NAAM E-NEWS – July 2014, Volume 16, Issue 3

August 16, 2014 in Newsletter by Courtney Meredith

NAAM E-NEWS – July 2014, Volume 16, Issue 3

In This Issue

  • President’s Message
  • Mission Statement   Same as last issue
  • Job Opportunity with NAAM
  • NAAM Survey
  • Marketing News
  • Curatorial News
  • News from Member Museums  Same layout as last issue, new info
  • Board of Directors
  • NAAM E-News Contact
  • Classified Ad Notice
  • Membership Application

President’s Message

By: Terry Ernest

Do you have an emergency plan in place for your museum?

None of us ever really think an emergency will happen to us, right?  But sometimes, out of nowhere, a disaster strikes!  The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky suffered a sinkhole, the National Auto Museum in Reno, Nevada had an arson fire, and from my own personal experience, the car I was driving about three weeks ago was struck by lightning (we’re okay).

So these examples beg the question; Do you have an emergency plan in place?  If you already do, great!  But has it been updated lately?  Has your staff reviewed it and practiced it recently?

And what if you do not have a policy in place for emergencies?  Where do you start to develop a plan?

This is where your NAAM membership can be of tremendous assistance.  On the NAAM website at in the “Forum” area (make sure to log-in first) you will find it under the heading “Administration” and then “Policy and Procedures – A Place to Share”, two documents that will be helpful to get you started.  The first is the NAAM Collections Management Policy, which has a section in it titled “Risk Management” (as a NAAM member you can download the entire collection for no charge).  The second useful document is shared by the Gilmore Museum under the same “Policy and Procedures – A Place to Share”, section as “Gilmore’s Emergency Plan”.  You may wish to use these two resources as a starting point to begin your Emergency Plan project.

Once you have created your Emergency Plan and put it in place, please share it with your fellow members in the Forum section of the NAAM website.  As we collaborate on projects like this, adding our own museum’s emergency plan, our Forum becomes more valuable as a place to obtain and accrue knowledge.

If you haven’t visited the Forum on the NAAM website (or haven’t visited in a while) please take some time to see what you can learn and what you can contribute to help others in our industry.

If I may be of assistance, please contact me at:

In the words of C. Harold Wills (President & Founder of the Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Co.), “If you aim high, you will never shoot low.”


The National Association of Automobile Museums is a professional center of excellence for automobile museums and affiliated organizations that supports, educates and encourages members to operate according to professional standards of the museum industry.


NAAM Seeks Administrative Assistant

NAAM has an opening for a contracted, part-time administrative assistant who will be responsible for developing and implementing a variety of administrative tasks.  This will be an ideal position for someone who has excellent administrative skills and an outgoing, promotional aptitude.  It will be necessary to work independently, as well as in committee and board situations.  Please see the attached job description and email a resume to NAAM President, Terry Ernest:


To better serve the member museums, the NAAM Board of Directors will be conducting an electronic two-part survey through Survey Monkey. Member museums that wish to have a survey mailed to them should request surveys through NAAM President, Terry Ernest.  (Email:

You will soon receive notification of dates when survey will begin.  This very important survey will provide insight into the future needs and direction of member museums and the NAAM organization.


Museums and Facebook Feedback
It is important to remember that marketing is all about communication.  You have exhibits, memberships, programs and much more.  Your potential visitors want to see exhibits, become a member and learn.  You have what they want; they just don’t know it yet.  One of the best ways to reach out to potential clients and customers is to do it through social media.  We’ve discussed tweeting, but do we all take advantage of Facebook as much as we should?

Facebook is a person-to-person network that often is underutilized.  Having a visitor talk about your museum or share pictures of themselves enjoying your museum is the best marketing you can ask for – and even better…it’s FREE!

On average a Facebook user has approximately 130 friends, but research has shown that those who actively use the “Like” button for places of business, such as your museum, on average, have twice as many friends.  Each time someone chooses to “Like” your museum, you have a potential for 130 or more new friends, visitors and followers just through this one person!

Personal recommendations aren’t a new school of thought in marketing, however with Facebook, the ease with which one can share recommendations to hundreds of friends at a single time has never been simpler.  It is less about you and what you want to say and more about what your visitors are saying and encouraging them to say it.

There are lots of ways that you can make it effortless for people to learn about and share information with their friends about your museum.

Encourage your website visitors and people you email to become a fan of your Facebook page by providing a link to a “social sharing” button.  These buttons can be added to your website or email through a simple line of code so that when someone clicks on the button, they are directed to your Facebook page where they can “like” your Museum and become a fan.  From here, they can tag themselves while they visit your museum alerting their entire network that they enjoy spending time viewing your exhibits and attending your special programs.

Another way to promote your museum on Facebook is through asking for reviews.  Opening a new gallery? Have an interactive exhibit you want people to know more about?  Ask visitors to visit your Facebook page and write a review of what they have experienced.  Encourage them to share pictures.  This is a surefire way to get others excited.  I know I am likely to visit someplace that I see a friend visiting and having a great time – who wouldn’t?

