Consultancy

From digital strategies for cultural organisations to activity plans for funding bids, we have a wealth of experience to offer in planning and analysis.

From the time we were founded in 2001, we have accumulated a wealth of skills and experience working on hundreds of digital media projects for a wide variety of cultural heritage organizations of all sizes. As a result, Surface Impression has also developed a comprehensive consultancy service that has supported many organisations with research & development, planning & strategy, fundraising, training, and more.

We are very engaged with museums: one of our directors & our CEO  have PhDs from the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester; other staff have degrees in Museum Studies and Egyptology. We speak at international conferences across the museums and arts sectors, and consult widely for sector service organisations such as the Collections Trust and Culture24.

Our services include…

Fundraising

We help cultural sector clients to put together funding bids for digital projects to governmental funding streams, grant-making foundations and corporate sponsors and have a sector-wide overview of many funding bodies’ contexts and interests. The bids that we assist have a very high success rate. Recent  applications include the Canada Council’s Digital Strategy fund, Ontario Trillium  Foundation, Heritage Lottery Fund (UK), and Arts Council England.

Digital strategy & project planning

Digital strategy is shifting into an intrinsic part of core business planning. We can help ensure that digital supports organisational goals, rather than distracts from them. We are also able to provide advice on resourcing, sustainability and succession strategies. Concept development, audience research, scheduling, content development, supply chain management, software / hardware specification, and outcome evaluation are all aspects of planning that we contribute to.

Research & development

Progress in cultural sector digital media is often made rapidly and cost-effectively through a series of smaller R&D initiatives, rather than monolithic large-scale projects and programmes. Good R&D starts with the establishment of a research question and has the latitude to allow for experimentation. Our support in R&D projects includes audience research, ideation, design “wireframing”, building prototypes, user testing, and evaluating results.

Training & mentorship

Digital skills (including digital “literacy”) are becoming an essential component of being part of the cultural sector workforce. We can help you embed the benefits of digital skills into your organisational practice through direct training (in the use of particular tools such as web content management systems for example) or through longer-term mentorship programmes that help to develop staff members’ interest and confidence in digital media.

Report creation & advocacy

We produce engaging and well-designed reports that succinctly capture the context and findings of the project and present practical and achievable options for next steps. We are often called upon to assist with advocacy for our clients; helping push forward the agenda with presentations to – and discussions with – boards, funders, governmental departments, and other stakeholders. 

Learn more about our key areas of work