Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-12-2018

Document Type



Simonsen, Megan. Museums: Missing the Mark in Digital Communications. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2018.


Copyright Megan Simonsen 2018


Museums have slowly begun to lose patronage over the last few decades as a result of the changing nature of communications. In order to address the decline in attendance, museums have shifted focus on the younger demographic while trying to maintain their connection with the older generation and donor base. Millennials provide the most opportunity for the future of museums financially and socially, yet these connections have not been well established by many museums or cultural institutions. Presently, the trend in messaging is one-sided. However, effective communications should be mutually beneficial.

This thesis seeks to understand the gap in long term engagement created by misdirected digital communications on both the local and national scale. Through the research, it can be understood that though museums may have a social media presence, the content produced does not drive engagement. The implications of this study and further research can be utilized by museums and other cultural institutions to make necessary adjustments to their digital communications plans that better cater to their patrons’ needs.