Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New podcast on rebranding a conservation organization

Be sure to listen to this podcast, a 28-minute interview with Ivan Nethercoat, Training & Interpretation Manager, People Engagement Department, for the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). Nethercoat covers the recent re-branding efforts of the RSPB, including training brand advocates within the organization. He also explains how they are integrating conversational interpretation into the experience at their visitor centers. The RSPB has over a million members, so we can learn a lot from their expertise.

During our conversation he mentions the new video the RSPB did to convey the new brand internally. You can view it here.

He also talks about a UK company called Innocent that uses language in an interesting way. I love it when people look outside their own field for useful examples.

We mentioned two books during the interview, Sam Ham's Environmental Interpretation and Mary Kay Cunningham's The Interpreters Training Manual for Museums. Both are excellent resources. I hear that Sam Ham is due to publish a new edition. I'll keep you posted.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this interview!
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday's signpost

I love that this warning sign is stenciled on: not only did they need to put it on this truck, they needed to put it on several trucks. Ouch!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Alaska cultural trip

One of the great things about attending a museums conference are the side trips and evening events we get to attend. I arrived in Anchorage early so that I could visit the village of Eklutna. Aaron Leggett is a historian for the Dena'ina people and was an incredible guide for us. He took us to the cemetery, which still features spirit houses, a tradition of his people.

We were blessed with beautiful weather and had the chance to walk around this special, spiritual place.

Aaron explained the tradition behind the spirit houses, and patiently answered our many, many questions.

It was a highlight of my trip and I truly appreciate how generously Aaron shared his culture with us.
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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Alaska Native Heritage Center

More from my trip to Anchorage in September 2008. We had an evening event at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The entry of the building does a great job of drawing you in, and creates a strong visual statement. A very cool sculpture stands at the entry, showcasing contemporary indigenous artwork.

We were a bit surprised at the price, although we all felt the experience was worth it. If your prices are relatively high, make sure that's clear on your website and telephone information so the visitor isn't surprised.

They have a great exhibit featuring Native Alaskans. I loved the near-life-sized photos of the people and the way they created a feeling for each person's home.

The building is set on a pond, and as you walk the loop you come upon a variety of traditional homes. Each one showcases the creativity of people living in a harsh environment. See a video here. Opposite the building is this great view, featuring whale jawbones.

One of the best things about the center is that it's interpreted by the indigenous peoples of Alaska, who tell their own story.
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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday's signpost

I'm heading to Madrid, Marrakech, and Lisbon. Looking forward to experience-related posts from overseas when I return!

Ah, bureaucrats. I've reconstituted soup before, but never my property!
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