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Engaging a Broader Public: Effective Framing and Strategic Marketing for Historic Preservation National Preservation Conference October 2, 2007 – St. Paul, Minnesota Interactive Session, 2 - 5 pm Eric Friedenwald-Fishman, creative director/president Metropolitan Group. Introduction

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Engaging a Broader Public: Effective Framing and StrategicMarketing for Historic PreservationNational Preservation ConferenceOctober 2, 2007 – St. Paul, Minnesota Interactive Session, 2 - 5 pm Eric Friedenwald-Fishman, creative director/presidentMetropolitan Group


Vision–What will be different and why does this matter?

Key framing challenges and what we’ve learned

Discussion 1–Relevancy and benefits


Discussion 2–How to engage broad audiences

Workshop–Roundtables discussions to brainstorm on current marketing challenges, plus report-backs

2 pm - 2:10 pm

2:10 pm - 2:30 pm

2:30 pm - 2:50 pm

2:50 pm - 3:20 pm

3:20 pm - 3:35 pm

3:35 pm - 4:00 pm

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Framing, marketing and engagement matter
  • We are all in the storytelling business–we must tell stories in a way that is powerful

and relevant

  • Our gap is not one of actual impact and relevance but of perceived impact

and relevance

  • We cannot advance as a movement without broader engagement, a willingness to change, and a commitment to reaching beyond our own and our current champions’ comfort zone
  • What will be different in 5 years in the U.S. and in your community if strong public will exists for historic preservation?
    • In people’s daily lives?
    • In our culture?
    • In the built environment?
    • In our organizations?
    • In other ways?
key challenges
Key challenges
  • Assessment of current preservation messaging
  • How we are framing the conversation and the messages we are sending
what we have learned
What we have learned
  • Framing is about setting context and connects to the existing values through which audiences view an issue
  • Framing serves to attract attention/cut through the clutter, assign responsibility and create opportunity for personal commitment
  • How preservation messages are perceived
  • Key directions to consider for message framing for historic preservation
research learnings
Research learnings
  • Bull's-eye audience (latent preservationist boomers) has huge untapped potential, but will require different messaging.
  • Current messages are focused more on places than people
  • Messages focused on certain times or places that certain people have determined are important
  • Preservation for its own sake
  • Someone else’s problem that others will take care of–You don’t need me–is not engaging or welcoming
words matter
Words matter
  • Heritage is a strong “personal association” concept and positive emotional cord (needs caution in the South)
  • Culture is seen as indicating separate and exclusive or means my own ethnic heritage and is a difficult link to historic preservation
  • Historic is seen as limiting–as this is where XYZ happened, and is not associated with post-modern life
  • Conservation takes people to nature and wildlife and in context of historic preservation sends a “look, DON’T touch” message
  • Preservation better expresses “saving and using” but does not indicate historic and worthwhile
  • Historic Preservation conveys “save and use with integrity and value”
framing recommendations
Framing recommendations
  • Utilize historic preservation whenever possible as an entire concept
  • Trigger the value of heritage in your message framing
  • Define historic preservation as being about what people articulate as benefits (range that appeals to different people based upon their needs/values)–don’t forget the why it matters
  • Know that people care about themselves–in my own backyard
  • Include people in language, images, etc.
  • Overtly invite/welcome people into the work– shared responsibility.
discussion 1 talking the talk
Discussion 1: talking the talk
  • How do we frame historic preservation in ways that communicate relevancy: how does it matter to current audiences? New audiences?
  • How do we frame and communicate the benefits of historic preservation (value and values proposition)
  • What has worked? Success stories
discussion 2 walking the walk
Discussion 2: walking the walk
  • How do we really engage more diverse audiences?
  • What organizational work do we need to do to be ready to deliver on promise?
  • What structural, programmatic and role changes do we need to make to build relationships of trust?
  • What investment must we make in how we operate and how we communicate in cultural context?
  • Other approaches?
  • What has worked? Success stories
workshop creative and strategic team of reel mark eting change llc
Workshop–creative and strategic team of:Reel, Mark, Eting & Change, LLC

Round Table Discussions - 3 @ 15 min., plus report-backs

  • State and local customization of the new core message for the National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Conversion from “I believe in/enjoy historic preservation” to “I am a card-carrying champion”
  • Getting the whole preservation message out in a bigger and more contemporary way
  • Linking preservation and green (authenticity)
  • Connecting with younger audiences 25-40’s
  • Impact and needs data/messaging
metropolitan group what we do and who we help
Practice Areas

Strategic Communication

Resource Development

Intercultural Communication

Organizational Development

•  Focus Areas

Heritage, Arts and Culture

Community and Economic Development

Environment and Sustainability



Social Justice and Human Rights

Children, Youth and Families

Public Health

Socially Responsible and Green Business / CSR

Metropolitan Group: what we do and who we help
marketing that matters
Marketing That Matters

About the authors:

  • Eric Friedenwald-Fishman, Creative Director/President of Metropolitan Group
  • Chip Conley, CEO and founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality
    • Published by Berrett-Koehler, October 2006
    • Part of the Social Venture Network book series
    • Goal of MTM: To offer a contemporary approach to strategic marketing that helps change the world
  • Available at the Preservation Conference, your local independent book store and at,

Eric Friedenwald-Fishman

Creative Director/President


Chicago(312) 628-1447Washington, D.C. (202) 380-3123Portland, Oregon(503) 223-3299