New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

UK Citizens: Stand Up for Your Libraries!

As many inside (and outside) the UK know, public libraries there have been closing at an alarming rate. It must stop. Those in the government need to hear, learn, and truly understand why libraries matter. They need to realize the value of professional librarians. 

If you're in the UK, or know people there, then you can help -- in 2 minutes or less. 

Simply sign this petition. It supports the "My Library By Right" campaign that's run by CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (national association). 

Please, sign now, and share with your friends. Post it on your social sites. Tell people you work with. It's terribly important. 

Have I mentioned that Neil Gaiman supports the campaign? So what are you waiting for? Sign now! 

Friday, January 08, 2016

2016 PR Xchange Awards: Enter by March 15


A scene from the 2015 PR Xchange
Have you been creating innovative promotional materials? Then seek recognition for your library’s amazing work! The call for entries for the 2016 PR Xchange Awards competition is open.

The 2016 PR Xchange Awards Competition recognizes the very best public relations materials produced by libraries during the 2015 calendar year. Entries will be evaluated based on content, originality, and design by a team of experts in marketing, public relations, graphic design, and communications. Here are the links you need:

Submit your proposals online by March 15, 2016.  
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions

Judging will be in the Chicago area for 2016. Please contact prxchange.awards@gmail.com if you are interested in being one of the volunteer judges. (If you are a volunteer judge, then you cannot submit a proposal this year.)

Winners will be notified in early May 2016. Winning entries will be on display during the PR Xchange Event during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in OrlandoFlorida. Awards will be presented there. Winners need not be present to win, but are encouraged to attend.

The PR Xchange itself is a drop-in style event at the ALA Annual Conference. It's an excellent chance to learn and network, and I have a table there every year where I give out sample issues of MLS and talk with visitors about marketing and PR. Put it on your schedule! It will be Sunday June 26, 2016 at the ALA Conference Exhibit Hall, Special Events Area. It’s a fun, casual gathering where librarians across the country share their PR and marketing ideas. Visitors view and take copies of promotional materials from libraries across North America.

The PR Xchange Awards Competition is sponsored by the Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS) of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It's overseen by the PR Xchange Committee. Need more information? Please contact the PR Xchange Awards co-chairs Mark Aaron Polger and Laura Tomcik at prxchange.awards@gmail.com.

Monday, January 04, 2016

'Accidental Marketer' Webinar This Week

Hello Friends, and Happy New Year! 

Have you promised yourself that this will be the year that you get a handle on library marketing? Well then, I can help you get started. This week, I'm giving an introductory-level webinar on the topic. 

It's this Thursday, Jan. 7, 2015, at 2 pm Eastern time. So sign up now! 

"Am I Doing It Right? The Accidental Library Marketer" will be a 1-hour "marketing 101" class. It's being presented by PCI Webinars, a professional group that runs regular training and webinars. Look at their offerings; you may want to buy a subscription in order to learn all year long at a discount. 

The session will be recorded, so even if you can't attend that day, register and pay in advance so you'll be able to access it when you're ready to learn. 

Please join me this Thursday. I promise I'll make the lessons fun!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Enter by Jan. 25! LibraryAware Community Award



Librarians in the U.S. and Canada can compete for the annual LibraryAware Community Award, which emphasizes a library’s engagement with its community. The award is given to an individual library or a system that “has demonstrated its ability to make its community ‘aware’ of what the library can do for it—and has delivered on that promise.”

Entries must be sent by Jan. 25, 2016, so don't delay!

The LibraryAware Community Award is open to public libraries of any size in the U.S. and Canada. Anyone can nominate a library: the library administration itself, the local government, partner organizations, library peers, patrons, etc. Awards will be presented jointly to a city/county official and library director during National Library Week in April. The municipality will get a plaque, and the library will receive a monetary award: $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. 


