Located in a small north Louisiana town, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, a research division of the National Park Service, has struggled to maintain its profile among the audience of historic preservation professionals it serves as well as its own parent organization.
In 2006, NCPTT became one of the first heritage preservation organizations to adopt a coordinated social media strategy. The National Center began integrating podcasts, online video, photo sharing and social networks around its organizational blog and sharing its content through Creative Commons.
While the organization was able to distribute its content broadly and cheaply, its audiences were not yet engaged in, and often distrustful of, online technologies. NCPTT partnered in the development of targeted organic online networks to help its audiences take the first steps toward online engagement. One tactic included a Ning network for the robust heritage community where the National Center is located, supported by a weekly column in the local newspaper. It also partnered with the journalism department at the local university to develop a site dedicated to connecting heritage professionals in new media called “Voices of the Past.”
Combined with consistent, quality content related to its own mission of “advancing the use of science and technology in historic preservation,” NCPTT has effectively raised its profile and influence as a federal organization and a historic preservation leader. In December 2009, it was named “website of the week” by Government Video Magazine and the technology blog HoneyTech named it number four on its list of the world’s top ten government websites powered by WordPress.
Drawing on more than 15 years experience in writing, branding, design and strategic communications, Jeff Guin’s mission is to inspire connections to heritage values through new media.
Jeff’s passion for heritage preservation emerged as he grew up among the historic homes and sites of Natchitoches, La., the oldest town in the Louisiana Purchase. After receiving his bachelor’s in Journalism and English from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, he served as a communications manager for a Fortune 500 company. His experience there included facilitating strategies to promote and protect special sites of cultural and environmental value.
These sites and the people who seek to protect them served as inspiration as he returned to his hometown and NSU to pursue a Master’s degree in Folklife and Southern Culture. While in graduate school, Jeff began working with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, a research arm of the National Park Service specializing in preservation technologies.
Jeff’s experience spans print, film, and broadcast initiatives that have collectively been recognized with honors such as the American Advertising “Addy” Award.
Since 2006, he has helped preservation professionals and groups adopt social media technologies to advance the conversation about heritage values online. Part of this effort involved developing a heritage netcast and blog site called “Voices of the Past.”
In addition to his public relations work, he has contributed articles to scholarly publications such as CRM Journal, Louisiana Folklife and the Dictionary of Literary Biography series.
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