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How to communicate an specialized exhibition: a case study with social media. Gema Hernández Carralón
SECRETARIA DE ESTADO DE CULTURA
DE EDUCACIÓN, CULTURA
PASEO DE RECOLETOS, 20
TEL.: 91 580 78 00
FAX: 91 577 56 34
How to communicate an specialized exhibition
with social media
Gema Hernández Carralón, Spain
How to communicate an specialized exhibition with social media: a
The Museum of the National Library of Spain is a medium-sized museum about the
history of the library an its collections and, therefore, about the history of book and
communication. It was opened in 1994 and reformed 7 years ago. It receives about
100.000 visitors a year. Mainly young people, students and children.
Although it is mostly a permanent exhibition, it offers 3 or 4 temporary exhibitions per
year as a way to dynamize and enhance community engagement. In the past 7 years
we have had the possibility of checking the different reception of exhibitions in society
according to their subjects. Whilst an exhibition about Raquel Meller, a famous singer
who won international fame in the 1920s and 1930s, was very succesful even before
being inaugurated, others about architecture or, for instance, the poet Carolina
Coronado were not so popular.
In the year between october of 2012 and october of 2013 we had a pair of
exhibitions about two very different architectural subjects. Both of them beginning in
the week of the World Architecture Day and both with the architect Pedro Moleón
Gavilanes as curator: “De pasadizo a palacio. Las casas de la Biblioteca Nacional”
and “Arquitectos españoles del siglo XX. Donaciones”. Is a fact that architecture fails
to communicate to society and, more surprisingly most architects and experts are not
aware about such kind of exhibitions in their own town.
In order to communicate the first one, we used traditional methods as leaflets, the
National Library of Spain website, supporting activities as lectures, film series, or
contests for different kinds of visitors and specially the Twitter account of the museum
(@BNE_museo) with the support of the main account of the National Library of Spain
(@BNE_biblioteca). Doing it, we realized the importance of the critical mass of
architecture on social media in Spain, as a result of a traditionally very self-conscious
and coporative profession and, more recently, due to the crisis of the
sector provocated by the sudden end of the speculative building, and the increasing
number of young architects that can not practice in the way they where supossed to
before the crisis. In such a way we began to individualize the more important and
influent blogs, accounts, ‘gourous’, opinion streams, ecc. of the sector.
DE EDUCACIÓN, CULTURA
In this proccess, we enhanced community engagement with those main architectural
bloggers by sharing opinions, links, images and creating interactions. Then, for the
new architectural exhibition we had managed to gather new followers between
architects’ accounts that otherwise would not follow us, as a generalist account, as we
are, with a bias to specialization in librarian and book subjects, cultural heritage and
Finally, we programmed some activities connected to the exhibition run by architects
with good positioning, such as @basurama or @urbanohumano for example, the
round-table ‘Palabra de arquitecto: el ámbito digital, ¿un nuevo espacio para la crítica
arquitectónica?’ about architectural criticism with five important bloggers under
the #palabradarq hashtag. It could be attended by streaming and had an enormous
impact and collected very good critics in social media reaching over 1 million Twitter
accounts according to Tweetbinder.