Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Why "Best Museum" Lists are the Worst!

I hope your museum is better than chasing after some hokey "best of" list.

USA Today regularly publishes multiple categories of these "Best Museum" lists.

The whole process starts with an incredibly bad premise -- how can you compare two completely different museums, say the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History, and claim one of them is the "best"?

The people who most often seem interested in these "best museum" lists are executive directors or board members begging you to vote (multiple times!) for their institution or museum marketers looking to churn out another breathless press release.

Do we really need our work recognized by giving ourselves flimsy PR bragging rights because of some bogus "best of" list?

You don't actually get to claim the title of "the best" for your museum with some cheesy marketing stunt -- instead, you need to try every day to create amazing experiences so that your visitors keep coming back to your museum, again and again, and telling their friends and family to do the same.

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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