George Eastman House - Anthony Morelle's Portfolio

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Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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George Eastman House’s Web Presence: An Analysis





















By Anthony Morelle







2


Table of Contents



Case Introduction





SWOT Analysis

………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3


Strengths
……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4


Weaknesses
…………………………………………………………………………………………… 5


Opportunities
………………………………………..………………………………………………. 8


Threats
………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9


Competition
…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11


Situation Analysis
……………………………………………………………
………………………………. 1
4


Industry Analysis
…………………………………………………………………………………… 1
4


Market Analysis
…………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
5


Legislative Analysis
………………………………………………………………………………
… 15


Marketing Plan
………………………………………………………………………………………………
… 16


Strategic Opt
ions
…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
9


Recommendation
……………………………………………………………………………………………
. 20


Works Cited
…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
1








3


Case
Introduction



George Eastman, the
founder of Eastman Kodak, built

a house on 900 East Avenue

in
Rochester, NY
. This marvelous structure serves as a pillar to its community, as a bastion of
strength and ingenuity. The man, who would later revolutionize the way humans take pictures
on this planet; lived here. Later on, hi
s home passed through various hands before being
deferred to a board of trustees that made the home a museum entitled, “George Eastman
House International Museum of Photography and Film” (
The George Eastman House, 2013
). To
this day, the museum represents
“the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the
world’s oldest film archives” (
The George Eastman House, 2013
). However, its presence on one
of the world’s greatest media, The Internet, is not as monumental. Sadly, many people around
the world have t
o visit the museum in order to comprehend the vastness of its photographic
archives.




Many of the world’s mus
eums have an Internet presence, including some of the world’s
camera and photography museums. Museums such as the Canadian Museum of Contemporary

Photography

(http://www.gallery.ca/en/)

and Austria’s Westlicht

(http://www.westlicht.com/
)

even have social media and other SEO practices

built into their websites
. While some traditional
museums have moved their space to the web to include most, if not
all their collection, the
George Eastman House largely has not. The George Eastman House also doesn’t have a large
impact on social media and standard web practices.



After working at the George Eastman House

(GEH)
, it became clear that some of the key
in
gredients that make a website successful are completely absent in its structure. Search Engine
Optimization (SEO), social media giants su
ch as Twitter and Facebook have not been properly
utilized for the George Eastman House
. The museum has

not made a larg
e

impact on the web;
its
Facebook
company page has

16,000 likes and
its
Twitter
account
has 2
,
392 followers

(based
on actual
site
statistics)
. That pales in comparison to other highly branded/leveraged
companies.
From a marketing perspective, the George Ea
stman House broke many of
Marketing’s Golden Rules: collaboration, customer, targeting, positioning, segmentation,
product, promotion, and place. Simply put, the George Eastman House doesn’t know who they
want to sell their products to and where they want
to do it. Furthermore, the me
ssage they
send to the viewers of their

website
,

is disjointed and their

online

branding is not consistent
th
roughout their niche of the web. Its main content instead, is

filled with u
nbranded blogs, web
pages, and the

overall connecting theme
of its brand
is missing.



4


Analysis


Strengths



The George Eastman House’s greatest strength is its brand. All over the worl
d, people in
the

Twentieth century could relate Kodak to George Eastman. If one grew up in Rochester, it

was well
-
known that the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music,
Eastman School of
Dentistry,
and the Rochester Institute of Technology;

became

some of the major players in
Rochester’s economy and education

today. They
were
all
founded by George
Eastman.
Outside
of Rochester, a
nyone that is associated with film and photography can relate to George
Eastman’s
Kodak
brand.

“By 1976, 60 million Instamatic cameras had been sold, six times more
than all competitors put together had sold of this camera

t
ype
” (
Kodak,

2013
). George Eastman,
Eastman
-
Kodak, and Kodak became a household name for more than a century.



The George Eastman House was the

first of its kind


as a photography museum. The
museum “combines the world’s leading collections of photography and film with the stately
pleasures of the landmark Colonial Revival mansion and gardens that George Eastman called
home from 1905 to 1932” (
The George Eastman Ho
use, 2013
).
The museum works tirelessly to
restore, preserve, showcase, and teach avid enthusiasts of photography; in order to keep a
record for humanity’s cultural heritage.


One of the museum’
s gems, the Dryden Theatre,
is one of the few places in the wo
rld to
be able to view movies
in 35mm Nitrate film; a highly vo
latile and flammable film stock
.

“Discontinued around the mid
-
20th Century due to its highly flammable nature, nitrate film
stock


the combination of a silver nitrate base and orthochromatic o
r panchromatic emulsion


provided a shimmering, luminous motion picture experience for moviegoers during the entire
first half of movie history
” (The Dryden Theatre, 2013).

Due to this rarity, many moviegoers
flock to view movies on Nitrate film for an au
thentic
movie
-
going
experience.


