Thursday, April 20, 2006

You MUST see this presentation!

I heard Alane Wilson, senior library market consultant, OCLC, speak at Ohionet's annual meeting today on "Understanding User Perceptions." It was a fantastic presentation and one that I think anyone working in or with a library should hear. Whether you've read the OCLC's "Perceptions of Libraries and Information Services" report or not (I must admit, I've done more skimming than reading thus far), you must see this presentation! Luckily, you can watch Alane do her stuff from the comfort of your home or office by watching the SirsiDynixInstitute archive presentation of her talk. Go. Go now.

Alane's presentation and the way she framed her talk really got my gears turning. I have so many ideas and thoughts now I'm not sure where to start. Hey, why are you still reading this? Go listen for yourself.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Want publicity? Don't do this...

This week's issue of The Publicity Hounds Tips of the Week by Joan Stewart has even more good advice than usual. When working with the media to try and get publicity you should not:
  • Pitch a story to a new media outlet without first reading the publication, or watching or listening to the program and studying what the reporter covers.
  • Ask a reporter to read their story before it's printed.
  • Ask a media outlet to cover a story because "you've worked hard on it or it deserves coverage."
For more of Joan's good advice on mistakes to avoid at all costs, read the article (yes, you'll have to scroll down a bit to story #1).

Joan's third article in this issue, "Attract PR Clients" is also relevant to libraries. Yes, the article is about how to attract PR or any business clients by going on the speaker circuit, but someone or rather a lot of someones from your library should be regularly offering to speak to community groups in your area.

Do you offer to speaker to Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, special interest clubs, business people, homeschoolers, PTO groups, churches, campus groups, etc. about how the library can specifically help them?! Unfortunately, far too many people still think of the library as an antiquated place to pick up a classic novel or to take the kids to finish a report. Offer to tell groups how the library can help their members save time, win business, save money, get an A on their paper, etc. People I talk to are still amazed at the wealth of resources from today's libraries. There are still many people (too many!) out there who are shocked that they can read industry journals for free from the office via library-purchased resources, find information in consumer reports or other popular magazines from home while they're relaxing in their pjs, and borrow blockbuster movies from the library. Answer the WIFM (What's in it for me?) question and you just might gain a new user/patron/customer.

Looking for more publicity tips? Check out these past posts:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Don't have award winning library PR materials? Get a makeover.

Could your library PR materials use a little help? Now there is a makeover opportunity for your library’s PR materials! LAMA’s PRMS Swap & Shop committee is continuing the popular PR Makeover event introduced at last year’s Annual Swap & Shop. This year it will be even bigger and better with makeover tips and both budget and deluxe versions of the makeovers.

How does it work? You send three copies of a library brochure that you’d like to see made-over. The “PR Doctors” and library promotions experts, Linda Wallace and Peggy Barber of Library Communications Strategies will select three lucky entries to be “made over” in both a low cost and higher end format. The makeovers will be unveiled during the Swap & Shop event on Sunday, June 25, 2006 from 11a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in New Orleans (check conference schedule for exact location). You’ll have a chance to see the before and after brochures as well as consult with the “PR Doctors” during the event.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get expert advice and possibly raise your library’s promotional brochures to new heights.

To submit a brochure for consideration, email or mail three copies of each entry to: or LAMA PRMS PR Makeover, 5109 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640. Include the name of the library making the submission, library staff contact name, mailing address, email address and phone number. Short questions about your entry may be directed to Swap & Shop chair, Jennifer Keohane ( or 860-658-7663.) Entries should be sent to arrive no later than May 1, 2006.

Do you have award winning library PR materials?

ALA's Library Administration and Management Association is giving you a chance again this year to show off your marketing stuff and gain recognition for your PR efforts via the Annual 2006 Swap and Shop Best of Show public relations competition. Entries must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2006. Entry forms are available online. See the information sheet with FAQ for more information.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Links Worth a Look

One of my favorite reasons for reading blogs is that I find out about many articles, resources and tips I would have missed otherwise. So to continue that spirit of sharing, here's some items that caught my interest recently:

There's more, but it's getting late for me, so stay tuned...

Get a date @ your library?

Did you catch the American Libraries' story about speed dating in a Belgium library? The story is online in case you missed it. This is definitely one program I’d like to see a library try around here. It could be a great way to get college kids into the academic library on the weekend. I think it has great potential to catch on with the under 40 crowd and get some special attention.

Has anyone tried this in the U.S.?