From Pompeii to Pittsburgh: Marketing Centuries of History

A glimpse of body casts on display in the Pompeii exhibit and the Carnegie Science Center, titled Man on Elbow.


From Pompeii to Pittsburgh: Marketing Centuries of History

Museum Studies Marketing Intern at the Carnegie Science Center - Fall 2021 

The traveling exhibit What Natured Destroyed, It Also Preserved -POMPEII: The Exhibition arrived at the Carnegie Science Center at almost the exact same time that I did. I joined the marketing department as their intern under the direction of the Senior Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Connie George. 


Over the course of my time with the marketing team I gained experience completing tasks I anticipated in areas like social media. Prior to the opening of POMPEII: The Exhibition I was able to practice writing in the style the Carnegie Science Center specifically uses across their social channels while creating content for the films The Rocky Mountain Express: The Ultimate Steam Powered Adventure and Volcanoes: The Fires of Creation, both of which were new to the Rangos Giant Cinema. Creating content for these films gave me exposure to how the marketing team organizes all of the social posts across all platforms for all of its offers. 


Arguably the most valuable lessons I have taken from my time in the marketing department were those that I had never considered before, the promotional decisions that I learnt about first- hand and in the moment. 

As a typical museum patron prior to this position, I never gave much thought as to how an exhibit came to its final form. Like most other people my best guess would have looked something like contracts being exchanged, a few weeks of setting up, and a marketing plan that might include radio ads, a billboard, and some promoted social media posts. 

In actuality, I saw the months of pre-planning and negotiations with the company that owns the  POMPEII: The Exhibition artifacts and rights that had already been done prior to the start date of my internship. I was able to see the thousands of rows on an excel sheet that laid out exactly how the posts and advertisement buys fit into the year long marketing plan for the entire museum. I watched as all of the promotional opportunities large and small around the Carnegie Science Center facility flipped to be Pompeii themed almost overnight. Everyone’s email signatures were followed by a small image promoting the exhibit, every employee in the building pinned on a button with the official artwork, and all signage around the building were all dedicated to the new exhibition. 


On October 2nd, 2021 POMPEII: The Exhibition opened to the public, and the looks on the first faces through the door made me truly understand why so much attention was paid to those tiny details.  

  • Academic Interns
  • Undergraduate Work
  • Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh