Heritage sharing is caring: meet multi partner project Collections of Ghent

Client: Collections of Ghent

Collections of Ghent is a project with no less than twelve partners, of which museums, heritage institutions, tech-companies, researchers, the City of Ghent and many more. When we started our job as a partner to create an explainer video and take over the project’s social media management, we knew we were up for a challenge.

The project

The project is a cross pollination of Ghentians, museums and heritage institutions that allows creative use of each other’s objects, documents and stories. On the one hand it makes sure that valuable knowledge about Ghentian heritage spreads beyond the walls of the museum, but also that the people of Ghent are being heard about how they experience heritage and which stories they have to tell. That way, Collections of Ghent hopes to strengthen the social cohesion. 

These two worlds are brought together in a spectacular high-tech way. Starting from the spring of 2022, the CoGhent Box will land in three neighbourhoods in Ghent, and the space makes it possible to visualize thousands of objects and photos of the museums and institutions while also bringing the stories of the people together. Ghentians will be encouraged to add their own stories and objects to the Box. After its trip around Ghent, the CoGhent Box finds its way home at DING, the new wing of the Design Museum of Ghent.   


We started working with Pieter-Jan Pauwels (District09) and Olivier Van D’huynslager (Design Museum Gent), the two founders of Collections of Ghent, and Ilse Devroe, marketing campaign manager at City of Ghent and the head of communications for CoGhent. 

While creating the explainer video it proved to be a challenge to be able to explain the full project on one hand while also introducing all the partners and their role in the project— an explainer video shouldn’t take longer than two minutes. After a few feedback rounds and edits, the video was ready. 

You can view the end result here:

When deciding on a social strategy, we had to take a few goals into account. On one hand we need to tell stories about heritage. We’re doing this by working closely together with the participating  museums and institutions. During a monthly calendar meeting, we assess whether there are any overlapping subjects we can tell a coherent story about and discuss the content calendar for the upcoming month. Our social media manager prepares this by adding a few subjects or top topicals to the calendar, and decides what format and platform to use for this subject. Subsequently, the partners look through their collections to see what they can find about it. During the calendar meeting, all puzzle pieces get put together.

Next to stories about heritage, we need to make sure we communicate about the course of the project. We need to tell what’s going on, which events are taking place, how do we get the name of the project out there and how do we make sure people know what we do. Therefore, brand awareness is an important factor in our social strategy. Now that the project has taken off offline as well, we’re going to focus on an extended branding campaign during the next few weeks. This campaign will be posted organically, with an additional push through social advertising.

Lastly, it’s important to activate the people of Ghent. The project will only succeed if they start participating as well. This is challenging, as Collections of Ghent was completely unknown before April, with no social channels in sight. Therefore, daily community management is essential.

It is important to create a clear funnel for Collections of Ghent, in which we reach Ghentians and make them familiar with the project. We then want to trigger them with our stories about heritage on the social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and eventually convince them to become active participants in our community who add their own stories to the Collections.