Good Morning McCann with The Met
Chris Gorman, Marketing and External Relations Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, stopped by our offices to share the unconventional route that led him to his current role at the Met. Chris also talked strategies for reinvigorating marketing in the fine arts space.
Chris doesn't come from a fine arts background. He got his start in the art world with his first job at Harper Collins, where he was in charge of briefing artists on cover art for romance novels - think "damsel," "strapping" and "distress." Looking for a change, Chris took a job as a security guard at the Met about 10 years ago. At the time, according to Chris, navigating between wings was like "trying to get from East Harlem to Bushwick." Chris found a passion project in overhauling the entire journey-discovery system at the museum. He elevated the project by focusing on the guest experience, including feedback from a survey that revealed that visitors generally feel "overwhelmed" and “uninformed” with the experience.
Trying to overhaul the process was challenging the status quo and Chris found resistance in unexpected places. But he made it happen. That success led to more opportunities and Chris went on to launch “Spectrum," an initiative targeting millennials (back before the word “millennial" defined a generation). Spectrum launched with "Oktoberfest at the Cloisters," featuring a guided garden tour to check hops and barley and lessons around the role of beer brewing in Medieval Europe.
At the Met today, there's an app for navigating the space, which Chris helped launch with an event headlined by Interpol - an unconventional partnership for the museum, but one that Chris recognized as both 'cool’ and importantly, 'cool for the Met.’
Chris has also helped launch "Empty Met Tours" targeting overseas tourists with only a few days in NYC who want to get the most out of their visit, and #MetFridays targeting local New Yorkers as a way to kick off the weekend.
All the while, Chris has been a pioneering force at the Met for its marketing on social channels, which has become a key part of his success. As marketers, his insights into creating the best experiences for specific demographics was interesting – and so was hearing from an expert in an industry we don’t often interact with.