So this is the warm-up for community managers all over the world. In one little month, the MuseumWeek’s marathon will come under starter’s orders! Don’t panic, though: there’s no need to be a top athlete to survive, you simply have to prepare! Here is a little list of top tips for an ache and pain-free MuseumWeek…

1. Your toolbox

Make sure you and your team have all the essentials to hand:

  • logins and passwords for your Twitter accounts (obviously), but also access to your other profiles on digital social networks and your programming tools;
  • the MuseumWeek communication kit with logo, banners and other great stuff!
  • your own communication kit with your own logo and perhaps a document presenting your establishment’s keywords so you have them ready.
  • the large-format with a description of each hashtag;
  • your scheduled tweets and especially a reminder of the schedule so you can check that each tweet has been sent and avoid unprogrammed posts just before or after a scheduled tweet;
  • your resized or even pre-edited or annotated images (using dedicated apps such as Framestatic), which you have renamed in order to find them easily;
  • your edited and named videos uploaded to your YouTube or Dailymotion channel if applicable;
  • a table with sign-counting enabled to be able to rapidly write a tweet with a picture and the two hashtags,
  • a list of the accounts you regularly mention: neighbouring institutions, supervisory Ministries or Twitter ambassadors.

2. Between now and MuseumWeek, remember…

 Your super CM bag’s packed, great! But don’t forget that MuseumWeek is a relay race with all your establishment taking part.

  • Announce, inform and inform again – at that Monday morning meeting, using the generic email address, at the coffee machine, during your lunch break… You can never talk about the operation too much and repetition is just what’s needed to get through to everyone. Your colleagues will feel involved and committed.
  • You can use ALL our graphical sources in order to customize your #MuseumWeek and start communicating! Check the #diyMW page to see some great examples!
  • Don’t forget staff in contact with visitors: reception, security, cloakroom, book and gift shop. Let them know that visitors are likely to ask about your museum’s participation, to inquire about Wi-Fi coverage (“No 3G in your basements? Scandalous!”), to wander round with phone in hand and to take photos. Make sure you tell weekend staff – who are often not the same as weekday staff and are frequently left out of the information loop.
  • Prepare a short presentation reviewing the operation and slip it into pigeonholes or put it up on notice boards for your colleagues. Reassure them and don’t stint on the explanations.
  • Get your signage ready and keep spare copies in case.

3. In the starting blocks

Before you send your first “#MuseumWeek is go” tweet and possibly make a false start, remember to…

  • Update your banner and/or Twitter avatar in #MuseumWeek colours;
  • Make sure the operation is clearly announced on your website;
  • Have your charger to hand and a full battery, and warn the IT manager that if the network goes down… (actually, we’d rather not know what you’d do if that particular disaster struck!).

4. What if…?

Sudden exhaustion, overheating… Who can tell how your MuseumWeek might go? Take a breather, pace yourself and you’ll get to the finish line.

  • Help, nothing’s happening! No mentions, lethargic tweeters, disconnected visitors… your participation doesn’t seem to be taking off? Don’t panic! Traffic is often dense, especially at the start of the operation, and followers may not find it easy to follow. Be ready to adapt your tweet schedule and improvise to make your tweets more spontaneous. Feel free to tell a joke or tweet a tongue-in-cheek photo that will stand out from the avalanche of polished images showing ‘really beauuuuuuutiful’ works. Try to post at more promising times. Send out diplomatic feelers to .
  • Help, a troll! A tweeter who just won’t let up; off-topic or offensive messages? Don’t panic. Take time to identify the subject of the discussion or argument and read the blogger’s bio and twitter feed before deciding whether to take action or be guided by that proverbial piece of CM wisdom: “don’t feed the troll”.
  • Help, a specialist student! You’re being bombarded with esoteric questions and think Venetian glaze sounds more like a cake topping than a painting technique? No stress! You have experts to hand (curators, researchers) and no-one expects you to know it all. Answer politely that you’re trying to find out (and get an answer back to them if possible, even if it’s later on).
  • Help, I’m worn out / something has just come up! There are no production quotas. If one hashtag is less successful than another or unexpected obligations crop up, no-one will blame you. The main thing is to enjoy talking to your communities, find out about their special favourites, listen to their questions and let the chemistry take over!

We hope that this Prévert-style checklist has reassured you and given you a last boost before the final sprint. See you on Monday, March 28th – and in the meantime, feel free to share your tips for a successful MuseumWeek!

Article presented by the ‘Empowerment and Training’ hub and written by Claire Séguret (Musée de Cluny) and Sébastien Magro (Musée du Quai Branly). Updated by Julie Scheffer (Archives de France).