Social media and museums: hype or necessity?

Gemma Bottegal

If Brueghel the Elder could see us bleeping our messages about him and his paintings into cyberspace, what would he have thought? Just a new way of spreading information? Not exactly. Social media have one advantage over traditional media, such as newspapers: they make it possible to communicate with the audience in a direct way. Whereas traditional media only disseminate information, social media can be used to interact with people all over the world. Some people might want to ask a curator for specific information about a painting. Others may never visit the museum in their own home town, but feel more connected to it once they know what is happening behind its screens. Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn; each social medium has its own audience and possibilities. At this Market table, Gemma Bottegal, public relations and publicity officer at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, will explore the possibilities social media can afford museums and shares how the Rijksmuseum Twenthe uses them to reach out to the public and hear what it has to say.

About Gemma Bottegal

Gemma Bottegal received her Mphil in art history from Leiden University. In 2005 she completed a research internship at the Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut (NIKI) in collaboration with the Galleria Degli Uffizi, Florence. In 2006 she attended a fall semester at the Graduate School of the University of California, Berkeley. Bottegal is specialized in Italian and Dutch paintings from the early modern period. Since 2007 she has worked in public relations and communications and is currently the public relations and publicity officer at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe.