The Work

Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

Situation and Assignment

After a multi-year renovation of a new building, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia wanted to share its grand reopening in the former Leigh Street Armory in the news media, with a goal of getting more people in the door. The museum sought an integrated media relations strategy to raise awareness, with a focus on the new 12,000-square-foot space that illustrates the African American experience in Virginia and beyond.

Our Approach

Our team worked with museum staff to develop key storylines, such as details about the building’s history and construction and highlights of specific exhibitions. Working on a tight budget and timeline, the team created media materials to support the grand reopening announcement, including a news release and backgrounder with museum details and potential story angles. Based on our longstanding relations with local media, we began reaching out to news reporters, editors and producers three months before the May 2016 reopening date. Based on our success with that project, the museum turned to us again to promote a fall 2016 exhibition by American artist Romare Bearden, which we saw as an opportunity to showcase the venue as a storytelling space.

What We Delivered

  • More than 40 stories highlighting the museum’s history, exhibitions and technology, including an Associated Press story that appeared in The Washington Post and media outlets statewide.
  • Dedicated special section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and multiple live TV segments.
  • News coverage helped attract 7,000 visitors in the first month, which equaled the museum’s historical annual attendance.


Contact Us

The Hodges Partnership
1805 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
804-788-0085 fax