Hi there. My name is Hannah. I’m a museum professional specializing in social media, marketing, an digital engagement for museums. I currently live in Reykjavík, Iceland, where I am exploring Icelandic museums on a Fulbright Fellowship.
A Maryland native, I grew up traveling the world with my family before we settled back down in rural Maryland. When I was eleven, my mom (who has an inherited and unavoidable entrepreneurial streak), decided to start her own granite countertop business. I started off as a hostess, chatting with clients while they waited and eventually moved into sales when I was in high school. I stayed close to home for college, studying English Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. As I continued to help out at my mom’s business, I realized she was spending a lot of money on marketing and advertising without really knowing if it was working. With so much on her plate (anyone running nonprofits and small businesses knows what I’m talking about), she didn’t have time to put together a marketing plan and research best practices. She was essentially throwing money at whatever opportunities came across her desk, whether that was print advertising, trade shows, or online marketing companies.
So, I asked her to let me take over. Long story short, I had the unique opportunity to learn marketing in the real world through high-stakes trial and error. Since I was working for the family business, I could spend a few weeks teaching myself Google Adwords or take half a day to read up on the latest changes to Facebook’s algorithms. I had a lot more time than money at my disposal, so I learned quickly how to make the most of a small budget. I realized that with a careful strategy, we could use inexpensive content and free platforms (such as photos, blogs, and social media) alongside results-driven advertising on Google and Facebook to attract new clients while growing our reputation. Jump to ten years later, and Granite Grannies is one of the premier businesses of its kind the greater DC area.
In the last two years of my time at UMD, I started writing freelance, specifically website copy. After a year of working full-time at Granite Grannies after college, I jetted off to Iceland to get a Master’s in medieval Icelandic literature and manuscripts (because…why not?). While I was there, I continued to write freelance and doing Granite Grannies’ marketing remotely.
Returning to the States after graduate school, I wanted to find a job that really mattered and made the most of my unique skill set, so I started looking for something at the intersection of marketing and nonprofits or museums. That’s what led me to the American Association for State and Local History, where I served as the Membership Marketing Coordinator from 2015-2017. Among other communication, marketing duties, and digital engagement duties, I managed the Association’s social media presence and taught webinars on the subject for our members’ benefit.
During my two years at this amazing public history association, I got a crash course in the public history and museum fields. I got to spend my 9-5 serving museums and other history organizations and bringing AASLH members together to make the field stronger.
But I missed Iceland and Europe (and my long-distance European partner), so in summer 2017, I accepted a Fulbright Fellowship to return to Reykjavík. Over the next nine months, I’ll be taking Icelandic language classes and exploring Icelandic museum culture through a podcast. Stay tuned to my blog for the first episode, which I hope to release by October.