Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Using Brand Colors Consistently is a Tip to Treasure

The May edition of Marketing Library Treasures by Chris Olson is now online. I've mentioned this resource before but I'm mentioning it again in case (1) you don't read my archives (nah, I'm sure that can't be...) and (2) there's a good article about "The Role of Color in Branding."

Some of Chris' color branding tips are:
-Make sure the color supports your brand’s attributes.
-Select a color that can be relevant to your primary audiences.
-Maintain the same shade and hue in your brand color.
-Display your brand color to all members of your community, inside and outside the organization.
-Ensure that color branding is consistently applied at every turn.
-Make sure all materials and items carry the brand color

When it comes to branding using all your branding elements consistenly is key. This includes color, font, logo, etc.

Usability Testing On a Budget

Chris Nagele's article, "Practical (and Cheap) Usability Testing," on MarketingProfs.com explains how you can conduct your own usability testing without a big budget.

Nagele breaks usability testing down to four steps:
  1. Define tasks and location
  2. Identify and schedule participants
  3. Conduct the tests
  4. Review your findings
Nagele reminds us that
...you don't need a large budget for simple usability testing. Make the participant comfortable, ask open-ended questions and learn from the [participants'] confusion.

Do Your PR Materials Need a Makeover?

LAMA's Swap-N-Shop committee is sponsoring an interesting contest at ALA this year. You could win a brochure makeover by noted library communicators Linda Wallace and Peggy Barber from Library Communication Strategies.

The PR Makeover is a new addition to the Swap-N-Shop at ALA's Annual Conference and is sponsored by the Swap & Shop Committee, from the Public Relations and Marketing Section of the Library Administration Management Association division of the American Library Association.

To be eligible for the PR Makeover contest, send two copies of your library brochure to librarycomm@librarycomm.com or LAMA PRMS PR Makeover, 5109 Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60640.

Three entries will be chosen for a makeover. Makeovers, including the before-and-after brochures will be on display during the ALA Conference on Sunday, June 26, 2005 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

See the official announcement for complete details.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Two Interesting Library Marketing Articles

In case you missed it, Gary Price's ResourceShelf pointed out two articles that might be of interest:

1. Manager Educates Library Patrons by Greg DeLong (NYU NewsNet)
Favorite quote: "Call him a library communications guru. Call him a manager of communications and public relations. Just don’t call him a librarian."

2. Marketing an Online Library Service by news staff (Government Technology)
Explains how staff marketed L-net, a 24 hour online chat reference service. Be sure to check out the L-net marketing wiki!

Jazzy PR Materials Wanted for Conference Swap-N-Shop

The Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) Public Relations and Marketing Section is inviting libraries of all types to send 150-200 copies of their Swap & Shop display and give-away featuring the best library public relations materials of 2004. This year's program, entitled "Hit the Right Note with Jazzy PR," will be held on Sunday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Chicago.

Swap & Shop submissions must have been created in 2004. To have your materials included, ship 150-200 copies of each item to: Swap & Shop, c/o Dollester Thorn, LAMA, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL, 60611, 1800-4-2433, ext. 5032. Materials must be postmarked no later than Friday, June 3, 2005 [via PRTalk dicussion list]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Silverman Asks: Do Journalists Read Press Releases?

Ben Silverman, from PR Fuel, surveyed journalists at daily newspapers in order to find out what they think about certain aspects of PR.

The purpose of the survey was simple - to gather some quick insight into how journalists receive press releases, whether and where they read them, and how journalists view weblogs and online press rooms.

Some of the same old mistakes PR people and anyone seeking publicity make were mentioned again. Tips:
  • Don't send press releases as attachments - EVER
  • Do use a relevant, attention grabbing headline
  • Do ask the media representatives you contact how they prefer to receive your news. Some, but not all, prefer to receive news by e-mail. Others still rely on faxes or mail. Find out!
  • Don't send media news on a topic they don't cover
  • Do post your press releases and contact information on your Web site
  • Don't expect the media to use a "contact us" form
[Thanks to Tom Murphy at PR Opinions for the link]

And now LibTalk will be on hiatus while I'm on vacation. See you next week!

Bacon: A PR Resource

The April issue of Bacon's ExpertPR newsletter has two articles that especially interested me and might interest you as well.

1. Continuity: Creating an Image Greater Than the Parts, by Jim Schakenbach.
Ignore the business jargon and pay attention to Schakenbach's overall points.
  1. Pay attend to your library's image and brand.
  2. Hone a consistent image by creating a style sheet for librarians and staff on how to use the library's logo, colors and fonts.
  3. Use a consistent message including your vision statement and tagline.

2. Top 5 Reasons to Use RSS by Fergus Burns. And the reasons are:
  • Avoid Spam Filters
  • Make Journalists Happy
  • Improve Your Web Traffic
  • Monitor Your Online Reputation
  • It's Easy - Even for a Non-Techie
Ready for more? Read the articles for details.

[Thanks to Tom Murphy at PR Opinions for the link]