As in past years, it will be overseen by Library Journal and funded by LibraryAware, a product of EBSCO Publishing’s NoveList division that helps librarians design promotional pieces. This is a prestigious award that will bring your library even closer to your community, so I hope you'll consider entering!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Gifts for Book, Library, & Tech Fans


'Tis the season of giving... and here are some unique gift ideas for your favorite bibliophiles and techies. 


I love this keyboard waffle iron -- even though it's $85. 
It's sure to be a great conversation starter. 

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fancy a cup of tea with your waffles? Try some "Novel Teas"-- English Breakfast teabags, individually tagged with beloved quotes from your favorite authors. $12.50 each. 

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Check out some literary scarves. There are 4 available: Jane Eyre , Alice in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, Dorian Gray.

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Light up their lives with some Literary Candles:
"Named for the locations in literary classics, these soy candles evoke the book's most memorable moments as they ignite your imagination. Custom blended fragrances let you get lost in a book by adding an irresistible new layer of intrigue."
$16 each, choose from:


* Sherlock Homes/221B Baker Street: Black currant tea and leather books
* Alice in Wonderland/A Mad Tea Party: Bergamot, lavender, mandarin, thyme, and ylang ylang, with a touch of jasmine
* Jane Eyre/Thornfield Garden: Roses and rain water
* Pride & Prejudice/Pemberley: Lily, lilac, rose, hyacinth, and ivy    

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If your gift recipient is into Banned Books, they'll like these products. You can buy them socks ($10) or mugs. There are also Library Card Socks

                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This Library Card Tote Bag, for $20, is kind of irresistable...
It's 14" wide x 18" high, not counting the strap.


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There's also a "Book Lover's Socks and Ornament Set" for $29.95. It includes one blown-glass ornament and one cotton ornment.

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you're a big spender, you might want to go for this lovely piece of hanging glass: "Books on a Shelf Stained Glass" for $89.95. It's 22" long x 10" tall.
Happy Shopping; Happy Holidays! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

New 'Libraries Transform' US Campaign Is Sorely Needed


If you promote or market libraries, I have good news and bad news.
 
Good News: 
At the end of October, ALA President Sari Feldman launched "Libraries Transform." ALA says it's "a national public awareness campaign that will highlight the transformative nature of our nation’s libraries and elevate the critical role libraries play in the digital age."

We need something like this to help us reach all sorts of people, all over the country, because too many still don't know what services librarians provide and what value they have. (See the Bad News below.)

According to ALA's press release
“Today’s libraries are not just about what we have for people, but what we do for and with people,” said Feldman. “The goal of the Libraries Transform campaign is to change the perception that ‘libraries are just quiet places to do research, find a book, and read’ to a shared understanding of libraries as dynamic centers for learning in the digital age. Libraries of all kinds foster individual opportunity that ultimately drives the success of our communities and our nation.”

Go to the campaign's home page now!
  • Find images like this, which you can download as posters or postcards.
  • Get a free web banner.
  • Dig into the Toolkit.
  • Watch the videos.
  • Sign up for the campaign mailing list.
  • Join in and get to work!
 
Bad News:
It's true that a majority of Americans still don't realize what libraries offer:

"People may not think of using libraries to get their information because they do not know that the services exist, and some of the existing services are not familiar or do not fit into their workflows."

This is just one of the findings from a research compilation that was released on Nov. 9, 2015: 

OCLC Research has published a new compilation, The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn, which represents more than a decade of collaborative work studying the information-seeking behaviors of library users.



The compilation lives here. On this site, you'll find:

  • The full PDF, free to download
  • A slideshow about the findings
  • Contact info for OCLC's Senior Research Scientist, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, who compiled and co-authored the info




So, we still have a serious publicity and promotion problem. All the work librarians have been doing to get out the word (libraries are more than books; Google can't replace them) still isn't enough. Our messages aren't penetrating the public psyche. However, ALA has designed this national campaign. If all levels of library workers, from all types of libraries, all across the country, would get on board, we'd make a difference. 

