a mannequin peeking out of an orange garbage bag

The Fine Art of Firing Volunteers

Yes, firing volunteers is a thing. No, you shouldn’t do it lightly. I have had the pleasure of working with volunteers in a few different capacities. I have managed volunteers in the public sector and in the nonprofit sector. I have worked in places where volunteers were treated like high-maintenance guests, and I have worked …

Happy young couple riding on a scooter together.

Diversification is hard. Here’s how to strategize.

As a visitor experience planner, market analysis is part of what I do. That is to say, I help parks, museums, aquariums, zoos, and historic sites to identify who their visitors are, and who their visitors might be in the future. And I help them figure out how to reach out to them and how …

tourists taking selfies in Sydney

Social Media: A Method to the Madness

If you are a manager in the cultural or natural history sector, you’ve probably got staff madly working on social media. Maybe you’re a social media person yourself. And if you are, you know it’s busy and challenging work. As a visitor experience advisor, I’m often asked to help put social media in the greater …

office calendar

It’s Time to End the March Madness

A Tale of Two Contracts  It’s April 1st, the start of a brand-new fiscal year, and Avril and Mavis, two project managers in a government agency, are hard at work. They’ve just wrapped their fiscal year end and are already moving forward on projects that were identified months ago in strategic planning. They’re excited about …

Warehouse in Buenos Aires

We don’t need to endorse in order to interpret.

Over the course of my forty-year career (yikes!) I have made a long shift from natural history to cultural history interpretation. The transition has been… interesting. See, when you interpret birds or rocks or stars, you generally don’t argue for those things’ moral goodness or purity. Yes, you might defend their place within their ecosystem …

trilingual interpretive sign

Is it a language or a dialect? It’s… political.

As an interpretive writer doing a lot of cultural interpretation lately, I find I am writing a lot about language. Indigenous languages, to be specific. I am working with Indigenous clients and partners to help communicate how language is fundamental to understanding culture, landscape, and life… and how so many Indigenous languages around the world …

spider

Marketing: An Interpretive Approach

As a visitor experience advisor, I find that a lot of my work revolves around helping parks, historic sites, and museums do a better job of communicating who they are in an inspiring way. Naturally, as a life-long interpreter, I am a huge believer in the content-based approach. I’m not alone in this; content marketing …