Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Do You Make Reporters Jump Through Hoops?

Publicity Hound Joan Stewart's latest tips of the week include some good advice on what not to do if you hope to ever get publicity and how to keep your message clear when talking to reporters.

Check out the first story for some great tips on how not to treat reporters or anyone looking for information about your library or organization. Joan's tips include (go read her article for complete details):

  1. Make sure your front-line employees understand the importance of media inquiries.

  2. When you get a fabulous media hit, include it at your website.

  3. Put contact information--including a shipping address, phone number and email address--in an easy-to-find place on your homepage.
As well as making sure front-line employees understand the importance of media inquiries, make sure everyone has a list of the events and programs going on in the library that day easily accessible. It's frustrating for patron, the media or anyone to ask about an event they saw listed in the newspaper, or your newsletter, only to be greeted with a blank stare from someone who hasn't been informed of the day's events.

Joan's tips bring up another point. Do you have an online newsroom? Most of the library Web sites I visit don't, but probably should. Online newsrooms aren't just for big corporations, they're something most libraries will probably benefit from as well. Online newsrooms should contain quick and easy access to your news releases, fast facts, statistics, testimonials, historical and contact information, and anything else the media might need or want to know when doing a story on you. And online newsrooms aren't just for the media. Library staff and customers will visit them for facts and stats as well. If you do have an online newsroom, make sure it's up-to-date and is easy to find from your home page.

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