And we sorely need to make this difference. Libraries' old stereotypes not only haunt us; they keep us from convincing stakeholders of our value, from getting the funding we need, from bringing in potential users. 

Let's all get on board, ASAP. Share the Libraries Transform page and Toolkit with your entire staff. Call a meeting. Make a plan. Use the promo posters. Spread the word. Your jobs might depend on it. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Study: Academic Librarians and Faculty Need More Collaboration

From the infographic at http://blog.gale.com/bridging-the-libraryfaculty-gap
A new survey by Library Journal and Gale (part of Cengage Learning) has found that librarians and faculty members at colleges and universities need to collaborate more closely to successfully embed libraries into campus culture. The survey of roughly 500 faculty members and 500 librarians revealed the need to communicate better about libraries’ role on campuses. The report is called "Bridging the Librarian-Faculty Gap in the Academic Library."

“The findings support what academic librarians already know anecdotally: Proactively engaging librarians in the work of teaching faculty, including research and curriculum development, is key to a robust working relationship that leads to better outcomes for students,” says Meredith Schwartz, executive editor at Library Journal.

“As more pressure is put on higher education institutions to measure outcomes, there needs to be greater recognition of the value the library brings to the table,” says Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager for Gale.

Roughly one-quarter (27%) of faculty think there is no need for campus librarians and faculty to consult one another. Such statistics point to the need for librarians to do more effective promotion. Feedback and survey comments prove that everyone on campus should gain a better understanding of the library and the value it provides.

See the complete results at www.tinyurl.com/oycvs45, or see highlights in an infographic at www.tinyurl.com/qe8zqhs.

AND GUESS WHAT? There will be a free, 1-hour webcast about this on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Register in advance -- even if you're not free then, you'll get a link to view the archived event.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

PR Xchange Winners from ALA '15


Some of the PRX winners on display
The 2015 American Library Association Conference took place in sunny San Francisco at the end of June. There were plenty of interesting marketing-related events, and as always, I met great people and learned new things at them. Read my complete conference coverage in the September / October issue of Marketing Library Services. (WHAT?!? You don't subscribe to MLS?? Well head over to the newsletter's home page, check it out, and subscribe now so you don't miss anything else!)

Sundays are always my favorite days at ALA, since that's when the big marketing events happen. One is the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards. I already covered this year's winners in this earlier post. Now I want to share photos and info about the PR Xchange awards; they're kind of the "cousins" of the JCDs. 

I'm honored to have the chance to not only attend, but also participate, in the busy PR Xchange event, which is put on by the Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS) of LLAMA (Library Leadership & Management Association). During the PRX, hundreds of people come through the large Special Events Area during the Xchange’s open hours to network as well as to study and pick up samples of all sorts of collateral materials. It’s like a smorgasbord of free brochures, calendars, buttons, bookmarks, annual reports, and more. I had a table where I gave away free sample issues of Marketing Library Services, sold my book (The Accidental Library Marketer), and sold cool stickers that say "Libraries Are Essential." 

While many people come to network and get great PR ideas, the highlight of this event is the ceremony for the PR Xchange Award winners. As I announced in the News section of the July/August issue of MLS, 60 winners were chosen from 374 entries. (See the full list here. Full disclosure: I was one of the judges.)

Full house at the PR Xchange Awards ceremony
The ceremony where co-chairs Mark Aaron Polger and Scott Sheidlower handed out certificates amid smiles and applause is the end of a long process. The PRMS Committee members work hard to publicize the contest in the spring, then accept submissions and organize them, seek volunteer judges, create the judging rubric, and oversee the long, careful process of scoring all the entries. After winners are chosen, the chairs notify each one by email, print certificates, and create lists and photos to share online. (See this year’s winners on Flickr.) 

