Interviewing April Kirk was an interesting experience. April Kirk is the Executive Director at the Historic Stranahan House Museum but that’s not the only hat she wears. The Historic Stranahan House Museum is a non-profit that employs 7 employees, three of which are full time and four of which are part time. The employees range in age from 27 to age 88, with the youngest employees having come in in the recent three years.
April came onboard as the Executive Director about 5 years ago and in that time she has taken on the social media accounts and the website as her project. Due to the museum being a non-profit and working with a very small budget, one of her many functions is to handle all the social media accounts. Besides also being the Executive Director, April also is an artist and has her own online shop as well as her own social media accounts for her art. April is incredibly involved in the community and as a community leader, she has recently finished her turn as the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the Broward county chapter.
In terms of her personal endeavors, such as her artists websites and as president o f AFP Broward, April agrees that neither would be as successful without the use of social media.
In terms of the museum, April pointed out a lot of positive things that have come of being more social media savvy as well as the downsides to not having a dedicated person to handle all of the social media account. For example, because of the different functions that she has to do, it is impossible for April to be at every single event that occurs at the museum, therefore she notices that there is some missed opportunities in terms of having more photos or engagement with special events and social media.
While she admits that a small museum would benefit from having a dedicated social media person, she also admits that she likes to have control over the accounts because she feels very protective of the voice that she has built for the museum throughout her years there. April sees the social media responsibilities being shared more in the near future, for example she sees the benefits of having the collections manager or education coordinator taking over for a day.
The biggest thing that I learned from my interview from April was that having a “try it once and see what happens” attitude is very beneficial to a small museum like ours. She’s attempted to participate in Smithsonian Museum Day Live and International Museum Day an she’s learned what works and what doesn’t for a museum of our size.