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Reopening Marketing Support and Campaign For The Sector


If you plan to reopen in Phase 3, find out more about the reopening campaign that MGS will be undertaking on behalf of the sector. Including the support and resources available for your own marketing activities.

Phase 3 – Reopening of museums and galleries

The Scottish Government has issued a ‘Route Map – Through and out of the Crisis’ (pdf), providing a framework for a phased return to normality. These five phases are intended to be gradual and incremental and will be matched with careful monitoring of the virus.

Museums and galleries have been able to open to the public in Phase 3 (July 15), subject to physical and hygiene measures. However we expect a gradual reopening of museums, with some opening in August and later. We also realise that not all museums and galleries will be able to open at all this financial year.

MGS Reopening Campaign

To help promote this phase of reopening to the public, MGS will be undertaking a marketing campaign on behalf of and with the sector. Due to the restrictions that will still be in place around who we can see and how far are intending to travel in the early stages of recovery, the campaign will be targeting Scotland Residents, encouraging people to visit those museums and galleries that will be open, with family and friends, locally or as part of a day trip, or as an overnight stay or short break, as tourism accommodation starts to reopen. VisitScotland highlighted that they expect visitors to seek multi-generational experiences as they spend time with family members. Museums and galleries are well placed to offer such experiences.

We are proposing multi-channel activity utilising radio and PR, as well as social media advertising to reach out to and engage with a Scottish audience. We are also creating a short promotional film to share online (see below). An interactive Google Map, showing where museums and galleries are open with website links, will be central to the campaign. We will be directing visitors to this as the main call to action.

We will also be encouraging the use of the hashtag #MuseumsAreGo

VisitScotland are also undertaking a campaign aimed initially at a Scotland-based audience around this time, with the key message that ‘Only in Scotland:Why Scotland Needs You’, working with key media partners. We will be exploring partner opportunities where we can get involved to help raise the profile of museum and galleries. We will also be speaking with other industry partners, and organisations, to ensure our activities and messaging are aligned.



Target Audience

  • Scotland residents
  • Multi-generational: Pre-families (under 35), Families, Empty nesters (55+)
    Most of the potential for Scotland appears to lie with younger Scots without children, and the family market.

Motivation/key drivers:
By phase 3, for the first time in months, the Scottish public will be able to meet with people from more than one household indoors, with physical distancing and hygiene measures. They will want to come together, possibly from different locations as they can now also drive beyond their local area for leisure and exercise purposes. (Recent research has shown that most people will look to avoid public transport).  

The same research has shown that with increasing concerns about travelling, there is clear diminished appeal to go overseas or to other parts of Britain. Day trips have the highest appeal, followed by overnight holidays and breaks in Scotland. In terms of day visits the highest appeal is for day visits to the Scottish countryside (the Highlands in particular) followed by day trips to the Scottish coast and seaside (although the appeal has reduced due to recent overcrowding), followed by day trips to towns and cities, which have a much lower appeal at this time. More people are likely to want to enjoy activities in our outdoors spaces. Indoor activities such as visits to arts and culture venues, and purpose-built attractions will have reduced appeal. Visits to historic properties and sites generated mixed opinions, reflecting their varying outdoor and indoor natures.

8 out of 10 Scots* will avoid visiting places where no guarantees, or assurances of hygiene are available. They will also choose a location or destination where social distancing can be achieved and where busy places can be avoided.

*56 Degree Insight – Research Agency.

Campaign Objectives and Messaging

Campaign objectives

  • To make the Scottish public aware of the museums and galleries that are now open.
  • To inspire confidence and reassure the public that our museums and galleries are safe places to visit.
  • We want the public to feel inspired and passionate about their museums and galleries and consider visiting them again with family and friends as lockdown restrictions are relaxed.
  • To provide a platform for, and support, the sector to get involved at a local level to raise awareness of their reopening, and what they will have on offer.
  • Generate positive coverage in local, regional and national media.


  • Many of Scotland’s museums and galleries are now open, ready to welcome visitors back. Many have green and open spaces. They are safe places to visit.
  • Museums and galleries help to enrich our lives. They make us happier, healthier and smarter. They have a positive place in peoples’ lives, and we need this more than ever.
  • Museums and galleries are for everyone. They make Scotland’s communities better places to live in. Museums strive to be inclusive so that everyone can enjoy and benefit from their work.
  • Museums and galleries are places to enjoy with others – to relax and feel inspired.
  • Explore Scotland’s museums and galleries.
  • Support your museums and galleries at this time.


July 15
Opinion piece with Lucy, in Herald.

Jul 17
Photography with participating museum; sent to picture desks around reopening message.

Consumer press release to national and local/regional press. 

Sharing content with online publications, VisitScotland etc.

Scotsman online article and social media display advertising.

Wks 12 Aug + 2 Sept 
Radio advertising (partnering with VisitScotland's marketing campaign) across regional stations.

27 July – 27 Sept
Social media advertising.

End Sept
Press activity/positive experiences.

Get Involved

We know that not all museums and galleries will be able to open this year. But for those of you who are planning to reopen, we want to support you with your marketing and to maximize this opportunity as much as we can. To do this we will require certain information from you, which will be used to create our interactive Google map, and it will provide us with interesting information that we can share with national and regional media, as well as other online publications.

Tell us what you're doing: By providing the following information via email we will be able to highlight what visitors can expect on their return visit to a museum.  

  • What will you be offering visitors once you are open?
  • Are there any other details that might be of interest to visitors, anything unusual or unique (special exhibits)?
  • What have you planned to keep your customers/staff safe?

Please email this information to Louise Storie, our Marketing and Communications Manager

Make sure your website is up to date, as we will be directing people here to find out more information. It will be important to your visitors that physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place. Consider adding a ‘Know before you go’, page to your website, clearly detailing your opening times, what people can experience on their visit, and the health and safety procedures that have been put in place. See examples of this: Auckland Museum and National Gallery of Australia.

You can also explore the option of creating a Visitor Information video that you can add to your website, to show the visitor what to expect when they arrive. Here is a good example from Gairloch Museum.

For those of you without marketing teams, refer to our Marketing toolkit, which is full of practical information to help you with your own marketing activity.

Marketing Toolkit

The Marketing Toolkit includes practical information to help with your marketing activity, from how to engage with your local media to creating social media content.

View the Marketing Toolkit for Museums

Keep In Touch

If you haven't already done so, please let us know if you are planning to reopen. If you have any questions or concerns at all please get in touch. We are also happy discuss any marketing plans you may have.

Contact: Louise Storie, Marketing and Communications Manager

Related guide

Reopening Marketing Toolkit

Find out more