Kudos to these hard-working volunteers for putting on a well-organized, well-attended event where public relations peers could learn from one another! I'm looking forward to being part of it again in the years to come.
Some of the colorful PR materials that people could pick up


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

New Marketing and Communications Conference!


Have you heard about the new conference that's being designed just for library marketing and PR people?? It's called the Library Marketing and Communications Conference, and it will be held just outside Dallas, Texas, this November. I'm leading the Program Committee that's planning the event, and I couldn't be more excited!! 

Here are the details: 

Dallas, TX, Nov 3–4, 2015


Organized by the Library Marketing and Communications Group
Sponsored by Amigos Library Services 

Propose to Speak by July 15.
Register by July 30 to get the Earlybird rate of only $275.

(That rate includes breakfast and lunch, plus drink/snack breaks on both days! Please book your hotel room through the conference website to ensure that you get all the discounts we've arranged: http://www.amigos.org/lmcc)


ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
This conference is designed for library employees of any level who are involved in marketing, communication, public relations, social media, and outreach in academic, public, and special libraries. The sessions will explore issues that are important for this niche of library work, and the conference will include time for attendees to network and to discuss mutual challenges.

This new event is an outgrowth of four previous meetings. Kieserman Media began the Association of Library Communications and Outreach Professionals (ALCOP) and ran conferences of the same name near Philadelphia in 2011 and 2012. That group ran similar shows, renamed the Library Communications Conference (LCC), near Philly in 2013 and in New Jersey in 2014. When its leader, Bob Kieserman, decided to stop organizing the conferences, a group of former attendees decided to reboot and relaunch them.  

Those of us in the budding Library Marketing and Communications (LMC) group believe that library workers deserve a small event that's geared specifically toward the necessary work of marketing communication (MarCom), which includes public relations, social media, branding, and related topics. We feel that, if more library employees improved these skills, then all types of libraries would be in better positions to have their messages heard and to have their services well-used and appreciated.


I hope that many of you M Word readers will send us proposals to present talks at LMCC. Time is short, though: Proposals are due in 1 week, on July 15! Here's what we're looking for:

The Program Committee of the Library Marketing and Communications Conference (LMCC) is interested in receiving proposals for presentations that apply the latest trends, best practices, and research in the field while providing practical tips that can be immediately applied to any library's communication and marketing program.

Although not limited to these areas, topics of interest include:

1. Communication 101
2. Using Social Media effectively
3. Writing strategic marketing plans
4. Promoting special collections
5. User Experience and its impact on libraries
6. Collaborating with other units or organizations
7. Engaging the community
8. Planning and promoting programming
9. Creating surveys for patrons or non-users
10. Branding
11. Making promotional videos
12. Designing graphics and infographics
13. Working with the press
14. Fundraising
15. Crisis Communication


Please Note: There will be a discounted block of rooms at the Crowne Plaza; rooms include breakfast. Earlybird Registration is $275 and includes 2 lunches plus drink / snack breaks.

A library service organization,

is generously sponsoring this conference. They're working hard to ensure that it's affordable and valuable. I can't thank them enough for all they've done! 

Questions? Send email 
with the subject line
"LMC questions" to:

General Conference Questions: 

Questions About Speaking:  
Joan Barnes: jbarnes3@unl.edu
Community Engagement Librarian
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Questions About the Proposal Form:
Jodie Borgerding: jborgerding80@webster.edu
Instruction & Liaison Services Librarian
Webster University

I hope to see many of you in Dallas this fall! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

The 2015 JCD PR Winners Are ...


The 2015 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards winners have been named! This year there were 77 entries submitted online; judges had to narrow that down to eight winners. Once again, EBSCO sponsored the contest and reception, and The H.W. Wilson Foundation generously donated the prize money for the awards, the richest PR contest in North America.

And the 2015 JCD winners are....



The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library won for War Ink, an exhibit and forum that helps to bridge the divide between the veteran and civilian communities.