At the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum we have made flyers that we encourage visitors to pick up as they leave.  It has all of our social media information on it so that we can easily be found and it encourages visitors to share their thoughts, feedback, and pictures with us online.  When visitors do this, all of their friends see the pictures and comments posted as well as all of the thousands of the museum followers or fans.

Remember, social media shouldn’t always be focused on what you want to say; rather it should be about what people are saying about you!  Encourage people to talk about your museum!


Digital Signage: Attraction or Tool?

Digital Signage, and more specifically touch-screens, can be an appealing addition to any museum.  It is the use of a current technology that can allow adaptability and curb appeal.  A museum must always ask itself how and why it wants to incorporate a new form of interpretation.  Is it to attract more visitors or to engage the visitor with deeper meaning?  Or can it be both?

When our museum made the decision to invest, we endeavored to do both.  Digital technology is one of the most important forms of communication today.  If I plan to live in Germany, I learn German.  If we plan to engage with the current and future generations, we learn to use digital technology such as touch-screens.  Digital signs also allow us to provide large amounts of information which would clutter the museum walls if displayed in a physical format.  We can also present archival materials that would otherwise be compromised by frequent handling.

With a touch-screen, visitors can now select what they desire to learn without having to wade through large amounts of information in the hopes of finding a nugget of interest.  In the example of our digital car signs, the visitor may select from different topics such as mechanics, styling, the history of the car and its owners and a section called ‘In The News,’ which highlights vintage advertisements and both national and world events of the vehicle’s time.  We also have educational questions which can be incorporated into both general visitation and formal study trips.

When creating digital signage, be aware of your resources, both in manpower and funding.  Digital signage can be a time-consuming proposition.  How you will utilize the sign and how many you will deploy will determine the amount of hours required.  If each sign has specific information related to particular objects, or automobiles, this will require research and inputting.

Think about the information you want to present.  It is easy to load the sign with every image, blueprint and diagram for a specific vehicle you are showcasing.  Just as in printed signs, use the basic interpretation rules of brevity: have a focused message and don’t create unanswered questions.  We only use ten images per topic on our digital car signs.  We have found any more than that, the visitor will not view.  We also create two-sentence captions for each image.  The visitor can only read a certain amount of information before reader fatigue sets in.

Digital signage is a daunting task, but it can provide a host of opportunities.  Take time to determine why and how you will use digital signage.  Who is your audience and what are you trying to tell them?  These simple questions will help you determine the scope and breadth of your project and help you avoid planning more digital signs than you have the resources to create.


We want to hear from you.

Please share news about your museum with the NAAM E-News editor. It’s time to double check to make sure Kristy Ketterman,, has been added to your museum’s distribution lists for news releases, e-news, and member and media announcements.  Many automobile museums are members of NAAM, but little information is received for our newsletter.  Thanks for helping ensure NAAM E-News is informative and up-to-date about the latest activities of our members.


Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles – Boyertown, Penn.

The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, in conjunction with the current exhibit Woodrow Wilson, President Electric: Harnessing the Power of Innovation in the Progressive Era, will be hosting a special presentation on Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 2 p.m. on the history of the Lincoln Highway.  Professor Fred Gantz of Harrisburg Area Community College will be giving a talk entitled, “The Lincoln Highway: A Road through History,” complete with photographs and artifacts.  The Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway for automobiles in the United States, was dedicated in 1913 during President Wilson’s administration.

Seal Cove Auto Museum (pics saved) – Seal Cove, Maine

The Seal Cove Auto Museum is hosting a picnic on Sunday, August 10, 2014, from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lawn overlooking Seal Cove Pond and the mountains of Acadia. Inspired by the early 1900s rusticator tradition, the 2014 Rusticator Picnic will feature rusticator-inspired food, live jazz by the Ellis Quartet, Native American baskets with commemorative wine glasses to take home and a special exhibit of period fashion from the collection of Norma Spurling. Period costumes are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded. In the event of rain, the picnic will be held indoors. Advance tickets are required; please contact the Museum to purchase by phone at 207.244.9242.


The Antique Automobile Club of America – Hershey, Penn.

The opening of the display of the Cammack Tucker collection of vehicles and memorabilia has been a frequent question on the minds of visitors to the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum in Hershey. This highly anticipated exhibit has been more than a year in the making from accessioning artifacts to the exhibit design. [READ MORE]

Exhibit construction will soon begin with volunteer assistance from Pyramid Construction of Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania. Pyramid Construction will be lending two – three of their workers for two weeks to help build the exhibit facades. Pyramid is no stranger to the AACA Museum; they were one of the original contractors chosen to build our Museum more than 11 years ago. The first phase of the Cammack Tucker Gallery is slated to open in October of this year. An official opening announcement release will be coming later in the month with more details

The AACA Museum is still looking for support both in funds and with skilled carpentry/construction hands. If you or your organization is willing to assist us with this project, please contact us at

Please join the AACA Museum this year in enjoying a celebration of some of the most beautiful and meaningful cultural objects created by America, in one of the world’s premier motor museums. This exhibit celebrates and commemorates Indian’s exciting re-entry into the marketplace this year.