Also on t
he grounds of the George Eastman House is the

L.
Jeffrey Selznick School of
Film Preservation. This particular institution teaches the conservation of motion picture film.
According to the people that teach
workshops and classes in this field, there are very few such
institutions in the world that preserve film. Those institutions that teach conservation of
motion picture film

were trained by people that
were
taught at the Selznick school.
“Today, the
excelle
nce of the Selznick School is recognized worldwide and more than 180 graduates are
now employed in leadership positions in public and private audio
-
visual archives in 21
countries” (
The Selznick School, 2013
).







5


Weaknesses


One of the main
issues with
the George Eas
tman House’s web presence is its

website’s
mism
anagement.
The main website shows two very important flaws: website navigation and
structural design. Website navigation is how users get around a website.
Human/Computer
Interaction (HCI
--

the
psychological study of how humans typically use the

computers with

the
Internet), studies play a major role in the cognitive behavior of users of a website, commonly
known as “Usability.”

Attentive
navigation as it is sometimes referred to, has “
a
ctual or
potential applications of this research include improved
interaction techniques

for extracting
information from visual representations, virtual environments, and teleoperation experiences”
(Hughes & Lewis, 2005). In simpler terms,
the better a nav
igation bar is designed
, the easier it is
for the user to get around the website.


Most navi
gation bars will open after a user
“mouse
s

over” a section of it. This usually
reveals another sub
-
set of pages related to the na
vigation Title and Section. The GE
H website
navigation bar does not do that. A user has to click on it, then a
sub
-
menu o
pens up, then a
person has about

5 seconds to
choose

from that sub
-
menu before it closes.
Most times, i
t
causes a user to go to the wrong page and have to travel back to

the previous page and try to
navigate

to the correct webpage

all over again. This can be seen as a rather cumbersome task.
Everyday users

of the website

might not find this to be a problem, but first
-
time users might.

This is because website navigation de
sign has become more intuitive to user’s experience on
the Internet. In this case, t
he
GEH
navigation bar goes against everything Internet users have
been used to.


Website mismanagement becomes more acute
,
after delving a few layers deep into the
website
. C
ertain pages
of the site
are situated in the wrong navigation sections, causing
confusion. Should the Eastman Legacy section be a part of the Museum section where most of
the history is found?

W
hy is the Internship section
with the Volunteer page when m
ost people
would

assume to

find the information

on the Employment

page? For that matter, why canno
t
there be a Volunteer section on the Employment page and get rid of the Volunteer page
altogether? These are just a few of the many inconsistencies found on
the website.



Also, t
he subject
-
matter is not organized in a particular fashion either. After a user has
the patience to figure out the navigation bar, they land on their subject of interest. Many of
these pages and sections are not ordered accordingly. I
f a particular subject
-
matter
,

like the
Eastman Legacy Collection
,

has oth
er substantial blocks of text, w
hy
not create a local
navigation bar to put
together the related material? A user

might bypass a listed set

of
hyper
links altogether if they aren’t in
teresting. However,

if that subject
-
matte
r is bundled
together to give the user a clear

picture of George Eastman’
s Legacy, the user

might be inclined
to take a look. Navigation Bars exude importance versus a hyperlink, even though they are the
same. Human
s are trained to hierarchically choose content on the web
,

based upon things that
“jump out” at the user.


6



There
is
definitely some room for improvement on the website overall color scheme and
branding
. The Eastman House “E” looks like a throwback to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer “E.”
This kind of branding is confusing because the “E” makes it seem like there is some kind of
relationship with Microsoft and The George Eastman House. Better colors
for the

site layout
need to be chosen as well. The hot pink, ye
llow, green, and blue are not idea
l
.
These colors
were fashionable in the 1990’s, but have little relevance in the 21
st

century. Not to mention,
t
here are

few professional sites
that
would use these
c
o
lors in their branding scheme to

this
magnitude.



Social Media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two terms that are “big bucks”

with

the Internet right now.
“SEO refers to activities that increase a franchise Web site's ranking
in search
-
engine re
sults” (Ramey, 2007). Social Media on the other hand, “has influenced many
groups and organizations to be active online as a way to communicate quickly with larger
audiences” (Kelly, 2011).
Whether it is to sell a personality, service, product, or idea, th
ese two
terms are worth paying attention to. The George Eastman House falls flat. There is a very small
web imprint in regards to the museum, its subject
-
matter, or relating to it; on the Internet.
Every day the websi
te has information hitting the I
nternet

from the George Eastman House,
from the Dryden blog, a new exhibition, or any other news related to the museum. An Internet
user should be able to run a Google search for “photography” and “Rochester” and find the
George Eastman House without using the wo
rd “museum.”


