Module: Engaging People & Communities: Audience Development & Marketing

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Dr Geraint Coles
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    30 hours

Module content

One of the key roles of heritage management is to make the past accessible to the widest possible number of people. The ability to attract people to visit, explore, engage-with and understand their and others heritage is therefore part of the Heritage Manager’s essential skill set.

This module examines the role of communications and marketing in engaging with and developing audiences for cultural heritage. The key elements are:
The heritage audience: The demography and segmentation of populations, target audiences and seldom heard groups: It explores different approaches to the demographic segmentation of communities and populations and the characterisation of different potential audience groups. Through critical examination of data surrounding traditional heritage audiences and seldom heard (so called “hard to reach”) groups and explores how societal change and demographic change will impact on future audiences.

Brand development in the heritage sector: Heritage is complex with multiple client reactions – branding is therefore also complex and multifaceted. Here the values and limitations of brands are explored through cases studies.  

The key communication tools and their uses: Including traditional, online and digital media, and how these may be used to promote and market heritage sites and events. It also looks at how these media may be used to generate feedback about sites or events and how this may be used to enhance the visitor experience.

The personal communication skills required: Making the best use of different types of media – from writing an effective press release to performing well in a radio or television interview. Opportunities will be provided for participants to develop their personal communications skills.

The need to incorporate audience development and communications as clear goals in any strategic development plan:  Here consideration is given to how issues of increased access may impact on the heritage of the site and how they may be managed and ameliorated by careful planning and design at the outset.

Module outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of potential heritage audiences through the analysis of the demography and segmentation of communities, populations and target groups
  2. Understand and critically assess the application and development of brands and branding to audience development across cultural heritage
  3. Assess, evaluate and employ different media forms to communicate and promote the aims and aspirations of a heritage project
  4. Critically appraise market intelligence and audience research to develop and articulate a coherent marketing strategy for a heritage project


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework 1 A draft Marketing Plan for a given site or location in the form of an executive summary, an actions table and a supporting appendix containing a short audience analysis. (1500 words, excluding text in drawings, tables, illustrations or appendix). 50%
Coursework 2 A storyboard incorporating text, illustrations and media for a short marketing film (an “infomercial”) about the given site or location described in part (1). (Equivalent to 1500 words, excluding text in drawings, tables, illustrations or media) 50%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Essential resources:

  • French, Y. & Runyard, S.  (2011)  Marketing and Public Relations for Museums, Galleries, Cultural and Heritage Attractions.  Routledge.
  • Kolb, B.M.  (2013) Marketing for Cultural Organizations: New Strategies for attracting audiences (3rd Edition).  London: Routledge.
  • Chhabra, Deepak (2015)  Sustainable Marketing of Cultural and Heritage Tourism (Routledge Critical Studies in Tourism, Business & Management).  London: Routledge.
  • Kotler, N.G., Kotler, P. & Kotler, W.I.  (2008)  Museum Marketing and Strategy: Designing Missions, Building Audiences, Generating Revenue and Resources (2nd Edition).  John Wiley & Sons.

Additional resources:

  • Bennett, R., Kerrigan, F. & O'Reilly , D (2013)  New Horizons in Arts, Heritage, Nonprofit and Social Marketing (Key Issues in Marketing Management).  Routledge.
  • Chaffey, D.,& Ellis-Chadwick, F., (2019) Digital Marketing - Strategy, Implementation and Practice.  (7th edition).  Pearson Education
  • Fill, C & Turnbull, S. (2019) Marketing Communications: Touchpoints, sharing and disruption. London: Pearson Education.
  • Kingsnorth, S (2019) Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing.  Kogan Page.
  • Jobber, D. & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019) Principles and Practice of Marketing (9th edition).   McGraw Hill
  • Misiura, S. (2005) Heritage Marketing.  London: Routledge.
  • Sandell, R., & Janes, R. R. (Eds.) (2007) Museum management and marketing. (Leicester Readers in Museum Studies 1).  London: Routledge.