure that the cultural heritage is maintained to attract more tourists. 

The relationship between the museums, heritage attractions, and the audience lie in their ability to connect people. The connecting value associated with these facilities is an indicator that they coexist to attain success (Simon. 2010, p. 175). The collections in these organizations are a representation of the rich blend of cultures, generations, opinions and sciences, and religions thus a thorough reflection of a society or community, in the present, the past, and the future (Lord. 2007, p. 237). These aspects play a significant role in encouraging the audience to keep a curious and open-minded attitude. Museums also play a significant role to the audience by helping n the creation of a shared identity, a mutual comprehension of each’s past, and by extension a shared future among the audience (Smith, 2014, p. 180). Moreover, research has shown that bringing culture back home minimizes the differences among populations. From this analysis, it is evident that the relationship between the museums, the heritage attractions, and the audience is mutual. That is, both parties benefit from each other. 

The relationship between heritage attractions, the museums, and the audience is also evident in that they avail an ideal platform through which they current affairs can be discussed. Moreover, the platform is handy since it narrows down to one context. For example, they use their products, in this case, the collections as backgrounds and discuss events taking place in a region or community (Macdonald. 2011, p.33). Moreover, the discussion can also be about the world. Besides, the platform also encourage debates and political and social issues and in turn help the audience in meeting people from diverse cultural and social backgrounds. The relationship between the facilities and the audience goes further in appealing to a new audience who do not physically visit the museums but interceded in debating about the issues (Boyle. 2017, p.56). Again, the analysis is a clear indication that the relationship between the museum, the heritage attractions and the audience lay in the role each has on the other. 

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The relationship between the museums and the audience also lie in the provision of opportunities for adventure and fun. It is evident that visiting these places is fun because they offer a relaxing and pleasurable environment for people during their leisure times (Information Resources Management Association USA. 2015, p. 543) The settings also inspire as well as challenge people since inspiring stories from legends in the past are reserved. Moreover, some of these facilities have restaurants and café and, therefore, people can meet in these facilities with their families and friends (Information Resources Management Association the USA. 2015, p. 543). In brief, it is evident that this analysis indicates that there is a mutual relationship between the targeted audience and them. A few factors have to be put to account ensure that the relationship between the audiences and the heritage attractions do not break.

The relationship between the museums and the audiences is also evident in the economic benefits it contributes to a community. For example, museums offer employment opportunities to the people around the facility (Feldstein. 2009, p.39). Therefore, providing these jobs cements the relationship between the audiences and the museums. People end up generating more income a hence raising their standards of living (Waltl. 2006, p. 6). The diversification created by tourism assist the communities that are dependent on one industry. Moreover, the museums enhance public utilities such as public restrooms, the sewer, and landscaping.

It is evident that the presence of a museum in a community attracts tourists. Consequently, the presence of tourists in an area encourages the local governments to improve their infrastructures. Therefore, roads, airports, non-traditional forms of transport such as rails, as well as public transportation are upgraded (Waltl. 2006, p. 6). These activities, as well as privileges, enhance the relationship between the museum and its audience because they help in the upgrade of a community’s resources. Additionally, tourism encourages other people to engage in retail mix, thereby creating more job opportunities (Waltl. 2006, p. 6). Healthy competition among businesses is also enhanced. As a result of, tax revenues of a community are increased. Therefore, the relationship between the museums and their audience is a related collection of revenues.  

When considering the economic relationship between the museums and the audience, it is important to understand that sometimes job offered in the process are low paying. Additionally, the jobs are seasonal and therefore causes underemployment and loss of jobs during off seasons (Stanley. 2007, p. 5). Besides, there may lack the required skills in these museums. In such cases, the museum prefers importing skilled workers than hiring local talents. Besides, their presence in a community can increase the cost of living by influencing the demand for products and services (Stanley. 2007, p. 5). Therefore retaining the relationship between the museums and the audience require the former to come clean concerning these factors. 

