Sarah Reck is the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at The Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Sarah about her work at The History Center. The History Center, as it is commonly known, has been a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate since 2000 and includes the Heinz History Center, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, Detre Library and Archives and Museum Conservation Center. Sarah is involved with email marketing, digital advertising and video production. While she wears many hats, her primary responsibility is overseeing all digital aspects of the Museum across all social media platforms including the Museum’s website, www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
I was curious to learn how she identified and addressed the Museum’s audiences. Sarah stated, “one thing that I like to keep in mind is that each platform is different; you know, the audience is different on each platform, kinda the way you want to write , the content you wanna create; everything needs to go for the platform itself” (mins 1:41-1:57). One of the projects of which she’s most proud is her work on the redesign of the website. She collaborated with various departments to create the new site ensuring and continues collaborating with her subject matter experts like the curators, etc. when she’s presenting new and interesting information. She uses analytics to determine the effectiveness of online content; for example, by looking at the length of time users remain on specific pages/blogs/articles.
The main lesson I took away from my conversation with Sarah is that we as students are recommended to remember that content presentation is determined by the audiences we are trying to reach. We want to make sure that we’re addressing our audiences’ needs and wants as we fulfill our organizations’ missions.