Course:5: Access and Outreach
Lesson:Lesson 2: Getting the Word Out
Topic:Reaching Your Intended Audience

Reaching Your Intended Audience

How can you get the word out about your collections to these groups in particular? Outreach should be done thoughtfully; so that you are sure to reach out to the appropriate group of people about things they are interested in.

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A local group of antique car collectors wouldn’t find a lecture about “Using Records and Photographs to Restore Your Historic Home” particularly relevant. But they might be very interested to read a column in their newsletter about the photograph collections of local automobile races held in the 1940s.

Any outreach efforts that you make need to be designed so they reach your intended audience. Sometimes you may want to reach out to a broad audience using, for example, an article in your local newspaper or announcements at your local public library.

Other times, you will focus in on specific groups and specific collections--getting the word out to genealogists or local schools. In these cases, you will be evaluating both your collections and your audience, then matching them up and getting the word out appropriately.

Outreach activities can range from exhibits and seminars, to tours of the archives, simple brochures, or a published book about local history. Also keep in mind that each time a user enters your organization, you are reaching out by showing the usefulness and value of your program and its collections.


 matching puzzle pieces
Remember that you need to match your audience to your outreach activities and your collections.