Get the Word Out

Elsner Library Consulting
edward_elsner AT yahoo.com
810-423-0579

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Make Your Own Marketing Department

  1. YOU!
  2. digital camera
  3. desktop publishing program
  4. color printer
  5. media contacts

Making the News
(if you write it, send it, and include a cute picture…you will get press)

  1. Write up a recent or forthcoming library event.
  2. Include a picture or two, the cuter the better.
  3. Email or fax it (ask their preference) to
    1. Local Newspapers
    2. Regional Newspapers
    3. Radio Stations
    4. TV & Cable Access Stations

Don't be surprised if it appears EXACTLY as you wrote it.

Best Ad = Word of Mouth!

  1. The staff IS the library ~ Encourage smiling faces and willing help!
  2. Give away small freebies at check out ~ Include hours and contact info!
    1. Vary them from Bookmarks you create to imprinted items from vendors.
  3. Remove barriers to an enjoyable, time saving library experience!
    1. FREE parking ~ Validate if you must.
    2. Pleasant, well-maintained, well-lit exterior and interior.
    3. Comfortable seats, power outlets handy, and consistent, large-type signs.

Seven Steps to Make the Most of Word of Mouth

  1. enlist the whole library family;
  2. have a simple, clear message;
  3. build the buzz;
  4. [ask those pleased with the library to tell someone else];
  5. give people a reason to talk [give aways, contests, and special events];
  6. send a message with your message; and
  7. seek out experts.

From Linda Wallace and Peggy Barger's article, "The Smartest Card. The Smartest Campaign," Public Libraries (September/October 2004): 296-298.

Musts for Your Website

  1. your catalog
  2. new items
  3. hours
  4. location
  5. general reference and local links

Remote access to accounts so people can see what they have out, renew items, place requests, ask for ILL's, and find your databases!

The 6 Features of Graphic Design that Sell

  1. One thing dominates the page
  2. Minimize typeface variety — stick to one, or two if you must, for each work
  3. Leave white space
  4. Easy-to-read text layout
  5. Use relevant illustrations
  6. Clear, visible logo and call-to-action — easy to find, but not dominating

From "The 6 features of graphic design that sell," (Washington, D.C.: United States Postal Service, 2002).

Promoting Your Event

  1. Bookmarks or flyers handed out at check out.
  2. Flyers or posters displayed in busy areas around town.
  3. A street side or sidewalk sign ~ If the library isn't on a main street, find a sign that is!
  4. Website article.
  5. Share the event information and a photo with all your media contacts.

Tips from Vendors
Many vendors have handouts, press releases, and other marketing tools they will freely share with you as you promote their products.

Seven Promotions to Build a Campaign (Morningstar)

  1. Bookmarks
  2. Posters
  3. Seminars
  4. Newsletters
  5. Library Literature and Website
  6. Mouse Pad
  7. Press Release

See entire booklet with examples at:
http://library.morningstar.com/mkt/Database_PremiumRd2_RED.pdf

Marketing Your Online Resources (Proquest)

  1. Know Your Product
  2. Know Your Customer
  3. Make Your Library's Resources Easy to Find
  4. Speak Your Patron's Language Online
  5. Seize Opportunities in The Library
  6. Network, Network, Network
  7. Meet the Press
  8. And the Classic: Advertise

See entire booklet with examples at:
http://www.proquest.com/division/docs/HowTo.pdf

"Here are a few tips from Macey Morales, media relations manager for the Public Information Office of the American Library Association (ALA).
• Choose a convenient time & accessible location
• Draft "Media Advisory" in outline form including Who/What/When/Where/Why-list contact person and send two weeks before the event
• Follow up with the press at least five business days before the press conference, the day before and day of.
• Plan to have appropriate background materials, such as press kits that have flyers, fact sheets, and brochures for attendees to take with them along with your press release!
• Plan on few speakers-no more than four.
• Keep it short (Total time should be NO LONGER THAN 20 minutes) and to one point.
• Brief all speakers beforehand (initially by phone and, if possible, in a group prior to the press conference). Talk to them about time, focus, and likely questions.
• Choose someone to do introductions, direct questions, and end news conference.

Follow-up:
• When the news conference ends, call people who said they would attend and did not to set up phone or in-person interviews or another way for them to get the story.
• Fax, e-mail, or get releases to key outlets that didn't attend and may be interested.
• Get back to anyone who asked an unanswered question at the news conference.
• Fax releases to weeklies or others who normally don't send people to cover events.
• Monitor press coverage-possibly use clipping service and distribute best clips online to a electronic discussion list, etc.
• Thank those who covered the event.
• Incorporate any new names, addresses, phone, or fax numbers into press list.
• Review entire event to determine what went right and wrong. Learn from experience!

For additional tips, read the American Library Association's "A Communications Handbook for Librarians," which can be accessed online at http://www.ala.org/ala/pio/mediarelationsa/availablepiomat/commhandbook.cfm. You can also learn more information by clicking on the ALA Public Information Office blog, Visibility @ your library, at http://www.pio.ala.org/visibility."

