Marketing & Public Relations in Academic Libraries 2009


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How to set up a marketing program in an academic library

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  • Barriers such as controlled subject terms, esoteric filing rules, ILL lead times. . .
  • A very early stage of “marketing” – persuading the user that library services were useful and teaching users how to use even the most difficult tools rather than trying to find alternatives.
  • We need to change students/faculty preconceived idea of the library
    How can we share the vision of a 21st century library & all it has to offer?
    Figure out how to make the library a focal point for the campus community
    Find out how faculty, students communicate with each other
  • A major problem with marketing plans in academic libraries is that many librarians and staff don’t feel that these duties are in keeping with their academic responsibilities, so marketing is often inconsistent, half-hearted, or non-existent. Plans may be started, but slowly fizzle out. Commitment is key in creating a plan.
  • The library mission statement is a clear goal that provides a direct road map for getting to your marketing destination – this simplifies planning and tends to keep everyone in the organization moving in the same direction.
  • Outside PR firm did extensive study with ULS (senior staff) to assist with the creation of a marketing plan.
    Twelve groups of faculty, undergrads, graduate students for all disciplines.
    Asked ten questions regarding nature and frequency of use, and satisfaction with library resources and services.
    Questions based on LibQUAL+ data and additional feedback collected from users over time.
  • Direct Mail, discipline based packets
    Newletters/email blasts
    Print and electronic
    Emails to targeted audiences
    Educational Sessions/Special Events
    Library orientation for new faculty
    BI, etc.
    Media list – press releases (one per month) plus newsworthy story pitches in professional literature and newspapers and campus papers
  • “The mark is part of a broader plan to focus ULS messages and get recipients, especially those within the University community – to sit up and take notice. Efforts to communicate with faculty members through newsletters proved ineffective and other methods have been haphazard.” – Rush Miller
  • Believe in what you’re selling!
  • Marketing & Public Relations in Academic Libraries 2009

    1. 1. Marketing & Public Relations in Academic Libraries Heidi Card ULS Librarian, Assistant to the Director on Research & Special Projects University of Pittsburgh
    2. 2. Outline  History of libraries and marketing  Why is Marketing Important in Libraries?  Features of a Marketing Plan  Example of ULS Marketing Plan  How ULS has moved forward with Marketing
    3. 3. History of Libraries & Marketing Library-Centric view  Users were expected to be motivated enough to learn the “rules”  Libraries had little incentive to make changes  Expectation was that users could be taught to deal with barriers  Libraries “know what their users need”
    4. 4. A “Selling Orientation”: Persuasion Libraries would share the virtues of their products and services – without asking the user what they valued Libraries believed users could be taught to deal with barriers – instead of eliminating them
    5. 5. Marketing Challenges for Today’s Academic Libraries Coordinating efforts Consistent planning Competition Creativity Communication
    6. 6. How the ULS Marketed Services and Increased Use… Be committed to change Be committed to listening:  Not defensively  Thinking about what users want, not what you want them to want and creating services that meet their evolving needs
    7. 7. Features of a Marketing Plan Situation Analysis Objectives of Plan Define Target Audience(s) Strategies Tactics Evaluation
    8. 8. ULS Situation Analysis  Mission of ULS is to “…provide and promote access to information resources necessary for the achievement of the University’s leadership objectives in teaching, learning, research, creativity and community service, and to collaborate in the development of effective information, teaching and learning systems.”
    9. 9. S.W.O.T. Analysis
    10. 10. Background: Krakoff Communications 2005 Key Findings Target audience (students, faculty, and staff) are often unaware of library’s central role within the University General confusion as to the complete offerings of the ULS General confusion as to how to mostefficiently access the offering of the ULS
    11. 11. Objectives  Increase awareness and usage of resources and services while promoting and leveraging investments  Increase support which will help to increase donations  Enhance professional perception and knowledge about capabilities and resources, both internally, and externally  Establishing a uniform look in all publications and products for easy recognition
    12. 12. Target Audiences: Internal  ULS Faculty and Staff  University of Pittsburgh Decision Makers  Faculty  Undergraduate and Graduate Students
    13. 13. Target Audiences: External  Current and Potential Donors  Current and Potential Users  Decision Makers  Groups and Associations
    14. 14. Marketing Strategy  Mix of strategies (direct marketing, email, internal advertising, public relations, etc.)  Need a standard “look” or logo  Overall message “what the ULS can do for me”  Different strategies for different programs and audiences  Web site will be redesigned to have separate “spaces” for different clientele  Tie website information to publicity, postcards, etc.
    15. 15. Development of the ULS Mark Execution of Mark  Internal  ULS faculty and staff  Pitt faculty  Pitt staff  Students  External  Local and Regional  National
    16. 16. Further Branding at ULS
    17. 17. Marketing Tactics Printed Pieces with unified look  Postcard mailers  User testimonials  Quick resource guide to service/resource  Folders into which other information can be placed (faculty)      Contain general information about ULS on folder Cover letter Postcards, etc. inside Updates on programs, etc. List of pertinent collections Website  Web site will be redesigned to have separate “spaces” for different clientele  Tie web information to publicity, postcards, etc.
    18. 18. Promotional Items Students and External targets ULS Faculty and Staff Mouse pads Backpacks Bookmarks Notebooks Calendar Key Tag Highlighters  Shirts  Lapel Pins  Hats and Caps  Mugs  Pens
    19. 19. Digital Signage Continuous Updateable Information about ULS Services
    20. 20. Display Cases
    21. 21. Printed Publications and Articles Internal  Blue, Gold, and Black  Pitt Magazine
    22. 22. Printed Publications and Articles Internal Pitt Chronicle Pitt News University Times
    23. 23. Printed Publications and Articles External  D-Lib Magazine  New Pittsburgh Courier  Pittsburgh Post Gazette
    24. 24. E-Publications and Articles
    25. 25. Evaluation of Plan Survey users to judge effectiveness of communication strategies Continuing assessment of marketing to ensure that ongoing communication is successful!
    26. 26. Conclusion: Marketing = Communicating  Gather info on what your users want  Publicity is a waste of time if there is no coordinated marketing plan  Create marketing position  Be sure your enthusiasm shines – the best advertisement!
    27. 27. Any Questions?
    28. 28. 谢谢! 謝謝!