There also exists an environmental relationship between the museum and the audience. For example, areas endowed with natural resources such as lakes, waterfall, and oceans among other collections attract audiences (Information Resources Management Association. 2016, p. 356). In some cases, the resources influence some of these audiences to migrate to the areas. These people mainly seek a spiritual and emotional connection with nature. Initially, it was noted that the leading role of museums is to preserve the beauty of nature and since the audiences value heritage attractions, they protect them to avoid increased ecological declines. 

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Lands that cannot support agriculture are now put to use. Museums are using these lands to create recreational facilities for their audiences. More so, the income collected from the audiences visiting these places is used in enhancing the protection of the environment (Information Resources Management Association. 2016, p. 356). The revenues also make it possible for the museums to restore and preserve monuments and historic buildings. The museums also play a role sustaining the environmental relationship by improving the appearance of these areas and especially through repairs and cleanup (Information Resources Management Association. 2016, p. 356). These activities also play a gesture of ensuring that the audience benefits from their experiences. 

The relationship between the museums and the audience can result in negative impacts. For example, when the audience visits these places as tourists, the play a part in the generation of pollution and waste (Information Resources Management Association. 2016, p. 356). The natural resources can also be jeopardized through either overuse or improper use. Besides, offering tourist services can change the appearance of the landscape. Without forethoughts, the open spaces and natural landscape can be lost (Information Resources Management Association. 2016, p. 356). Therefore, it is recommended that people responsible for foreseeing activities in the museums should insist more on the preservation of the environment to sustain their relationship with their audience.     

Just like in any other business that seeks to meet the demands of the public, the museums assume the positions of the customers to determine if what they offer or what they do impresses the customers. Factors that can break or make the relationship between the two is multifaceted. It entails everything that happens from the time the audience decides to visit the facility (Wallace. 2010, p.77). Factors such as whether direction leading to the facility is clear and whether the place is accessible. Additionally, whether public transportation is adequate and reliable can also influence the growth or termination of the relationship between the museums and their audience. In essence, the relationship between these factors is normal to other business relationship where each part has to meet the expectations of the other (Wallace. 2010, p.77). The reason behind this is that competition in the industry will influence an audience whether to stay or not. 

Availability of information concerning a heritage attraction or museum determines the fate of the relationship between the museum, the heritage attractions, and their audience. According to Wallace (2010, p.77), it is recommended that information should be available from both print materials and the staff. Moreover, many audiences travel from for long distances, and in some cases international travels to enjoy sceneries in the museums and heritage attractions. As a result, it is recommended that the roads leading to these places should be effortless to find (Wallace. 2010, p.77). Besides meeting these factors, the labels in the galleries should be legible and easy to understand. Notably, the relationship, between the museums and the audience is entirely dependent on whether both parties serve their purpose. 

In conclusion, the relationship between the museums and the audience have been discussed. Addressing the relationship between the museum and their audiences will help in determining the role the latter play in ensuring a vibrant industry. In the paper, there exist different forms of relationships between them, and include social, environmental, or economic. The role played by heritage attraction activities have improved the relationship between it and its audience. It has become a critical factor in tourism and especially in the developing nations. Because heritage attraction activities have enhanced the economic levels among these nations, the audiences have embraced their practice. 

The relationship between the museum and the audience lie in the role they both play. For example, museums bring along benefits that enhance the quality of life to the communities. The driving force for museums and heritage attractions lie in the preservation of history. However, some challenges deter the achievement of this goal. The main challenge is maintaining and preventing alteration of places that contribute to heritage tourism. The relationship between the museums and the audience also lie in the provision of opportunities for adventure and fun. In the paper, it is evident that visiting museums is fun because they offer a relaxing and pleasurable environment for people during their leisure times. Lastly, the relationship between the museum and the audience is not inclined to one side, but rather both play an interchangeable role to sustain the relationship.  

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