The purpose of this paper is to study how museums in a medium‐sized city (Tarragona, Spain) communicate with their local community, analysing how people evaluate and inform themselves about the museums in their city, and studying how museums identify their specific publics within the local community and communicate with them.
The author has designed a dual methodological approach, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative research was conducted using in‐depth interviews with communication managers of the museums. Also, quantitative research was employed, designing a questionnaire directed at the local community in Tarragona (Spain).
The results show that museums have a narrow view of their publics, which is focused basically on their visitors, and that they are familiar with and use communication tools and techniques, although with a tactical perspective.
The paper was focused on all the museums in Tarragona, but it is a small number of organisations, and therefore, the results are not necessarily representative of all Catalan or Spanish museums.
The paper presents a specific methodology for analysing the communication of museums of any kind. From an academic perspective, this paper can improve our understanding of how museums communicate with their publics. It can be used by other researchers to analyse these types of organisations, and to promote the comparison of results. From a practitioner perspective, the results can contribute towards identifying some of the strengths and weaknesses of communication policies and activities of the museums and help to improve their communication management.
Capriotti, P. (2010), "Museums' communication in small‐ and medium‐sized cities", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 281-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563281011068131Download as .RIS
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