The Columbus State Library (Ohio) won for its Exhibit the Right to Read campaign, held during Banned Books Week.

The Durham County (N.C.) Library won for a campaign that engaged both current and new audiences, bringing the community together. 

The Flathead County (Mont.) Libraries won for a complete rebranding effort that changed not only its culture, but also its name, to ImagineIF Libraries.

A group of 12 Illinois libraries and library organizations teamed up to win for the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author project, in which it solicited nominations of self-published books, publicized them for the authors, and hyped a winner.

The Loyola University Chicago Libraries won for Celebrate Gorey, a programming and outreach campaign on the Chicago writer and artist Edward Gorey, which raised endowment funds and awareness of special collections. 

The University of Maryland Libraries won for Thinking Big, a data-driven communications campaign to increase awareness of UBorrow, an interlibrary loan service that became available to students, faculty, and staff as a result of the university joining the Big Ten.

The Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame (Ind.) used the 50th anniversary of its iconic building as a strategic opportunity to build awareness of the library and its services, further establishing them as vital to the school’s landscape. 

The eight winners will receive their $10,000 awards at a reception at ALA’s annual conference, which will be held in San Francisco next week. You can view the winning entries from a link on the contest’s homepage

Special thanks to The H.W. Wilson Foundation for donating $80,000 again this year to keep this prestigious contest alive! 


Watch for photos of the event to be shared here on The M Word after the ceremony!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The LibraryAware Community Award 2015 Winners

Dothan Houston County staffers accept their award.
Photo courtesy of Library Journal and NoveList.
Three libraries have won the 2015 LibraryAware Community Award, which recognizes libraries’ engagement with their communities.



+ Dothan Houston County Library System in Alabama won first place ($10,000).
+ Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library won second place ($7,500).
+ Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas won third place ($5,000).




These annual awards are given by Library Journal and are underwritten by LibraryAware, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Information Services. The award “recognizes model communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create life-long learners,” according to the press release. The M Word's Nancy Dowd is LibraryAware's Product Manager, and got to travel the country to present the awards. 

Dothan Houston County Library System exemplified this goal. It saw “overwhelming change” in the last 5 years after members of its community came forward with an idea to revitalize their county, starting with the library. Funded by donations and driven by community input, the library system was “transformed into a resource that the whole community supports and uses. With two new locations in growing parts of the community and a renewed emphasis on programming and providing new technologies, their door counts are up threefold, from 800 per day in 2010 to 2,500 in 2014.”

“Dothan Houston County Library System illustrates what can be achieved when a community recognizes the value of a strong library system, and a library responds to the priorities of its community,” Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal, explained in the press release.

Saint Paul Public Library, in conjunction with its Friends group, was recognized for raising its profile and for offering programs that support priorities that community members identified, including racial equality, digital literacy, and workforce development.

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library demonstrated long-term thinking in working with community residents and facilitating growth by having library staff members serve on community advisory boards, train others as facilitators, and work to provide regionwide broadband access, among other initiatives.

The LibraryAware Community Award is given annually to a community of any size and its library. Criteria include any and all components that create a LibraryAware community: strategic planning, marketing, outreach, or partnerships, along with program, product, or service development. Submission details and criteria are here, and all the info about this year’s winners is in an article in Library Journal.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Doing National Library Week Right: TSCPL


Yesterday marked the start of National Library Week (#NLW15) in the US. Many libraries of all types do things to take advantage of this time, when ALA and other organizations have already primed the media to do library stories. Some, understandably, do more than others.

I'd like to show you a prime example of a public library that's done #NLW15 right. Take a look at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL) in Topeka, Kansas. 

On its Facebook page yesterday, the opening day of National Library Week, TSCPL posted a short teaser note and video. (It's just 26 seconds if you want to go watch it. I'll wait...)



