April 10, 2003 Meeting Notes
Attendees: Mary Trev Thomas (BETH), Meg Maurer (APLM), Debbie
Shoup (EGRN), Margaret Garrett (GUIL), Barbara Kubli (STEP), Denise Coblish
(BETH), Sue Baker (BETH), Jo-Ann Benedetti (UHLS), notes.
Topic: Marketing Your Library
Speaker: Carol Anne Germain, University at Albany Library
The handouts from this presentation are available online. Click here (zip file).
Following are points and information provided by Carol Anne:
- Find a slogan that sticks in your mind.
- Use other people to help market your library - run a contest for the slogan?
- Know what you want to market about your library.
- Communication is critical - keep people informed.
- Designate a key PR person to be the main contact, set up meetings, coordinate
efforts, provide focus, track projects and expenditures, and be the consistent
voice to the community.
- Put together a small committee for ideas and to spread the work around.
Include a high school student, a non-library user, a trustee, a town official
(or family relation of a town official), and a businessperson or member of
the local Chamber.
- The committee charge - to write a marketing plan, analyze the needs of the
community and come up with a strategy to address those needs, how to evaluate
- Success is important to inspire continuation and enthusiasm.
- Consider doing focus groups, town meetings, or one-on-one interviews as
a way of determining the community’s needs. Give an incentive or prize
to participants to thank them.
- Research the community in person or by phone - school district information,
county data, town clerk for number of building permits & hunting licenses),
Chamber of Commerce, United Way, school librarians, assisted living centers,
and food pantries.
- Keep in mind that local colleges and universities are often looking for
projects like doing surveys and will do it gratis for a library. At RPI, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org. They have a course called “Writing and Editing”
that will produce brochures.
- Develop a promotion calendar - don’t try to do everything all at once.
- Where to market? Look at newspapers, refer to the Gale Directory of Publications
and Broadcast Media. Get a contact at each media outlet and find out from
them when they prefer to receive a press release, and the best method (Fax?
Email?) to send it.
- For press releases - Proof read! Or find someone who will.
- Put as much information as possible into the 1st and 2nd paragraphs.
- Keep your audience in mind. Be brief. Write simply. Use active verbs and
the active voice.
- If possible, find a local writer who can do your press releases for you.
- Send a thank you note when they publish something of yours.
- Invite the media to your events.
- Public service announcement (PSA) - keep it generic. Read it out loud and
- Consider radio transcripts (see the handouts).
- Non-traditional publicity outlets - school newspapers, blanket mailing to
community residents, grocery store flyers, Little League banners, have the
Friends sponsor a baseball or softball team.
- Make large print flyers for seniors and others with visual challenges.
Next meeting: Friday, June 20, 2003 from 9:30 AM - Noon in the Green Conference Room at UHLS. This meeting will be a demonstration of the trial databases to be previewed and evaluated over the summer.