Free Pacific Science Center Essay Example
I. Executive Summary
The Pacific Science Center (PSC) has existed for more than have a century to provide continuous opportunities to learn in the fields of science and technology. Through interactive and multi-disciplinary approaches, the PSC has endeavored to sustain interest in these areas through programs, exhibits, and educational events. The current discourse aimed to present a comprehensive analysis of PSC through conducting several evaluation techniques using tools such as the SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, as well as the market and social media assessments.
The fact that PSC was not included in the top ten (10) science centers in the United States should prompt the organization into undertaking market research to intensify efforts to be more competitive. The use of marketing and social media strategies have been found to be effective in attaining their mission and goals.
Finally, despite the strengths and opportunities that abound, PSC was recommended to look more closely into strategies that would generate more revenues, minimize costs, as well as entice greater audience appeal through responding more effectively to its competitors.
II. Introduction to the Business
The Pacific Science Center (PSC) is reported to be an independent and not-for-profit educational institution established in 1962 during the Seattle World’s Fair . Specifically located at 200 Second Avenue North, Seattle, Washington, PSC pioneered as the first U.S. museum with the main thrust of focusing on science and technology. The mission of PSC was explicitly stated as inspiring a “lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs” . The evolving story of the PSC was revealed to have been spurred by the genuine interests of people as inquisitive and explorative in nature, with continued determination to learn.
III. SWOT Analysis
One of the strengths of the PSC is its ability to encourage interaction through programs, exhibits, and endeavors that increase learning in the fields of science and technology. The institution could be reached and accessed through various online medium (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Flickr, YouTube), as well as in their actual physical location stipulated in the above mentioned address. Their official website is replete with information that provides users and interested visitors to learn more through the following means: visiting them, IMAX and theatre shows, exhibits, educational programs, and through private events .
Another strength of the PSC is the leadership aspect. The board of directors is composed of professionals who are experts in the fields of science and technology. The current chairperson is Barbara B. Hulit, the Senior Vice President of Danaher Business Systems and Danaher Corporation . Other board members are noted to be affiliates of renowned organizations such as Deloitte LLP, Intellectual Ventures, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to name just a few . Their core competencies and expertise in the endeavor enable them to be instrumental contributors to the governance and jurisdiction of PSC.
A weakness that was noted was that the exhibits need to be updated to cater to the changing needs of the times. From comments of people who visited their site and went to see the exhibits, some noted that the exhibits seem to have been stuck in the 1990s .
Another weakness that could have led to PSC’s inability to update their exhibits is their financial status. A snap shot of the revenues and expenses for 2013 is shown below:
Source: Guidestar, 2015, p. 3
The fast and unprecedented developments and growths in the science and technology fields provide immense opportunities for PSC to tap on these trends and use innovative outcomes as subjects for future exhibits and educational programs. In addition, PSC could forge alliances with educational institutions within the nation to encourage field trips, as well as to establish booths in schools and universities that hold science fairs.
The common threats facing organizations and educational institutions like PSC is increasing competition from similar endeavors. A search for science centers in Washington generated as much as eight (8) centers in addition to PSC, to wit: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Imagine Children’s Museum, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Mobius Science Center, Palouse Discovery Science Center, The Future of Flight Foundation, The Museum of Flight, and The REACH . From the list, it could be deduced that PSC needs to apply intensified strategies to respond and react to competitors’ marketing techniques and enable them to stand or rise above the rest.
IV. Competitive Analysis
Source: Cicero, 2015
The science center which topped the poll, the Center of Science and Industry was noted to provide additional amenities such as “family restrooms, free use of wagons and strollers, and a cafe that serves nutritious food at a decent price make the outing even better” . A visual illustration of one of its exhibits is shown below:
Source: Source: Cicero, 2015, p. 1
V. Marketing Assessment and Social Media Assessment
The official website of PSC is comprehensive and integrative of all links and portals that inform visitors on areas needed to learn more about the organization. The major portals include: Visit, IMAX/Theaters/Shows, Exhibits, Education/Programs, Join/Give, and Private Events . Moreover, PSC could be accessed from social networking media, as noted above. They also have an online store were various memorabilia and items could be purchased as additional sources of funds for the organization .
A quick view of their Facebook page reveals that there are a much as 32,390 likes and 102,745 visits . Likewise, the page is regularly updated with current events and news items that interest users, as intended. Due to the vast opportunities to access their sites and gain information on PSC, it could be deduced that their marketing strategies have been effective in terms of achieving the identified mission and goals.
