Discovery Students Plan a Social Media Marketing Project for Ohara Museum of Art

On 30th September 2020, six students that participated in a joint research seminar led by Dr. Aoo, Discovery Program for Global Learners, and Prof. Nishita, Department of Economics, presented their social media marketing proposals for the Ohara Museum of Art (OMA) to President Ohara.

The proposal session was organized as the final project of the joint seminar, which took place from April to July 2020. Throughout the seminar, students studied digital marketing strategies while focusing on OMA in the Historic Area of Kurashiki city.

The seminar had to be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but students benefited from the regular participation of President Ohara and other staff from OMA. As a result, the seminar gave students the rare opportunity of learning by working together with professionals. Each student created their own social media marketing proposal, and after receiving feedback from OMA staff, developed it further.

After the final presentation, OMA announced that they plan to implement one of the proposed projects; namely, Ms. Natsumi MORI’s (3rd year student, Discovery Program) “Ohara Photogenic Museum” by the end of the fiscal year. Student volunteers will work together with OMA to put it into practice.

After the announcement, Ms. Mori commented that, “It was a rare opportunity to plan a social media marketing project as a student, together with museum staff. I recognized that implementing a new business venture is not an easy task, especially because one has to consider all the different factors that may affect it. “Ohara Photogenic Museum” targets young people who do not frequent art museums by introducing a stronger “social media presence” while considering current SNS trends. I thank professors and everyone from OMA for this opportunity and hope to improve the project even more by learning more about art museums and keeping up to date with recent trends.”

Mr. Okazaki and Ms. Sasaki from OMA, who also participated in the seminar, commented the following:

(Mr. Okazaki, Assistant Manager, Communication and Promotion Section, Ohara Museum of Art)
Although only six students presented in the final reporting session, the proposals sent from all thirteen students had their own character and were very impressive. I can see that they gave serious thought to OMA and its vision, beyond their initial task to increase OMA followers on social media.  I believe it will become increasingly necessary to “add your own character” to whatever you do. This experience became a great opportunity for me to re-examine the importance of applying this concept in my daily work, for which I am extremely grateful. Shota Okazaki

(Ms. Sasaki, Public Relations Staff, Communication and Promotion Section, Ohara Museum of Art)
Thank you for giving me the valuable experience of hearing directly from university students. Though I must admit that the straightforward opinion of “the youth who are not that interested in art” stung my ears, it was as if the scales fell from my eyes. It gave me good insight on how to change our communication with the public in a way that is more accessible and acceptable to a younger audience. No matter how good a proposal is, all organizations have their limitations, and I am sure that some students were surprised at the precise processes that go into handling artworks.  Overall, this class allowed me to see that social media and art are not necessarily conflicting concepts. The issues addressed by students in their proposals are issues that I hope to tackle as my personal projects in the long run. Kozue Sasaki




 Ms. Mori presenting her proposal





Students receive comments from Ohara Museum of Art staff members





The seminar was conducted online




Students had the opportunity to receive a tour from President Ohara in OMA during the museum’s temporary closure *

(*students received special approval after taking all necessary COVID-19 infection prevention measures)