Engaging Diverse Communities
A Guide to Museum Public Relations
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Melissa A. Johnson interviews communicators at cultural heritage museums to understand the challenges of representing communities based on racial and ethnic, generational, immigrant, and language identities. Exploring how communications professionals function as cultural intermediaries by negotiating competing and intersecting identities and mastering linguistic and visual code-switching, she presents an analysis of the communication tactics of more than two hundred art, history, African American, American Indian, and other diverse museums. Engaging Diverse Communities illuminates best public relations practices, especially in media relations, digital press relations, website content production, social media, and event planning. This essential text for museum professionals also addresses visual aesthetics, cultural expression, and counter-stereotypes, and offers guidance on how to communicate cultural attractiveness.
"Johnson’s Engaging Diverse Communities: A Guide to Museum Public Relations sparks an important conversation not just within the museum public relations field, but the museum field as a whole . . . giving a new perspective on the ways we think about the purpose and function of museum collections."—Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals
"Innovative and suffused with rich data . . . No other scholar has attempted to study public relations in regards to the specific challenges museums of cultural heritages encounter."—Jennifer Vardeman, associate professor of public relations at University of Houston
"Johnson provides valuable insight into museum public relations. Engaging Diverse Communities will appeal to professionals working in museums, non-profit administration, and media and communication as well as undergraduates and graduate students working in these fields."—Andrea A. Burns, author of From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement