Museums use new technology to engage international audiences

People from around the world can now discover what's happening in North East England's cultural scene - thanks to a new series of podcasts created by a regional technology company.

Tyne & Wear Museums has begun using audio and podcasting as a way of engaging their audiences worldwide. The organisation - which manages 12 museums in the North East - had been searching for new ways to communicate with audiences using the internet, and turned to Newcastle-based Podcast Digital for a solution.

The new bi-monthly 'CultureCast' series includes features on local museum exhibitions, interviews with artists, and behind-the-scenes looks at museums in Tyne and Wear. The latest show features an interview with design expert Wayne Hemingway.

John Coburn, e-learning officer at Tyne & Wear Museums said: "Podcasting is a powerful way for museums to distribute educational and promotional content to their audiences. It seemed important for Tyne & Wear Museums to be engaging with this medium, particularly because they have 12 venues and a huge number of exhibitions and events to promote. It also enables us to reach out to new audiences - to podcast consumers on a global scale and, more locally, to people who would rather download a podcast than pick up a flyer."

Steve Bainbridge, managing director of Podcast Digital, added: "Tyne & Wear Museums were very keen to use the technology of podcasting to promote awareness and activity in the North East museum sector. We trained and advised their marketing and communications team on how to plan, produce and market podcasts.

"The team also received training on how to market themselves online using various resources such as YouTube, Facebook, iTunes, Google Ad Words and online PR outlets."

Anyone wishing to find out more about what is taking place in the North East's cultural scene can download or subscribe to CultureCast by visiting www.twmuseums.org.uk/podcasts.

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