The Museum's Department of External Affairs is responsible for attracting, welcoming, retaining, and increasing visitors to The Met from around the city, state, country, and world, through outreach to the media, the public, the city's many communities, and government offices and officials at all levels. The department encompasses the following areas:
Our Communications and Marketing team promotes the institution and its programs through continuous, expert outreach to the traditional press and new media alike, by organizing exhibition press previews, Museumwide announcements, press conferences, and other media events; writing and distributing media kits and press releases; managing emerging news stories of concern to the institution and the broader museum community; creating video and new media promotions; and building and maintaining crucial relationships between Museum leadership and critics and editors throughout the world. The department is also responsible for marketing and advertising the Museum's schedule in print and online publications and other outlets, working in collaboration with outside agencies to maximize exposure for The Met. It also promotes and manages revenue- and publicity-generating film shoots within the building.
Established in 1999, the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative (MADI) works to broaden Museum attendance and support from all of New York's communities. In addition to a central committee, the initiative is supported by subcommittees from the African American, Asian, Hispanic, South Asian, and Native American communities; it organizes events, receptions, and lecture programs in collaboration with Education, the Costume Institute, and other Museum departments; and it manages The Met College Group, a national program designed to increase attendance among university students. Its college-student mentoring program has become a model for other programs around the country. MADI's most recent initiative, Spectrum, plans exhibition-related special events that are geared to appeal to young professionals.
The Museum's Government Affairs team works at the city, state, and federal levels to maximize the local and federal governments' operating and capital support for The Met and its initiatives. It maintains active relationships with executive and legislative branches at all levels of government; aids the Museum on issues of importance to the institution and to the museum community; and promotes attention to the Museum by local, state, and federal government officials.
Through the biweekly publication of MetMatters and occasional all-staff communications, Internal Communications and Editorial Services provides information about key programs and issues for the Museum's two thousand-plus staff and volunteer community. It also creates, edits, and publishes print publications, such as the Members' Calendar and the online publication for tourism professionals, On View.
Visitor Services oversees the Museum's admissions, visitor information, visitor research, attendance projection, and tourism outreach. Its staff members process some five million Museum attendees each year—individuals, students, seniors, and groups—at admission stations in the Great Hall and the Uris Center, and offer assistance and directions to the public at information desks throughout the Museum. The department is also responsible for editing, updating, and distributing Museum maps and installing directional signage within the Museum to assist visitors. Its research branch conducts and issues regular demographic and economic development surveys, as well as special studies on such issues as concerts and lectures and visitor knowledge of particular curatorial areas; and it provides, in close collaboration with curators and communications professionals, yearly visitor projections for exhibitions that form the core of the Museum's annual budget. The Tourism Cultivation office promotes the Museum to international tourists by marketing individual and group visits to The Met at professional visitor-attraction meetings around the world and by maintaining relationships with travel planners, hotel concierges, and the city's tourism organization, NYC & Company.