SEO
keywords are absent from every page of the website. Keywords drive web traffic to
your site. The keywords
that
an organization chooses are worth its weight in gold. Search
engines like Google use little things called “bots” to crawl all
over a website. It matches
keywords with website page content and determines an SEO score based upon the relationship
of the two.
Based on WhoIs Domain Tools, the premier site for finding the owners of websites,
The George Eastman House SEO rating is a 65%
. Title Relevancy, another ranking that relates a
website name to its content, ranks at 83% (http://whois.domaintools.com/eastmanhouse.org).
The higher the score, the higher a website is ranked.
The higher the ranking, the more visible a
website is on the
web. This is crucial to drive “like
-
minded users” to your site.



The more visible a website becomes, the more traffic is generated. The more traffic, the
easier it becomes to sell other ideas because the company has a captive audience. For instance,
if a
website is properly designed for SEO, no ad
vertising

dollars need to be spent on its visibility.
The traffic and exposure do all the work. The Return on Investment (ROI) is almost 100%
because
the website visitors make all the money

and do all the heavy lifting

for the company.
Social Media works in the same way, but across many different types of media.


According to InternetWorldStats.com, a website that tracks Internet usage across the
world, an
amaz
ing amount of new users are coming from Asia
(http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm). Asia is an untapped
museum
market

for
American cultural heritage artifacts
. Furthermore, Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Research
Center, conducted a survey wher
e it asked “Age, Race/Ethnicity, Annual Household Income,
and Education level” (Pew Internet, 2013). It found that an increasing amount of Americans are
7


using the Internet from a high school education level and

that number

increases as education
does. The
data also shows that more people with a nominal income are accessing the Internet
from all races/ethnicities.

These results show that an Internet presence for any company is
mandatory, as more people start using the web for purchases compared to traditiona
l sources.


At the George Eastman House, there is a person whose job it is to do all these things

and
is not doing so effectively
. If one person was dedicated to do just the social media, over the
course of a year, the website should be listed on the
first

page

of a search result; almost by
default.
Six months to a year of dedicated SEO and Social Media attention should get any
website listed on the first page of search results for the keywords that associate with the
website. There should be no reason acro
ss the world

there are
only 16,000


likes


on a
company
Facebook
page of one of the mos
t renowned museums in the world.

The Eastman
House doesn’t have a large presence on Instagram or Tumblr, which are the two largest picture
sharing social media sites tod
ay.
GEH does have a Flickr account, but it is underutilized for
tagging purposes. This is due to a lack of a viable SEO and Social Media plan. Everything that can

be utilized for social media and
SEO

should have default keywords associating with the Eastma
n
House.


Furthermore, the George Eastman House has three WordPress blogs associated with its
main site.
WordPress products
already have SEO and Social Media products packaged together
by default. This mean
s that if a company were

to connect a blog to its

main site, the SEO
advantages are tremendous compared to a regular
web
site

without WordPress assistance
.
Every blog post should be built to support Twitter, Facebook Likes and Shares, Google+, Digg,
Reddit,
post tags, and keywords
. Each site should be stac
ked to the brim

(tastefully)

with social
media bookmarks and tags.

The blogs should be built
to include many of these functions by
default through the use of many compatible open
-
source plugins.
WordPress blogs are

where
the majority of Internet users are visiting and
telling their friends.



The
George Eastman House has three
WordPress
blogs and none of them

are built to its
full potential. This

is a missed

daily
opportunity, especially when the more

tech
-
savvy


customers are trying to access
sites like
the Dryden Theatre
page and it is unreachable via
mobile phone for 4 months.

This is a perfect example of poor positioning.

Each blog suffers an
identity crisis. Good website design incorporates company colors, the
me
s
, logo
s
, and other
brandin
g into the overall design of the

site. There is no
such continuity

with any of the GEH
sites
. The Dryden blog

is grey, has no identifying Eastman bra
nd,

nor can a site visitor get to the
main site fr
om it unless the user scroll
s to the bottom. All important information belongs
“above the fold
,
” just exactly like newspap
ers layout their information. This includes
the
company
brand.

Any visitor should be able to traverse through all aspects of the
Eastmanhouse.org domain without r
ealizing they left the main site
.


The George Eastman House is a photography museum without an online
gallery or e
-
museum
pres
ence
sharable to the public.

8



“In the US
alone
, there are between 15,500 and 16,000 museums, according to the
American Associatio
n of Museums. About 285,000 worldwide already use the .museum
domain name established in 2001, with at least some online presence
” (Conhaim, 2005
).

The George
Eastman

House,

being one of the first and oldest photography museums in the
world, it’s hard to fathom that it is one of the last museums
to migrate to
the Internet. This
type of stewardship mismanagement of IT resources does George Eastman a great disservice to
his leg
acy of being a man of visio
n and innovation. The widespread use of the Internet has been
around for over 2
0 years. The
re is no excuse for keeping any collection offline and sitting in a
closet and not making the organization money. Other online museums are

putting their
collections that they cannot exhibit and putting them online to generate an income and
exposure.