Then, today, the big reveal... TSCPL created a parody video of the Taylor Swift hit song, "Shake It Off" -- but of course, in this library version, it was "Check It Out." In just under 4 minutes, this well-produced video shows off the library staffers (not shy, no buns!), the building and bookmobile (on the road), the collections and services (including self-checkout tech), and an overall attitude of fun and creativity. 

Now the staffers are spreading the word about its video across social media. It's one of the featured photos on the home page's scrolling promotions, too. (See top photo.) Here's the full video for you to enjoy:



It's true that Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library has a big building, a good-sized staff, and some money behind it. But it's also true that the managers and staff have built up to this by being community-centric and unafraid of technology for years. In fact, TSCPL was just recognized as a runner-up for the LibraryAware Community Award. As the write-up in Library Journal begins:
"As a one-building library serving 180,000 people living in a 550 square mile area, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL) needs to be civic-minded—and with a wide range of programs and local initiatives, TSCPL lives up to its goals, serving members of the community at every level.Since 2008, the Topeka and Shawnee County citizens have joined forces through the Heartland Visioning planning process, “a collective effort to share ideas and dreams for our community. ..."
So if you want a great example of how to use a celebration like National Library Week (in any country) to really excite and engage the people in your community, you really do need to #CheckItOut! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Enter the JCD Awards by March 6


{ UPDATE: Feb. 26. The entry deadline has been extended to March 6. That gives you an extra week to prepare your entry! ~KD }

It's that time of year again---time to enter the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award contest. Once again, eight exceptional PR campaigns will win $10,000 each to further their work, thanks to the H.W. Wilson Foundation and to EBSCO.

All types of libraries are welcome to enter, and international entries are welcome. However, entries must be written in English for the award jury. The John Cotton Dana (JCD) entry process is now entirely online, so you no longer need to assemble elaborate physical portfolios they way you did in past years.

Entries will be accepted through February 28, 2015. The winners will be announced in late April, and the awards (checks and plaques) will be bestowed at a lovely reception at the ALA annual conference in San Francisco in June. 

Get all the entry details here. Please note: You'll increase your chances of winning by reading the details first in order to send complete, qualified submissions. You can also see winning entries from previous years on the official website. 

From the sponsors: 
"The prestigious John Cotton Dana Award, provided in conjunction with the H.W. Wilson Foundation, ALA, and EBSCO, honors outstanding library public relations, whether a summer reading program, a year-long centennial celebration, fundraising for a new college library, an awareness campaign or an innovative partnership in the community.
In recognition of their achievement, John Cotton Dana award winners receive a cash award from the H.W. Wilson Foundation. The JCD Awards are presented at an elegant reception hosted by EBSCO held during the American Library Association annual conference."

Enter by the end of this month for a chance to win $10,000!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time to Enter the PR Xchange Awards Contest

Calling all library people who do PR work! You're invited to enter the PR Xchange Awards! The deadline is April 1st.

The 2015 PR Xchange Awards will recognize the very best public relations materials produced by all types of North American libraries in 2014. This contest is part of the popular PR Xchange event that’s held at ALA’s Annual Conference; it was formerly called the Best of Show Awards.

There are 10 categories for entries, including annual reports and fundraising materials. You can find details and a link to the entry form here. There’s an FAQ document here. Online submissions must be completed, and printed work must be mailed out, no later than April 1, 2015. (No need to mail copies of born-digital submissions.)

Entries will be evaluated based on content, originality, and design by a team of experts in marketing, public relations, graphic design, and communications. 

Winning entries will be on display at the PR Xchange event during ALA’s June conference in San Francisco. Award certificates will be presented during the event on June 28. (Note: Start setting aside a few hundred copies of your best work to contribute to the PR Xchange itself; details on that will come later.)

If you have questions that aren't covered online, contact PR Xchange Awards co-chairs Mark Aaron Polger and Scott Sheidlower at prxchange.awards@gmail.com.

The PR Xchange Awards is sponsored by the Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS) of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of ALA. It’s overseen by the PR Xchange Committee of PRMS.