Smithsonian Affiliations created the SmithsonianNeighbor YouTube channel in July 2009 with the goal of bringing more awareness to Smithsonian Affiliates across the country. We started with a few Affiliate videos that we had on hand, not having a clue about what was going to happen.
One of the earliest videos we posted came from the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) called Its Your Story. It’s a simple, elegant video about the American Jewish experience and a promotional piece for the opening of the museum in November 2010. We posted the video October 30, 2009 and, at first, saw a few hundred hits which we were ecstatic about. And then something happened. The magic of social networking? Strategic viral marketing? Yes to both! All of a sudden, NMAJH’s video was viewed 25,000 times, then 75,000 times and now, three months after it was posted, their video has reached almost 200,000 viewers. And that’s not all! Not only were people positively commenting, but one commenter even wanted to know who to contact at NMAJH to donate to the opening!
And we have more success stories. Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) sent us 250 Years of Pittsburgh Innovation. It was viewed more than 20,000 in two months. Conner Prairie’s (Fishers, Indiana) video History Rising: Conner Prairie’s Balloon Adventure was viewed almost 2000 times in about a month. And the Arab American National Museum’s (Dearborn, Michigan) short video tour has been viewed 1500 times. We are on to something!
How can you get involved? Send us your videos! We’d love to spread the word about what Smithsonian Affiliates are up to. Send us videos about any significant openings or re-openings; extraordinary programs, events, and exhibitions. Have an interview with a curator who you think other Affiliates could learn from? Send it to us! Have a traveling exhibition that other Affiliates could take advantage of? Send that too! And of course, any videos highlighting Smithsonian collaborations are always welcome! Help us help you reach even more people.
Send DVDs to the attention of your National Outreach Manager:
MRC 942 PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
-or for FedEx deliveries-
470 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20024