Opportunities



There are plenty of good reasons to be one of the last museums on the Internet:
innovation and the utilization of the latest t
echnology. There is nothing wrong with seeing what
the best looks like, copying it, or improving on a better idea. There is plenty of room to move
upward. For instance, The Eastman House can increase its online presence with galleries. Social
media can be
incorporated into its design, in order to engage the public. The more a customer
feels a part of something, the more they talk about it on the web. This creates “Word of
Mouth” advertising. Suddenly, a friend on Facebook “likes” it and their grandma sees t
he post
and wants to know
more about the subject and goes to the museum
.



The impetus of online engagement can spur ideas like an interactive museum, such as
the one that is buried on the Eastman House website shown here:
http://legacy.eastmanhouse.org/
. Although it is somewhat dated as a technology, it is
interesting that one can tour the house, click on pieces of furniture, and see facts about the
house. This type of thing should not be hidden on the back
pages of the website. A link to it
should

be on the main page. T
his kin
d of idea spurs more innovation such as

a virtual tour.

What if tours happened 24/7/365 through the Internet?

“Glenn Lowry, MoMA’s director, says such virtual outreach works. ‘The onli
ne
engagement is absolutely driving people to the museum,’ he says. He says the wild
proliferation of images on the Web has led to ultra
-
sophisticated viewers who are
definitely aware of the difference between the virtual and the real and are more eager
th
an ever to seek out reality. He cites the near doubling of MoMA attendance over the
last decade, and the 40 percent of visitors who launched their visit at MoMA’s own
website

(
Gopnik, 2011
).

There are over 6 Billion people in the world and only 16,000 Face
book likes for the Eastman
House Facebook page. It is quite possible there are fans all over the world that cannot afford an
airplane ticket, but would love to see the house, gardens in all seasons, and buy merchandise in
the online store.


9



The concept of

an online experience can be stretched further into education
. Students
can
experience
a virtual tour of
the home of one of the great innovators of all time
,

in a way
that teaches

them to l
earn about film, photography, and

history.

They can even contribute

one
of their own pictures to a potential Cultural Heritage Americana research project that
endeavors to save and restore America’s photography.
Europe has a similar

ongoing project to
save photographs and motion picture film.



With the advent of new
technologies, it is now possible for the blind and deaf to hear
and see things described to them like never before. Eastman ca
n be on the cutting edge and

open up new market segments previously closed

to it
. There may be a possibility to have a
collection
described to a blind person with the narrated voice of Morgan Freeman or

George
Clooney. This innovation
can spur some enthusiasts from this market to create their own works

of art

that could eventually make it on display in the museum. The potential is endless.



The appointment of Dr. Bruce Barnes, the President and founder of American
Decorative Art 1900 Foundation, serves as a great opportunity for the George Eastman House.
He s
erved in various capacities in the financial world with a background in Economics, which
will prove to be fruitful to Eastman’s financial resources. He also cares about historical
Americana, of which he coauthored several publications
.

He served as

Chief
Executive Officer
of Element K from 2002
-
2004
” (
The George Eastman House, 2012),
which was a company that
developed applications for online learning

in the Rochester area
. This position shows that he
has the drive and fortitude to
give the George Eastman H
ouse the IT facelift it needs to
compete in a competitive online community.



One of Bruce’s first decisions was to create an IT Department. He hired Julie Brubaker,
an IT consultant, who has extensive knowledge and expertise in building an IT infrastructu
re in
a museum atmosphere. She has been taske
d by Bruce to hire a

team of
IT professionals with
spe
cific skills the museums needs

to help realize his visi
on. In order to provide the necessary
services

to its cust
omers, the IT department needs to

complete
a
n
overhaul of its resources
. Dr.
Barnes believes Julie Brubaker’s experience provides

the correct stewardship a
nd management
that

is required

for the department to deliver those services
.



Threats



One of the largest threats to the George Eastman House i
s organizational
mismanagement.
With the leadership

of Dr. Anthony Bannon as the previous Ron and Donna
Fielding Director of the George Eastman House
, of which he served

16 years, the IT department
languished. It was run by an “intern
-
turned
-
employee” of t
he Roches
ter Institute of
Technology,

and
for
the next
5 years, was the nexus for the entire department. This employee’s
expertise was in software and web design, but he was tasked to create the necessary IT
infrastructure to run the museum. It could only
be described as a “Frankenstein Mess,” it
is
highly unsuitable and antiquated for the daily operations of the museum.

10




Anot
her threat is the Communication

department’s need to control all aspects of web
content. Since there was no real
web presence, the
Communication

department became the
steward
s of the content on the website;

all press release functions, as well as caretakers of the
various blogs. None of the people
in this department have any educational expertise

to
properly manage a website. Today’s websites need to adhere to
strict W3 School guidelines and
other Internet
“best practi
ces,” on coding and development. T
he Eastman web presence has
been marginally managed in an unprofessional way.
Browsing the GEH web
site can attest to
that.


