12 January 2017
Martijn Pronk has been appointed Head of Digital Communication at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, effective 1 February 2017.
His tasks will include giving further shape to the museum’s updated digital communication strategy, expanding its social media fan base and the ongoing development of its website. Pronk was previously employed at the Rijksmuseum, where he served as head of Publications from 2007, including responsibility for digital strategy. He and his team were behind the development of the e-strategy that resulted in the successful launch of ‘Rijksstudio’ on the museum’s reopening in 2013.
The Van Gogh Museum boasts an active and highly involved online community. Interest in the artist and the museum grew exponentially in 2016, with over 3.2 million people visiting the website – a 40% increase on the previous year. Van Gogh and the museum are the subject of equally intensive discussion via the institution’s different social media channels, bringing together 8.2 million fans in 2016. In this way, the online fan base grew 30% compared to the 6.3 million followers in 2015.
‘Digital communication is increasingly important to the Van Gogh Museum. Not only as a platform on which to bring together all the fans worldwide: our digital sales channels are also crucial for online ticket sales and for spreading visits throughout the day and the year as a whole’, Milou Halbesma, the Van Gogh Museum’s Director of Public Affairs, explains. ‘The experience that Martijn Pronk has built up in this area at the Rijksmuseum can certainly help us move that process forward.’
‘The large, international group of fans, Vincent’s unique story and digital developments create a fantastic base on which to build on the success of the Van Gogh Museum. We want to surprise people and to inspire them’, says newcomer Martijn Pronk.
The museum’s digital strategy uses dynamic content and storytelling to pass on Van Gogh’s cultural legacy to the many interested people worldwide, through a variety of coordinated digital channels. This enables the museum to establish a relevant and lasting relationship with a global public. The online community is colourful and highly diverse, ranging from scholars and Van Gogh experts, to schoolchildren, students and fans with an interest in and love of Van Gogh and his work.
Martijn Pronk studied law in Groningen and began his career as a management trainee at the publisher Wolters Kluwer in 1993. He worked as a digital publisher at Wolters Kluwer and subsequently at SDU, before moving from business to the cultural sector in 2007. As Head of Publications, Pronk established a new digital department for the Rijksmuseum. He will begin his new position at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam on 1 February.