VI. Specific Recommendations for improvement
Recommendations for improvement were made possible through an integration of different analytical tools. There are market sensing programs, in addition to the SWOT analysis, that were deemed needed to provide a more viable evaluation of PSC’s courses of action for improvement . In view of the evaluation results provided from the SWOT analysis, competitive, marketing and social media assessments, the following recommendations are hereby proposed: (1) undertake intensified efforts to promote the programs at PSC to encourage more visits and improve the financial condition of the institution; (2) implement cost minimization strategies to lessen expenses on program services; and (3) review strategies instituted by competitors, especially from the top ten (10) science centers and undertake measures to emulate and apply strategies that could improve audience appeal and the financial position of PSC.
There is a need to intensify efforts to promote PSC’s programs to encourage more visits. To do this, PSC management should update their current exhibits and incorporate state-of-the-art technological applications to entice audience appeal. In addition, as initially suggested, they should forge active alliances with academic institutions to arrange scheduled field trips or to establish science fair booths in the school premises as promotional techniques.
Another recommendation is to look more closely in the expenses portion of program services. From the financial highlights, it could be deduced that although program services generated the most revenues at $23.5 million, or 65% of total revenues, the expenses incurred under program services was significantly greater at $29.8 million, or 82% of total expenses amounting to $36.2. As such, the loss was attributed to exorbitant expenses in this particular cost component. Therefore, a cost minimization strategy should be undertaken, in conjunction with strategies to generate additional revenues, to improve the bottom line.
Finally, the PSC was not included among the top ten (10) science centers in the United States. As such, from reviewing the marketing strategies of the 10 competitors in terms of the approaches that appealed to the target clientele, PSC could learn to apply those that would cater to their customers’ needs and demands. The application of marketing strategies should consider the current and future resources of PSC, the competencies of the leaders and staff, as well as the preferences of their clientele.
The PSC has evolved and transcended from being recognized as the pioneer in the science and technology endeavor. A comprehensive assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as their ability to tap opportunities and ward off threats would contribute to their continued success (or failure) in the achievement of their defined mission and goal. As such, through a more committed review of the external environment, specifically the strategies applied by competitors, in conjunction with market and social media assessments, PSC should undertake efforts to rejuvenate current programs to ensure that the organization would excel in the near future.
Discovering the T-shirt Sales Formula at Science Museums. (2009, June 1). Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties, pp. 166-169. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.seattleu.edu/ehost/resultsadvanced?sid=d95ee3ad-07ef-4847-81dc-36294539a2e5%40sessionmgr110&vid=2&hid=107&bquery=Discovering+the+T-shirt+Sales+Formula+%22at%22+Science+Museums&bdata=JmRiPWJ0aCZ0eXBlPTEmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl
Association of Science – Technology Centers. (2015). Find a Science Center. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from astc.org: http://www.astc.org/about-astc/about-science-centers/find-a-science-center/?country=United+States&state=WA&keywords=
Cicero, K. (2015). The 10 Best Science Centers. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from Parents: http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/us-destinations/best-science-centers/#page=10
Everett, R. (2014). A Crack in the Foundation: Why SWOT Might Be Less Than Effective in Market Sensing Analysis. Journal of Marketing & Management, 58-78. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.proxy.seattleu.edu/ehost/resultsadvanced?sid=d95ee3ad-07ef-4847-81dc-36294539a2e5%40sessionmgr110&vid=3&hid=107&bquery=Everett%2c+R.+(2014).+A+Crack+%22in%22+the+Foundation%3a+Why+SWOT+Might+%22Be%22+Less+Than+Effective+%22in%22+Market+Sensing+Analysis.&bdata=JmRiPWJ0aCZ0eXBlPTEmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl
Facebook. (2015). Pacific Science Center. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from facebook.com: https://www.facebook.com/PacSci/reviews?ref=page_internal
Guidestar. (2015, February 26). Pacific Science Center Foundation. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from guidestar.org: http://www.guidestar.org/ViewPdf.aspx?PdfSource=0&ein=91-0750867
Pacific Science Center. (2015). About Pacific Science Center. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from pacificsciencecenter.org: http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/about
Pacific Science Center. (2015). Board of Directors/Senior Staff. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from pacificsciencecenter.org: http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/About/board