SLIS Alumna Integrates Archiving and Corporate Branding
Kent State University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) alumna Sarah Lund-Goldstein, M.L.I.S. ’09, has discovered a unique way to use her skills as an archivist.
A few years after she received her M.L.I.S. degree, she founded CorpArchivists to fill a particular niche in the archiving profession: helping companies manage their historical content to preserve the history of their brands.
Lund-Goldstein said archiving can assist businesses with their marketing plans, but not many local business people understand that.
“Archivists can arm companies with the facts, figures, knick-knacks and photos that they can use in telling the story of their brand and their business,” Lund-Goldstein explained. She added that while most communication professionals have a basic understanding of their company’s timeline, they do not understand the research tools needed to locate more in-depth information on the history of the brand.
Lund-Goldstein said she enjoys cataloging the brand ephemera of business archives, but she also feels there is a need to help area businesses understand the benefits of an organized repository of their own information.
Most corporations “are not quite sure what business archivists do,” she said. “Especially in this area, there is a real learning curve for the business community to learn how archivists can help them in their storytelling.
“In today’s media centered world, corporations and marketing people love little bite-sized stories. Archivists can help find these stories, even if it’s a paragraph or a few sentences for social media, a photo to share, something concrete you can point to. The company can then create this nugget of corporate history to educate their consumers, employees and the general public.”
That’s where Lund-Goldstein offers a unique service. “There are not many people who do what I do around here. I’m trying to educate middle-management people about what archivists do,” she said. “Some companies are probably already doing it, but need to solidify it with some formal procedures.”
Lund-Goldstein became interested in the connection between branding and archiving while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public history at Kent State.
“It helped me understand the nuisances of history,” Lund-Goldstein said. “I took a few years away from school and worked in print advertising. That helped me understand the pieces and parts that companies need to preserve their history.”
According to Lund-Goldstein, only about 100 Fortune 500 level companies in the United States have full-time archive departments. And even those are staffed with one or two people. Most companies hire freelancers on a project basis or outsource the work to contract firms like CorpArchivists. She said Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Levi Strauss are among the companies with hearty heritage programs.
“There is potential for growth in the area of corporate archiving, as long as there is an educational component to it,” Lund-Goldstein said. “As archivists, it is our job to show the business world that there is value in keeping corporate archives in order. Their history can add great value to marketing and communication efforts in the form of corporate storytelling, which will translate into financial reward in the future.”
For more information about Lund-Goldstein’s company, visit her company Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CorpArchivists.