The first in an occasional series of case studies on the way in which history organizations are promoting their sites, exhibits, and events. Contact us to suggest or submit a case study.
Title: "This Day in History" video clips from The Freedom Trail Foundation
Description: Daily video clips, about one minute in length, with a costumed interpreter describing an important event that took place that day in Revolutionary era New England.
View an example on the Foundation's YouTube channel:
Objective: Raise awareness of and generate interest in taking one of The Freedom Trail Organization's tours. Since the National Park Service offers a free tour, the organization wanted to bring to life the fact that costumed interpreters lead the tours for The Freedom Trail Foundation and give people a sense of that experience. In addition, this would also create content that could be distributed on their Facebook page.
Implementation: Videotaped by in-house staff using standard consumer-grade video equipment. The organization already had "the talent" in each of their guides. The material was in the public domain, but had to be selected and then edited for length. Music was contributed in return for a credit and link to the performer's site.
Funding: Sponsored by the Massachusetts Teachers Association (2012), Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts (2011), and WBUR (2011)
Results: While the videos varied in quality and suffered a bit early on from an in-house learning curve, each day’s videos generally receive 25 - 200 views and have been well-received by both sponsors and viewers. The resource has also been helpful for schools in both giving their kids a different delivery of historical content and for choosing guides for their future tours.
Facebook (started 2/2010): 6,082 Likes
Twitter (@TheFreedomTrail) (started 2/2010): 906 followers
YouTube channel (started 6/2010): 395 videos and 67 subscribers
Lessons learned: Generally, the more lead time for production, the better. Most errors and production problems could have been avoided with more time on the production end.
Institution: The Freedom Trail Foundation
Case study date: February 24, 2012