Furthermore, this department acts as a liaison for various other departments for any
and all web content; making decisions about site navigation, social media, and the overall web
marketing plan for Eastman’s web presence. This ha
s led to the current state of affairs of the
website; improper usage of resources, such as multiple hosting packages, multiple blogs that
are unnecessarily redundant, and a lack of a social media and SEO marketing plan.
Their
improper stewardship and inabi
lity to relinquish control over the majority of the website to the
newly created IT department, without the necessary web expertise, is highly inappropriate.
Marketing/Communications departments in most organizations work in conjunction with, or
under the
direct auspices of the IT department. When a visitor is on a website and sees a
mixture of old and new technologies, the picture is painted for the user that there is a culture
clash among those that create content for Eastman’s website.
They would be 100%

correct.























11


Competition


In order to understand which areas the George Eastman House needs to improve, it
would be advantageous to observe what other museums have done to create and main
tain
their online presence and analyze their
success

and missteps
:


The Field Museum
: The museum
’s website

is very interactive. Immediately upon
entering the website, the user is bombarded with good use of space and color, the navigation
bar is simplified,

answers all questions about the site’s motiv
ation in two words,

and all the
pages are light
-
weight and not text heavy with long, boring explanations about subject
-
matter.
Upon entering their online collections, the user gets a sense of the exhibit and its history. The
images are finely detailed and
clearly identified by museum curators. A 2
nd

global navigation
sidebar explains the museums’ intent on grouping similar subject
-
matter together. The user can
view related podcasts, conservation efforts, and research on a particular topic i
n one, clearly
de
fined section.


One particular drawback was the overuse of color to define different aspects of the
museum. Sometimes the use of color interfered with text, which caused the user to struggle to
navigate around certain sections of the website.

http://fieldmuseum.org/


The National Gallery of Art
: This website takes a minimalist approach to webs
ite design.
It is not heavy in
JavaScript
/Flash functions, but provides a very concise navigation around its
site. The user gets an understanding of the h
istorical aspects of a particular collection currently
held by the museum, including an image. If the user wants to choose a particular subject
-
matter of the collection, one chooses that subject
-
matter then a list of suggested online tours is
presented. Af
ter choosing a collection subject, the tour starts. Each image has been catalogued
properly, given image specifications, history, medium, and whether the image can be seen
currently at the museum or not. This fact was interesting to note because the museum

is
showcasing collections that are not presentable, but an online viewer can get a 24/7/365 view
of that piece in full view image, artist information, exhibition history, and so on.

Any famous
collections can be put away due to limited storage, but always

viewable online.


One flaw that was
noticeable

concerned the collections themselves. After choosing “The
Collection” from the navigation screen, the user was prompted to choose the collection
subject
-
matter. If one chose “Paintings,” a list of links to t
he various subjects appeared. Once
the user scrolled down to the particular desired collection, the following page showed the
various albums associated with the subject. However, none of them were labeled. Are they
album thumbnails or picture thumbnails?
I
mproper labels force users to click away from the
page.

http://www.nga.gov


12


The American Museum of Natural History
: This website took a “middle of the road”
approach to web design. It uses a minimalist background (probably as a medium neutral for
various types of images) and incorporates very high level
use
of digital photography to speak
for the museum. Again,

this w
ebsite is very straight
-
forward. One thing to point out that this is
the 2
nd

example

of “planning

a visit”
in the navigation bar

of the museums surveyed
.
This shows
the museums’ intent on captivating the audience.
There are
also
different levels of social
med
ia
incorporated into the
theme

design. A user on

the site can also buy tickets to the museum
online. Their navigation bar was evenly distributed, with a “Learn & Teach” section that was
broken down by all different levels of education. That is a great u
se of targeting a particular
audience

for different types of subject
-
matter. The museum can be read in a variety of foreign
languages.


The social media did not go far enough. The site seemed a little old in its design, but
incorporated many of the web tec
hnologies being utilized today, such as the
JavaScript

slider.
There was not an online exhibition available.
More money could be made by showcasing its
research or collections that are not on display. A user cannot gain access to their store. More
income c
ould be made through a limited set of items made available in the event a user of the
site visits the museum and has children that did not accompany the user on the trip to the
museum, but wanted to purchase something to entice the child to a future visit.

http://www.amnh.org/


The Strong Museum
: A local museum based on the toy collection of a relative of the
Strong family; a very wealthy and prestigious namesake in the Rochester area. The website is
geared towards child
ren, as it is the primary
market
segment focus. Everything is clearly
identified on the navigation bar. The website does have an extensive online toy collection
display that is clearly marked. Many of the collections are “online only,” but
it does
pay trib
ute
to the extension of the toy museum’s focus.


