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.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Good Stuff: Elizabeth Leonard on Libraries

I found Elizabeth's blog, Elizabeth Leonard on Libraries, yesterday. It's definitely worth a visit. She has a lot of good marketing points and tips.

I also updated the list of blogs I read to reflect my current habits (finally).

Brochure Design: Creating a Winner

I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a good brochure while re-designing OhioLINK's brochures. Some of the tips I found really resonated with me, in fact they resonated enough that I was able to see our current brochure with fresh eyes and give it the overhaul it desperately needed.

So here's a compendium of some of the tips that helped me.

First, the ever-insightful Seth Godin reminded us that people won't read your brochure. His tips (go to the post for more):
  • Use less copy. Half as much.
  • Use testimonials. With photos. Short captions. It's hard to have too many of the good ones.
  • Make it funny enough or interesting enough or, hey, remarkable enough that people will want to show it to their friends.
  • Show, don't tell.
Another helpful article is "Effective Brochure Design":
  • Use white space
  • Stick to two typefaces, and strictly limit your use of bold, capitalization, underline, etc.
These key tips from are also good:
  • Make the cover as POWERFUL as possible.
  • Use a single quality image on the cover. Research suggests that one large image is more effective then several small ones.
  • Be easy to identify – use your logo effectively. Develop a consistent theme for your printed material.
And, because you can never have too many tips, here are a few from me:
  • Focus on the reader. It's not about what you offer. It's about what you can do for them. Which of their problems can you solve?
  • Looks matter. If you don't have the design skills to create a killer brochure, hire someone, talk to your campus marketing office, or find a design student to help you.
  • Don't use a template. You want to stand out from the crowd, using a common template does just the opposite.
  • Avoid jargon at all costs. And some of the things you think aren't jargon, are. Instead of talking about the databases you have, tell me how they can help me.
  • Just say no to clip art. I don't know about you, but clip art screams amateur to me. If you need good graphics on a budget try It's awesome.
  • Get a second opinion. Have someone outside the library look at the brochure and give you a frank opinion.
  • Include all your contact information. That means your address, e-mail, IM, phone, URL, etc. These should be on everything you produce.
So what does a good library brochure look like? Here are a few I found:
What brochures would you add to the list?