Alice Emerson: Baltimore Museum of Art

My internship at the Baltimore Museum of Art lasted 8 weeks, from the beginning of June through the end of July. The BMA is one of the foremost cultural destinations in the Baltimore area, and boasts an impressive collection that includes the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world. In 2006, the museum eliminated general admission, making their art free for all.

I worked within the Marketing and Communications department, and was responsible for completing a dedicated individual project as well as assisting the department with everyday operations as needed.
My project focused on the museum’s eNews program. Initiated in 2007, the program consists of monthly newsletters for Members and Non-Members, as well as ePostcards featuring specific programs or events. Through their eCommunications platform Constant Contact, the BMA has tracked open and click-through rates over the program’s first five years. My role was to analyze this data in order to assess the health of the program, as well as study unique click-through trends to develop a profile of the Member and Non-Member eSubscribers. The project also involved opt-in and capabilities benchmarking studies based on research and institutional interviews across the field.
In order to assess the program’s health in comparison to the field, I compiled the open and click-through rates for both Member and Non-Member eNews over 5 years, and compared them to industry standards. I also compared the BMA’s processes to those of the industry sample I assembled through research and interviews. For the user profiles, the BMA wanted to know what their eSubscribers were interested in and how their interests trended through time. Since Constant Contact provides the click-through rates for the individual links within each newsletter, I was able to map user interests by coding each link with interest tags and determining their click-through frequency.
At the conclusion of the internship, I put together a 30 page final report of my findings – including transcripts of my phone interviews and important spreadsheets & graphs – and gave a final presentation to members of the Marketing & Communications, Membership and Education teams.

I was also given the opportunity to work on other interesting projects within the department that gave me valuable experience and exposure. The BMA’s Contemporary Wing is currently under renovation, and will re-open in November. I was included in several meetings reviewing potential marketing material to advertise the re-opening created by the advertising firm LaPlaca Cohen. I took part in 3 different meetings, each at a more advanced stage of the process. The final meeting was convened to examine the final round of images and design layouts to determine the potential audience(s) for each. This was an extraordinary learning experience, as well as just plain cool.

In addition, I was responsible for developing Facebook posts, generating Flickr captions, and monitoring social media performance over several weeks. I also helped edit eNews content, brainstorm titles for an upcoming Matisse exhibition and developed original content and template-based design for the BMA’s September/October PR calendar.

All in all, my experience at the BMA was incredibly valuable. I had no prior experience in an art museum, and so it was fascinating to gain a new perspective and broaden my range. I was also given the opportunity to add a new depth of experience to my resume, and build my network both within and without the BMA. My summer internship was one that I am sure will help me maintain high performance standards in the future.