There is a small focus in the footer for social media, although not much after that. There
is no online shop or ticket purchase option. A membership can be purchased online, but not
individual tickets.

http://www.museumofplay.org/


Memorial Art Gallery
: The website for this gallery is a mixture of old and new. Portions
of their collection can be displayed online. Each collection and its pictures are clearly labele
d
and properly tagged based upon their subject
-
matter, time period, and location. There is an
online store that sells virtually everything that a pe
rson would see in person
. Their exhibitions
are clearly marked, not jumbled, and a clever use of a sidebar w
hich outlines all the

exhibits
from past to future. This prevents the user from having to dig deep within the website to find
information about current exhibits.


The Memorial Art Gallery
currently

does not sell tickets online. Their website is a
cobbled together
look
of older and newer versions of the site; utilizing newer technologies with
older. The
re is a clear indication of this based on

the dates of existence of the website
13


inadvertently
chang
es from 2009 to 2012 depending on where the user travels inside it. Some
of the information is updated, while some other information is not. Social media is non
-
existent
on the website, with the exception of the footer.

http://magart.rochester.edu/

























14


Situation Analysis


Industry Analysis


Since

the invention of the Internet, people have r
ushed to put everything onto it
: ideas,
stores, websites, newspapers, books, music, videos, history,
art, and especially pictures.
Museums across the world can now be visited by an entirely new group of people; web

surfers.
Museums are attracting Internet users to their websites and using them as a way to connect
with their audience. They are using social

media and emergin
g technologies

to bring their
products, exhibitions, relationships, fundraising in front of the user. This is done by relating to
the user in some way to garner interest. Over the last 20 years, the Internet has evolved to a
point where m
useums can share their content with the world. Museums are no longer subject
to a specific location in a city or country. They can now be found online and visited through a
virtual reality experience.


Based on an independent study
, “Impact of Museum Websi
tes


a comparison using
Alexa,”

of Alexa rankings in 2009 by author David Be
a
rman, of the 198 highly recognized
museums in the world, there are 18 virtual museums that don’t have a physical presence on
this planet. Of the top 35 museums, 6 are ranked virt
ual museums. To put into perspective,

“the George Eastman House made the list at 167
th

and is a traditional museum
, but the Saatchi
Gallery and Olga’s Gallery
are virtual museums and
are 6
th

and 16
th

respectively” (
Bearman,
2009
). A virtual museum has mor
e visibility on the web than the George Eastman House.

One of
the main reasons for this is in Saatchi’s case is that it has a tool attached to it called “Pictify,”
which allows users to post their own content, as well as use social media to interact with s
ite
content.

This kind of activity promotes large amount of web traffic.



New technology in imaging, 3
-
D graphics, and web design has allowed a “very real”
ex
perience for people who enjoy
virtual tour
s

of
museum
s
.
Thanks to the European Virtual
Museum project, a user can tour the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel in full 360 degrees view, just as a
tourist would.

“The European Virtual Museum is the product of collaboration between twenty
-
seven
European museums. The European

Virtual Museum makes artifacts of European history
available in interactive 3D form. Through the use of QuickTime technology the artifacts
in the European Virtual Museum can be rotated for optimum viewing” (
Byrne, 2009
).

Other types of technology enhancem
ents such as “haptic feedback [technology that uses the
sense of touch and applies vibrations and other forces and motions to the user
,
commonly
known to video game users as a “rumble pack”], allows people with vision problems to sense
and exhibit” (
Lepour
as & Vassilakis, 2004
). Companies such as Digital Artefacts are utilizing 3
-
D
rendering technology to create a unique online museum experience. Other products such as
MUVEES, “a PC
-
based multi
-
user learning environment with digitized museum resources”
(Chen
et al. 2003
)
,

creates learning environments for middle school children on various topics of
study.

15



Google has also adapted its “Street View” technology that is most commonly used for its
product, Google Maps for an internal view of museums. Simply c
alled, “The Art Project,” Google
is partnering with 17 museums to start cataloguing world cultural heritage, one gigapixel at a
time. “Each of the 17 museums in the project has provided one w
ork recorded by Google at this
‘gigapixel’

level, but also many o
thers, more than 1,000 so far, at a more standard high
resolution” (
Gopnik, 2011)
. A user can see such a detailed picture of a scanned work of art that
they can literally see the paint stroke on the canvas.



Market Analysis



Market trends in the museum i
ndustry are constantly changing and evolving, which is
causing many to look into new ways to increase viewership. Currently some museums offer
three different ways to view exhibitions: soci
al media, online/ virtual tours, and in
-
person.
With
over 15,000 mu
seums in this country alone, the need to view America’s cultural heritage and
the need to remain relevant in a world where museums do not need a physical presence has
never been greater.



The George Eastman House has the advantage of its brand, image, and

history as one of
the first photography museums in the world. There are many things
at the
GEH
to

capitalize on
,

such
as the

various workshops it offers, the
L.
Jeffrey Selznick School of Motion Picture
Restoration, and one of the largest photo collections in the entire world. In order to reach a
broader audience, the George Eastman House needs to release collections online, increase
exposure and capture new Inter
net territory with social media, and generate new income with
the inclusion of a virtual museum.
This proves that one of the biggest trends in the market is
exposing consumers to diff
erent ways to easily access the George Eastman House
, and it
furthers the
ir advantage over competitors

if the museum

can offer the service through multiple
outlets.


Legislative Analysis



Among the most important laws that regulate The George Eastman House are copyright
laws
. The George Eastman House prides itself on the many
different exhibitions that come
through the museum each year. One of the biggest threats to an online museum is copyright
infringement. Eastman pays for the rights to use the works on display with traveling exhibits,
such as Ansel Adams. In order for the G
eorge Eastman House to show exhibits online, they
would need to make extra precautions to protect the work of others. If the threat of
reproduction of the work without legal authorization exists, Eastman could lose those
agreements with artists and possibl
y their reputation.





16


Marketing Plan



The George Eastman House has quite a few marketing concepts to address in order to
move forward on the web. As previously stated many times in the above analyses,
understanding the customer and getting in front of t
hat person is key t
o the entire plan
.



First the George Eastman House needs to address their customer. Traditionally, their
customer was either someone who walked into the museum and signed a mailing list and
received correspondence from the museum. More

and more, these types of customers are not
going this route due to privacy concerns. Many people don’t want to be flooded with flyers and
mailers about upcoming events because they went one day to the museum. Another detriment
to the traditional mailing m
arketing plan is that the Federal Trade Commission

(a

few years

ago
)

recently issued their spam regulations

tha
t limited contact with customer/company
relationships

for up to a year from prior visit/contact
. O
nly if that contact was consensual on
the part
of the customer to leave contact information

can correspondence be legally sent
. Not
to mention the traditional mail marketing plan is very costly with very little ROI.



Essentially, the George Eastman House needs to address their customers. Who are
they? What market segment do they fit? Are they Dryden customers or paying admission for
general
access to the museum? Where and how are they getting information to your
exhibi
tions? Do they traditionally use social media? How are they accessing the website,
through a PC or a mobile device? What age group makes up your target audience?



A survey

may very well take the Eastman
’s

marketing deficiencies of collaboration,
customer, targeting, positioning, segmentation, product, promotion, and place
;

and be able to
collect valuable

data about your customers. Before any money is spent or time is invested
building out the website, data

needs to be collected about the customer through a survey.
Place them strategically throughout the museum, at the desk, online, or through social media.
Offer them an incentive such as a daily drawing for free tickets to the museum if they fill one
out. T
his kind of data is worth its weight in gold and takes little time to set up.















17


Marketing Plan Essentials


Ideally, your marketing plan is going to include the following in order to be successful, no
matter what the results of a survey are:




Id
entify the customer and place i
t into a market segment (age & other demographics).



After the customer is identified, position your company in front of them. This can be
done through the types of media identified: mailers, email blasts, text messages,
and
s
ocial

media.



Target the customer based upon their experience at the museum: Dryden movies,
exhibits, workshops, historical information.



Choose a product that will best serve the customer: membership, donation, exhibit, etc.



Place advertising materials in f
ront of the customer segment that responds the most
to
the type of media they use the most.


After these questions are addressed, these tools need to be implemented based upon the
medium selected:


WordPress
:
Content needs to be addressed on the various blogs the George Eastman House
controls. Social media needs to be built
-
out with the following default includes: Twitter,
Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr,
Foursquare
, and LinkedIn. Plugins need to be evalua
ted
and implemented that allows the user to hit all the major products above with one single post.
Such plugins exist and are not installed on any of the blogs.
Squirrly is a good SEO solution
,
Network Publisher


hits all the major social networks with on
e post, Platinum SEO Pack


allows users to hardcode tag words and keywords into every post that gets generated on the
blog, Shareaholic


allows the user to share all blog content with everything social media
touches, Twitter Tools


generates content for

Twitter such as hashtags, urls, and widgets.


SEO Keywords
: These words need to be implemented on every page of your website. The smart
thing to do would be to put the metadata code in the header file of the George Eastman House
website, so that it prolif
erates across the site and only one entry is needed.

Keywords
:
eastman house, George Eastman house, Dryden, theater, photography, museum,
Rochester, New York
. As many words up to 20 can be added to the metadata code. Whatever
the user looks
for

is how the site content should be written in order to maximize full potential
of SEO words. These words should always be used in conjunction with

any WordPress or Drupal
Plugin, or Twitter hashtag.

A weekly analysis of Google Analytics can show the Webmas
ter
exactly how the traffic is coming to the site and adjustments should be made accordingly.


Website
: After the previous two website items are evaluated and words are chosen, the
website needs to be built to maximize the potential of the George Eastman M
arketing Plan.
New words to identify specific site related material such as traveling exhibitions or advertising
promotions; need to be generated so users can identify with them. Silver and Water could be
one such promotion using its name as keywords
/Twitt
er hashtags;

or AG and H2O are another
18


set of complementary words. Content within the main site should be written to reflect a
keyword marketing plan.


