June 25, 2015
We live in a day and age where social media is everything! We all love tweeting and no one can feet enough of Instagram, but have you ever thought about what it would be like if your favourite social media outlets were a part of your job? For the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Web & Social Media Coordinator, Meagan Campbell, being a professional social media guru is all in a day’s work! Meagan landed her gig at the AGO after working as an editor for various blogs and websites and feels strongly it was her background in journalism and media that helped secure her current position. What’s it really like to work with one of the most respected art galleries in the country? Meagan shares her experiences with F&B Inc bellow…

While some day jobs might seem like a grind with repetitive tasks and dull duties, Meagan says her job is wonderful because it is so diverse! The only thing “typical” about Meagan’s job is keeping tabs on social media! “some days I’m in back-to-back meetings other days (and nights) I’m at events as part of the communications team, tweeting and posting photos and assisting with media.” It seems pretty hard to beat a job where you walk through an incredible gallery filled with exceptional art every day and Meagan says everything about the AGO is awesome…especially the people! “Sometimes I walk through the galleries and look at the art and think, Wow, I can’t believe I work in such an amazing place, but without great co-workers, it wouldn’t be enough. The AGO’s staff is full of smart, passionate and interesting people, and I benefit from that every day.”

Every day Meagan says her work brings on new challenges and that is part of what makes her role at the AGO so rewarding! From discussing recent controversies involving the use of selfie sticks in galleries to keeping on top of her never-ending to-do list, Meagan is one busy social media guru! Meagan shares more about her work at the AGO in her exclusive interview with F&B Inc bellow…

F&B Inc: What is your advice for students looking for a career path similar to yours?
Meagan  Campbell: My advice is to say yes to new challenges and see where it takes you. And have patience! My career path has been a winding one, and I ended up somewhere good as a result. Along the way I did some work that I didn’t love, but the combination of editorial and digital skills I have now came from the diversity of my experience and even some dead ends. If you are learning and growing, though, no work is a waste of your time.
F&B Inc: What was the best piece advice you were given for your career?
Meagan Campbell: It wasn’t given directly to me, but when I was an undergrad at U of T, I went to a talk by about art writing, and the woman speaking – who was doing that successfully – said something that’s always stuck with me: Whatever you do, do it with rigour. What I took from that was the importance of committing to what you do. No half-miling. If you don’t care enough to do something well, it’s time to move on. Of course no matter what your job is, there are parts that excite you less, but rigour means putting as much effort into those as the tasks that really excite you.
F&B Inc: How would you describe the AGO’s social media/ online presence?

Meagan Campbell: Compared to some larger organizations, like the Tate or MoMA, we’ve got a ways to go, but I think we do a good job of balancing educational, promotional and curatorial content, and really we just need more. That means more content but it also means more voices: one of my missions is to get more people at the Gallery using social media and fully representing all the great things that happen inside its walls.
F&B Inc: What has been your most rewarding accomplishment with the AGO thus far?
Meagan Campbell: Being a part of the exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What? and helping shape the digital strategy around that was really meaningful to me. Working with a living artist who is very active on social media was exciting and presented new opportunities, and the political implications of that show made spreading the word about it feel not just important but essential.

F&B Inc: What up coming exhibits at the AGO are you most excited for?

Meagan Campbell: We have a photography exhibition opening this summer called Camera Atomica. The images are incredible, and I think the issues of nuclear power and weaponry that are in the news today make it a really important time to look at how we got here. When we do exhibitions that cross over into other disciplines, like science or history, it’s an opportunity to connect with new audiences, and that’s fun for me.
It’s pretty clear to see Meagan is an amazing individual whose work is changing the art gallery experience in the 21st-century! The AGO is an incredible gallery and thanks to Meagan, Torontonians and art lovers from around the world can appreciate it’s art on social media and the web! Be sure to check out the AGO on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and their website to keep abreast with all their current events and news!

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