Like you, we believe Canada’s historic places are cornerstones of our communities, linking us to our memories and cultural identity. We also know that these special places have enormous potential to generate economic, social and cultural benefits for our communities. From website tune up tips to growing your audience, there are many different ways to increase your marketing know-how. Dive in and learn something new to help you improve your historic site’s marketing.
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As part of an ongoing collaboration, Parks Canada Agency staff graciously agreed to lend their marketing and community engagement expertise to the National Trust for Canada’s Marketing Your Historic Destination Tool Kit. The following is an interview with Susan Kennard, Manager of Heritage Programs for the Banff Field Unit, which includes Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.
Hosting events is a great way to attract first time visitors to your site. If there’s a particular demographic you want to target (i.e. seniors, millennials, families) tailor your event to the experience they’re looking for. Remember there’s competition for events, so really think outside the box. Come up with themes that will create a memorable experience for your visitors that will keep them coming back.
Annie-Claude Beaudry works at Parks Canada as the event coordinator of the Mauricie and Western Quebec field unit. She is now acting manager for the Fort-Chambly, Fort-Lennox and Louis-S. St-Laurent National Historic Sites. With over 10 years of experience in special events and community relationships, Annie-Claude brings both creativity and comprehensive project management expertise to the teams she manages.
When we think of branding, logos and taglines are often the first things that come to mind. But branding is much more than a simple logo. Branding is a way to put your values as a heritage place on display. Branding can be a part of how your audience connects with you. And, so everything you say as an organization, everything you put out there, becomes a part of your brand. And, the clearer your brand is, the more compelling your marketing efforts will be.
Video is an incredibly powerful tool. With video, you can inform and entertain a large group of people in a creative way without having to worry about your audience getting bogged down by looking at too many words. And not only is it more engaging, but it can evoke feelings and tug on heart strings in a way that words on a page can’t.
Everyone loves a story – and heritage places have stories to tell. Your story is a great way to communicate what is special about your heritage place. You can also use it in all your marketing materials: flyers, website, e-mails, and social media posts.
Your website introduces your visitor to your historic places. Your website needs to be simple, easy to navigate and give the visitor the information they need.
Tourism is about expectations – what visitors hope to see and experience, and how the many parts of the community can benefit from the influx of travellers. Historic places can be key to attracting visitors to get a better sense of a locale’s people, places and events.
Often called “the sight to see in the Miramichi,” Beaubears Island hosts thousands of visitors each year and offers costumed historic characters, immersive tours and other engaging activities. After being an integral part of an ecotourism initiative for four years, Beaubears Island needed to find a new marketing strategy once the project ended. They bounced back with new marketing strategies and support from friends.
The Diefenbunker in Carp, Ontario has enticed many visitors in its 20 years as an eccentric and unique museum. Now, it also lays claim as host of the world’s largest escape room called “Escape the Diefenbunker” and an interactive zombie experience that runs every Halloween season.
Since its opening in 1978, the Fort Frances Museum and Cultural Centre has had a mission to “collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and interpret the artifacts that depict the story of people and nature as it relates to the history of Fort Frances and the surrounding Rainy River District.”