Social Media links should be prevalent across the site. The homepage should
have the
latest WordPress e
ntries
. This is due to linkback traffic. Linkback traffic works when links leaving
your site, are shared with others, but also rooted in one other place on the site to show
relevance. In other words, if the GEH Facebook page has a link to a page on the mai
n site, the
main site should also have a link to Facebook; also seen as “latest link.” This is easily rendered
with various social media widgets.


Sitemaps should be generated and constantly submitted to Google for bot crawling.
There is a plugin that allo
ws the user to submit directly to Google without copy and pasting.
This is essential whenever new content is made on the site so that G
oogle can index the
website
accordingly.


Analytics on the website is also a key resource. How can anyone measure progres
s of
SEO if it cannot be measured? Time is money and ROI can be measured with these tools.


All new content or newsworthy blog posts should be submitted to major social media
news outlets such as Digg and Reddit. These places allow a user to tag search ter
ms and
keywords, but also allows the community to comment and add their own content.


Lastly, the blogs need to all be brought internally into the Eastmanhouse.org domain.
Currently, they are subdomains, but they do not completely
have

as much SEO weight a
s they
would if they were inclusive into the main body of the website. Every time the main domain
Eastmanhouse.org is mentioned on the web, ranking and relevancy increases. This is essential
in order for WordPress to work as its design intent.
For example,

Dryden.eastmanhouse.org has
less weight and relevance to eastmanhouse.org, but if it was eastmanhouse.org/Dryden, any
mention of the link would give the eastmanhouse.org a boost in the Google search engine
rankings.



19


Strategic Options


Based on the
analyses of the George Eastman House, there is not one type of customer;
they span the various technological generations. Therefore, money can be saved through a
marketing mix of three types of plans identified. Each plan is designed to reach out to a
part
icular segment of the George Eastman House customer base.


1.

Traditional Marketing Option
:
some social media, mailers, press releases, SEO
.


This particular option suggests that GEH can continue to use its existing web
presence and advertising techniques. This will generate the same single
-
digit
admissions income that has largely been recorded the last 3 years on financial
reports. Using this o
ption will not define the market segment appeal or find the
“sweet spot” customer type.
SEO keywords can be implemented, but will most likely
be ineffective due to the lack of expertise to handle such marketing techniques.
Press releases will go only to lo
cal news outlets and not generate the level of buzz
the Internet could offer if we submitted them to social media engine typed sites like
Reddit and Digg.


2.

Online Presence
: fewer mailers, stressing online content, social media, SEO


This option will allow
some customer targeting and positioning. It will be assumed
that the target audience is going to be tech
-
savvy professionals who use social
media to connect with friends and the Internet. Some money will be spent on
sending out mailers and other flyers for

events, but donations and memberships will
come from online appeals. Again, the website will be outfitted with targeted SEO
keywording and adjusted content, but will still only utilize social media that is
already in place.


3.

Full Blown Media hype
: online
content, wide range of social media & press release
sites, mailers, radio spots, advertising/
G
roupon


This is the most ideal situation because it combines all of the different options
together. Consider this the “premium” package, it does call for some adv
ertising
dollars being spent, but most of the SEO/Social Media work is done by a salaried
member of the museum. Each targeted market segment will get its own branded
GEH advertising blitz, with every marketing tool working in conjunction with each
other fo
r maximum

effect. Don’t be fooled by the amount of work, this is still a very
cost efficient method of getting the word out. Most of the leg work is going to be
done by the SEO/Social media imprint over time. For good

measure, a G
roupon
-
type
advertisement
could be offered during the off
-
season to boost sales.

20


Recommendation


It is my expressed opinion that we go with option three for the marketing blitz. It is like I
mentioned earlier, most of the work is done after the initial investment in time. Building

out
the site and readjusting it for content and SEO keyword matching, will allow GEH to be able to
essentially “coast” to the front page of search engine results and rankings with little to no
effort.


However, since information is being posted on a daily

basis either through the main
Eastmanhouse.org website, this is called an “added bonus” because every post that is written
on th
e Dryden Blog or the main site
will have keyword generation and tagging social media
opportunities.



Since Google’s search engine algorithms benefit related material and that relation is
leveraged against content and relevancy, very little investment is needed to bring the website
up to basic standards. Someone on the Communication’s staff already has thi
s expertise. That
person is
working on a 2 year grant. That’s all the investment that is needed, but with the grant
half over and a marginal bump in social media, the expertise to fulfill the marketing plan I
recommend needs serious engagement to be succes
sful.


Every day any of the three options aren’t implemented for social media and SEO
practices, is a lost opportunity to get in front of potential donors, customers, and members.
Over time, with the possibility of a fully
-
functioning virtual museum, the potentia
l revenue
sources are endless. There is definitely room for improving single
-
digit admissions sales in the
coming years by implementing a web marketing plan.



21


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22



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