Other Links

ALA's Communications Handbook for Libraries
http://www.ala.org/ala/pio/mediarelationsa/availablepiomat/comm_handbook_june_21.pdf

Webjunction's Advertise Your Library Tip
http://webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=18362
Webjunction's Conduct Media Relations Chapter
http://webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=857
Webjunction's Press Release Template for Media Relations Course
http://webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=880

Kansas State Library's Marketing the Small Library
http://www.skyways.org/KSL/development/marketingthesmalllibrary.pdf

Speaking in Public
Plan your talk using a simple four-part formula:

  1. Hook the audience’s interest with a story, questions asking for a show of hands, startling information, or unique statistics.
  2. Tell the audience what you are going to say, giving them any background or other information needed to comprehend the content.
  3. Say it.
  4. Tell the audience what you said, restating your main points and calling for any action you want.

To further increase the impact of your talk, customize your remarks for your audience and include some form of audience participation such as comments and questions, walking among them, or fill-in-the-blank handouts with your main points. Provide your content both verbally and in writing so everyone has a reminder to take with them.

6 Steps To Free Publicity

  1. Find a news angle for your headline.
  2. Present the basic facts for the angle of your headline in paragraph one.
  3. Gather or create a lively quote elaborating on the basic facts for paragraph two. Often, you will be the best person to quote. Write it down and attribute it to yourself!
  4. Elaborate further on the basic facts in paragraph three.
  5. End with the nitty-gritty details: address, cost, dates, time, phone number, how to register, web site, email, etc.
  6. Send it out.

Additional Tips
Keep the tone objective, not promotional.
Proofread rigorously.
Produce different versions of your release for separate, distinct audiences.
Plan to be available after you distribute your release.
From Marcia Yudkin's, "6 Steps to Free Publicity, Revised Edition," (Franklin Lakes, N. J.: Career Press, 2003).

SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE
For _ Library, _ (Street), _ (City), _ (State) __ (Zip Code)
Contact _, _ (Phone)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COMMUNITY BUILDING LETS PEOPLE WALK OUT DAILY WITH FREE BAGS OF BOOKS AND VIDEOS
City, Date, Year – People are regularly seen walking out of a local building with their arms full of books. Others wander out with shopping bags full of videos. Even those only taking a book or two appear unfazed by the ever-increasing cost of the latest novel. When asked how much their cargo cost, they look at you blankly. “It didn’t cost me a cent,” they often reply.
How does this group stay in business? They rely on these people to return the books and videos they borrow after a week or a month. The items are then returned to the shelves until another lucky person walks out with them for free.
Wish you had a building like this in your neighborhood? Chances are good that you do. It’s your local library, where for decades books have been available for free. By pooling the resources of a whole town, libraries can purchase the latest best sellers and provide them to the general citizenry free of charge. The taxes supporting most public libraries cost families no more than it would to purchase one new book each year. For this minimal investment, people can take advantage of a huge selection of books by various types of authors and on all sorts of subjects. They also have access to books on cassette or CD, videos and DVD’s, and high-speed Internet connections. You get all that for the cost of one new book each year!
The _ Library in _ was visited by over _ people last year and circulated materials worth well over _ (circulation X $20) dollars. Programs were held introducing children to the love of reading and reconnecting adults with music. Kids learned to sew, laugh, and create. Daily, people are helped with creating email accounts or scanning and sending family pictures to loved ones around the world. Stop in some time and see what is possible.
(Hours. Location and basic directions. Home page address on the Internet. Phone and email) for more information.

SAMPLE PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

AIR ON _ ON YOUR COMMUNITY CALENDAR

For _ Library, _ (Street), _ (City), _ (State) __ (Zip Code)
Contact _, _ (Phone) , _ (Email) , _ (Fax)

THERE IS ALWAYS TIME FOR PLAY AT THE LIBRARY

15 SECOND: CHILDREN AND PARENTS ARE GATHERING TO PLAY EVERY _ AT THE _ LIBRARY. STOP BY AT _ FOR STORIES AND CRAFTS. IT’S A CHANCE TO INTERACT AND LEARN FROM THOSE AROUND YOU. CALL _ TO SIGN UP OR FOR MORE INFORMATION.

30 SECOND: CHILDREN AND PARENTS ARE GATHERING TO PLAY EVERY _ AT THE _ LIBRARY. STOP BY AT _ FOR STORIES AND CRAFTS. LEARN NEW ACTIVITIES YOU CAN SHARE TOGETHER AT HOME. PAST WEEKS HAVE INCLUDED SONGS, DRAWING, PLAYS, AND A HEDGE HOG. CHILDREN MADE THEIR OWN EDIBLE HEDGE HOG AFTER MEETING A REAL LIVE ONE! IT’S A CHANCE TO INTERACT AND LEARN FROM THOSE AROUND YOU. CALL _ TO SIGN UP OR FOR MORE INFORMATION.


_ Library is a non-profit, public service organization freely open to the public. _ Library offers children’s book, audio, and video (and other services) rentals for free to anyone in their service area. They also hold special programs besides story time throughout the year and annually have special events during their summer reading program.

Read more on Marketing and Public Relations for the small public library at the Public Library Helper.
http://elsner.wikidot.com/marketing-public-relations

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