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Capturing the Digital Universe

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Winner of the Impact Award of the CILIP PPRG Marketing Excellence Awards. Presentation given by Ben Sanderson from The British Library at the PPRG seminar in Birmingham on 8 November 2013.

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Capturing the Digital Universe

  1. 1. Capturing the Digital Universe Ben Sanderson Head of Press, British Library @BL_BenS
  2. 2. Who am I? • Head of Press, Social Media and Internal Communications at the British Library • Team of 2 press officers, 2 internal comms • Working with Head of Communications plus our Advocacy Team • Social media policy and training • At the Library since 2001 – but still a comparative newbie • Follow me @BL_BenS www.bl.uk 2
  3. 3. The British Library • UK national library – St Pancras (London) and Boston Spa (West Yorkshire) • 150 million items spanning 3,000 years and almost every written language • Books, journals, newspapers, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings • Half a million researchers use our Reading Rooms every year – millions more online • Exhibitions (currently: Georgians and Children‟s Books; recently: Propaganda and On The Road) • We get a copy of every UK publication www.bl.uk 3
  4. 4. “Non-Print Legal Deposit” • Extension of legal deposit to encompass digital publications (e-journals, e-books, UK web domain) • How to mark an invisible moment in history? • An opportunity to transform perceptions of the British Library – from analogue to digital • Essential to convey the (complicated) message accurately and positively • Showcasing the importance of our digital archive for future generations • Five other legal deposit library partners (National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, Bodleian, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Dublin) www.bl.uk 4
  5. 5. “Capturing the Digital Universe” • Extension of legal deposit to encompass digital publications (e-journals, e-books, UK web domain) • How to mark an invisible moment in history? • An opportunity to transform perceptions of the British Library – from analogue to digital • Essential to convey the (complicated) message accurately and positively • Showcasing the importance of our digital archive for future generations • Five other legal deposit library partners (National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, Bodleian, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Dublin) www.bl.uk 5
  6. 6. “Capturing the Digital Universe” • Rebranding the legislation to make it relevant for a much wider audience • Strong messaging in all communications and especially in training for spokespeople • 100 websites – examples to bring digital content to life and generate debate • Countdown video onsite and online – building anticipation and providing visuals • Non-traditional launch format • #digitaluniverse event hashtag www.bl.uk 6
  7. 7. 100 websites – building anticipation • A list to spark debate online • Suggested by curators from all six Legal Deposit Libraries • Demonstrating the value of digital content – whether „serious‟ or „trivial‟ • Generated preview coverage in The Sunday Times in advance of launch www.bl.uk 7
  8. 8. Spokespeople and messaging • Bold, memorable messages • Eliminate internal jargon • External perspective/training vital • Confident, articulate interviewees central to the media proposition • Video news release both to satisfy/stimulate demand www.bl.uk 8
  9. 9. Launch event – 6 April 2013 www.bl.uk 9
  10. 10. Results generated • An audience of 141.5 million in14 countries, with 467 pieces of media coverage • 272 online articles including Associated Press, Huffington Post, Wired.co.uk, Spectator blog, The Drum, Yahoo! News, Press Association, Digital Spy, MSN • 132 broadcast, including interviews on BBC Breakfast, Radio 4 Today, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera, ITV, LBC Radio, BBC Asian Network, BBC News • A total of 5,000 tweets over the course of the campaign • Traffic to the Web Archive pages up from 10.2k visits to 87.9k and on the day of launch there were 2,018 clicks on the story on the BL‟s homepage • An increase of over 1000% in social media mentions using the words ‘British Library’ and ‘digital’, showing a powerful shift in the way the Library is perceived www.bl.uk 10
  11. 11. Using video to maximise our impact • Our campaign video • Our video news release was used by Guardian, Yahoo, Telegraph, Mail, Express online and others • There is a hunger for online video • ...but it needs to be conceived, shot and sold in by people who know what they‟re doing! www.bl.uk 11
  12. 12. Take-aways? When you get the opportunity, be bold and ambitious An external perspective is vital Use video, campaigns and events to create excitement that people want to share www.bl.uk 12

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