Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Getting the Word Out By Bus

If you missed The Bay Area's Best Value By Ronnie Davis in the September 14, 2004 issue of Library Journal, be sure to check it out. The article details how nine library systems in the San Francisco Bay area publicized themselves in a joint campaign, using ads on busses and other tactics.

I love the idea of using bus ads, and other innovative means (innovative for libraries anyway) to promote libraries and their services. In a similar vein, Kent State University Libraries, an OhioLINK member, promoted the consortium's online chat service by posting banners on campus busses. We definitely need to spend more time promoting the library outside of our buildings and Web sites. Unfortunately, current practice seems to be just the opposite.

LibTalk On PR Opinions

LibTalk was discovered today by none other than Tom Murphy of PR Opinions. It's good to finally know I have some readers! Well, a few visitors anyway.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

PR Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Why you shouldn't send Word documents to journalists, or anyone else for that matter.

For more information on similar problems see the original post about this topic on PR Opinions.

Steven Cohen Gets It

Steven Cohen, author of Library Stuff, gets it. Actually, I've been reading Steven's blog, so I know that Steven gets a lot of stuff: weblogs, RSS, and marketing just to name a few. Yes, he gets the importance of marketing, for both libraries and librarians. His article Grow the Profession: Marketing the Librarian which is posted on explains the importance of marketing yourself.

Why should you market? As Steven says:
But when we get down to the core of marketing, it's all about survival.
That's not putting it too strongly folks.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Why didn't the media run your story?

Here are a few reasons why the media may have ignored your press release. It's an old post (November 2003) by Greg Brooks at Engage, but the information is timeless.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Free PDF Creator

Apparently I'm behind the times for not hearing about this sooner (so says my geek boyfriend anyway), but there are several free options for creating PDFs. One such product is PrimoPDF
So if your library is on tight budget and you can't afford Adobe Acrobat, you may want to check this one out. I can't live without Acrobat anymore.

[Thanks to The Robin Good site for the link]

New Communications Resources from ALA

I was alerted to some new communications resources from ALA thanks to Peter Scott's Library Blog. The Communications Handbook for Libraries is "a free, online handbook designed to help librarians and others develop and maintain effective relations with the media and win support for libraries and their programs, all with minimal use of precious resources." I have already skimmed through it. It's very thorough and is a great resource for beginners, though it has enough depth to be a helpful refresher for pros as well.

Peter's blog also alerted me to
The Smartest Card. The Smartest Campaign, a new toolkit with graphics and sample publicity materials for the new advocacy campaign launched by the American Library Association and Public Library Association. Of course this campaign applies to public libraries.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Change This: For the both of you who haven't heard.

Haven'’t visited Change This? You should.

Change This is (and I'm quoting from their FAQ):
a “new kind of media. It's calm and thoughtful and direct and transparent. And unlike almost every other form of media, it reaches people through community. If an idea is a good one, it'll spread, because people like you will send it to their friends.” The site has manifestos on a variety of topics, by a variety of authors.

Some of my favorites include:
  • Guerrilla Marketing Guru by Jay Conrad Levinson. A lot of these tips don't apply to libraries, but they will get you thinking creatively.
So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Marketing Resources for Academic Libraries

The about me section says I work for an academic library consortium, but I didn't say which one. A few short hours ago when I started this blog I thought about remaining anonymous. But I decided if I'm going to try the whole blogging experience, I should really try it. I'm proud to say I work for OhioLINK. One of the resources I've spent a lot of time working on for the past year is the Marketing Toolkit. I don't think anyone outside of OhioLINK has stumbled upon it, because it's fairly well hidden, but there are several areas that might be helpful to others looking for resources on library marketing, promoting, etc. The resources page has links to relevant articles I've stumbled across. Another helpful piece is the Idea Gallery. It contains samples of work from OhioLINK member libraries. Having an online idea file can certainly come in handy (though I'm still hoping this one will grow) and it certainly saves on space in your file cabinet.

The Beginning of LibTalk

The fact that libraries need to utilize marketing and public relations to reach users, stakeholders and most importantly, those who fund libraries, is no longer a secret. While many libraries have communications programs in place, we still have not reached the saturation point of library communications and marketing programs. There is still a lot of room for improvement. We need to communicate better, smarter, and to more audiences. We need to conquer the resistance of some within libraries and begin to tell our stories consistently, loudly and as often as possible.

This blog will explore stories, tips, news and case studies that can assist library communicators. Why am I interested in this subject? Because it's my job and I'm interested in learning and improving my own skills. Everyday I'm exploring new ways to communicate the value of libraries and consortia, to reach users, to prove our value to influencers. I'm very interested in helping library communicators try new and different approaches to informing audiences about libraries. We can do more and we must, the survival, stability and growth of our libraries depends on it.