Context 156 - September 2018

26 C O N T E X T 1 5 6 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 CAMRA contributed by saying that this pub was one of few without a bar counter, ensuring that the character of this unique pub could be maintained. That was a great example of local knowledge in action. Historic England helps define the important economic impacts of heritage through its yearly ‘Heritage Counts’ report. However, Deborah’s presentation clearly demonstrated how sharing and enhancing heritage can allow it to reach far beyond the fundamental economic, regulatory and listing requirements. Katherine Owen and Gavin Creech Tools in the digital trade: social media and shared communications Speaker: Alison McCandlish, creative director, Crenellated Arts Alison McCandlish is working on a PhD con- centrating on digital cultural asset mapping and creative ways of engaging with communi- ties. She also runs a freelance consultancy, Crenellated Arts, specialising in community engagement for arts and heritage projects. She was the ideal speaker to continue the theme of shared heritage. McCandlish told us about her work and how various media can be used by heritage professionals. She has a clear passion for crea- tive media and sharing her interest in heritage, which was evident throughout her presentation. McCandlish sees that one of the best reasons to communicate with people is to help foster understanding and community value for herit- age. Much of her Crenellated Arts work is based on helping people record and understand their heritage using various media. McCandlish talked about her work success- fully reaching out to a variety of people, includ- ing school groups and local communities. The media that she used to communicate with these people were not always digital. They included the use of letter writing, sound recording and canvasing. She strongly promoted the use of communication tools applicable to each com- munity, and particularly the value of meeting people face to face in their places where they normally meet. She talked about the use of social and digital media by heritage professionals and gave an interesting fact: that up to 88 per cent of adults use the internet as a key tool for communica- tion. So, it is vital for heritage professionals to embrace social media and develop the right skills to promote their work and themselves. This can include positively using sites such as Twitter and Facebook. She gave a variety of examples where social media can be particularly useful. These include project promotion, campaigning, information gathering (particularly good if this can be map based), training and creating a positive profes- sional profile. She emphasised the potential for social media to raise money and secure grant funding. Research has shown, she said, that every £1 spent on digital inclusion work can result in a return of up to £3.70. Claire Brady Delegates and exhibitors in discussion during the coffee break