New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Golden Opportunity to Talk About Libraries

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts,
 and new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden at the 14 Sept. swearing-in ceremony.
Captured from LoC's YouTube video.
Yesterday, Dr. Carla Hayden was sworn in as the new Librarian of Congress in the U.S. This is wonderful on many levels: 
  • Hayden replaces Dr. James Billington, who was not tech-savvy, not a librarian, and not moving the library into the digital age quickly enough. 
  • Hayden has not only the requisite Master's in Library Science; she actually holds a Ph.D. in it.
  • Hayden has worked at all levels, from a children's librarian, to a director, to public library system CEO, to president of the American Library Association (2003-04).
  • Hayden is the first woman, and first African-American, in the history of the 216-year-old LoC. 
Her appointment (from President Obama) is historic in many ways, and is wonderful news. She wants to digitize more resources so scholars and everyday people will be able to access them online, from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.

This is all great -- but library marketers can make it even more great. Let's discuss this! Talk about it with your family members, your non-librarian-friends, your acquaintances. Share it on all your social sites. Talk about it at the grocery store, in meetings, over a meal. This is a golden opportunity to start conversations about the goodness and value of libraries. 

Hayden with Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton
Easy opener: "Hey, did you hear that a new Librarian of Congress was just sworn in? It's historic in many ways." The other person will ask why, giving you a chance to explain. 
"You might not think this affects you, but Dr. Carla Hayden's appointment will help put tons of U.S. history at your fingertips. Much of it is preserved in the Library of Congress, but it's not online yet. She's determined to digitize more of it, to work with schools and scholars to share it. There's so much fascinating stuff to learn about! Old photos and letters... " 

I gave you some talking points above, and here are links you can share: 






What coverage, posts, and articles have you seen about our new Librarian of Congress? Please share them in the comments! 

As I write this, the morning after she was sworn in, Carla Hayden is trending on Facebook, which is huge. Let's keep the conversation going!

Let's all use this occasion to talk with others about why libraries matter, what they do, how tech-savvy they are, how they've kept up over the years. Tell friend what benefits libraries offer, what they can get for free, how professional librarians give computer classes and job-search training. Shock them with the news that many libraries now loan musical instruments, garden & home tools, toy & games, home-energy meters, and so much more. 

If you're not comfortable striking up conversations with others, read my easy how-to advice here. 

Talk about libraries this week! We need all the good publicity we can get, and we don't get golden opportunities like this very often. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer of 2016 Marketing Awards

The number of library marketing contests has been growing, bit by bit. The ones I'm covering here are three of the biggest. The achievements of this latest crop of winners are high benchmarks that you can compare to your own marketing efforts.

People begin pouring into the PR Xchange
area at soon as it opens at ALA.
(Photos by Kathy Dempsey unless otherwise noted)

PR Xchange Awards     


This year’s PR Xchange Awards Competition for library promotional materials was huge. More than 100 institutions (public, academic, school, state, and special libraries) sent more than 390 entries. A jury of 17 appraised each entry on the quality of its content, along with its format, design, creativity, and originality. The jury consisted of marketing and communications professionals, graphic designers, outreach librarians, and a library marketing consultant (that last one is me!).

There were 27 electronic winners and 32 print winners, since the many categories are broken down by library budget, to make the competition more fair. So the list of winners is too long to share in this post, but you can find it here.

Contest Chairs hand out the PR Xchange award certificates.


This annual contest is run by the Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS) of ALA’s LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association). The co-chairs, Mark Aaron Polger and Laura Tomcik, arranged for the winning entries to be displayed at the PR Xchange event at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., on June 26, and PR Xchange committee members presented the award certificates to happy winners there. 

John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award Winners

The other large annual contest run by LLAMA's PRMS section is the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. Thanks to generous sponsorship from EBSCO and the H.W. Wilson Foundation, each of the eight winning libraries receives a $10,000 prize and a plaque.

Here are the eight winners:
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library for A Library of Possibilities
  • Chicago Public Library for Summer Learning Challenge 2015: Explore and Soar
  • Houston Public Library for MY Link card campaign
  • New Orleans Public Library for A Library at a Crossroads
  • Northwestern University Library in Illinois for #UndeadTech
  • San Diego County Library for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
  • Alfred University’s (N.Y.) Scholes Library of Ceramics for Harry Potter’s World
  • Vancouver (B.C., Canada) Public Library for Inspiration Lab launch campaign
All the JCD winners (except Vancouver, who couldn't be there) posed together at the end of the ceremony.

I encourage you to look up their full info here. From there, you can link to a more-detailed winner list, or to a page with winner photos. The recipients accepted their awards at an open reception on June 26 during the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

IFLA’s BibLibre International Marketing Awards

The Management and Marketing (M&M) Section of IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, ran its annual marketing contest again, and it drew 71 applications from 26 countries, in 6 languages. The M&M section members bestowed these 13th annual marketing awards at IFLA's World Library and Information Congress in August in Columbus, Ohio. BibLibre (www.biblibre.com/en), a French open source software company, generously sponsored the awards this year.

Here are the top three winners:

Part of Vancouver PL's award-winning promotion material
1. Vancouver Public Library: Inspiration Lab Launch Campaign (British Columbia, Canada; www.vpl.ca/InspirationLab
In May 2015, Vancouver Public Library launched an Inspiration Lab—“a hands­on digital media hub with sound studios, video production and editing, analog-­to-­digital conversion, and self­-publishing software.” The launch campaign achieved its marketing objectives by targeting early adopters and media outlets that could extend awareness through their own networks and channels.


2. Xiamen University Libraries: Tuan Time (Xiamen, Fujian Province, China; http://tuan.xmulib.org)
As IFLA’s press release explains in English, “Since 2013, each graduate student’s library usage record has been transferred by librarians into a refreshing personalized e­account with painting and music, showing their lists of borrowings, library entries, favorite seats, and so on. The theme of the website is ‘Tuan Time,’ namely, ‘Library Time.’ By combining three Chinese characters into one, the newly coined Chinese character ‘Tuan’ conveys the notion that a library is both a book-­collection shelter and soul­-enriching harbor.” The accounts are permanent, and many students have shared them on microblogs (http://weibo.com/xmulibrary) and WeChat.

3. Sunshine Coast Libraries: Sunshine Coast Libraries Pop Ups! (Queensland, Australia; ​​www.facebook.com/SCLibraries)
Staff members at this public library system created six pop-up libraries and held six major events across Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Each pop-up had its own slogan that was crafted specifically for that event: Libraries Colour My Life, Libraries Light Me Up, Real Aussies Read, Where’s Wally—at the Library!, Reading—Food for the Mind, and Run to Reading.
 Silvere Mercier and Nancy Gwinn of the M&M Section prepare 
to give out the 2016 IFLA BibLibre International Marketing
Awards in Ohio. (Photo courtesy of Christie Koontz)

This award honors organizations that implement creative, results-­oriented marketing projects or campaigns. Details on the winners and runners-up are here. (See especially the Storify page!)Thanks to BibLibre, the first- and second-place winners received payment for airfare, lodging, and registration to attend the IFLA event in Ohio. The sponsor also provided cash awards of €2,000, €1,000, and €500 (about $2,256, $1,128, and $564) for the top three winners, which must be used to further their marketing efforts.

Studying top-ranked marketing campaigns like these is a great way to learn about best practices and to see what true marketing projects look like—and what they can achieve. Note that Vancouver Public Library took prizes from both JCD and IFLA, so if you only have time to dig into one campaign, make it that one. Take a look, be inspired, and start to plan your 2017 marketing efforts!
  

To be inclusive, let me remind you of the other main contests:


If you know of other national or international marketing contests that I've missed, please comment to tell me about them. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Let Me Tell You About Merchandising

Digital-screen display at the Library of Congress
Do you wonder what "merchandising" is all about? Do you think it's just for retail stores? Let me set the record straight!

Merchandising isn't just for stores; it's important for all types of libraries too. It can increase your foot traffic and your circulation. It's a great outlet for creative staffers. And it can be really fun!

On August 9, I'll be giving a webinar for the good folks at LibraryWorks.com.
As part of their Strategic Library Webinar series, I'll be presenting "Increasing Library Usage Through Strategic Merchandising." 

Learn more about this 1-hour webinar and register here. 

Here's what you'll learn in this fast-paced, super-visual webinar: 
* Why merchandising starts outside of the building 
* The difference between creating displays and doing merchandising 
* Strategies for increasing library usage and circulation  
* Simple, inexpensive, yet effective ways to improve your physical spaces  
* How merchandising, signage, and space design affect the user experience (UX) 

Anyone from around the world is welcome to participate. If you can't attend live on 9 August, you'll be sent a link to the recorded version. So you have no excuses to miss this -- sign up today! I promise it will be both educational and entertaining.

Also, see other archived and upcoming events in the Strategic Library Webinar Series here. Topics range from strategic planning to construction projects to staff competencies. Want to learn the latest? LibraryWorks.com probably has it covered; look over the list.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

New 'Marketer of the Year' Award!

 
This morning I received very exciting news. Library Ideas, in conjunction with Library Journal, is sponsoring a brand new award: Marketer of the Year!

Library Journal will honor one library staffer or a library team with its first annual Marketer of the Year award in its October 1, 2016, issue. The award, sponsored by Library Ideas, comes with a $2,000 cash prize.
The award recognizes the importance of innovative approaches to marketing of library services, the role of marketing in building library engagement, and the value of quality marketing collateral to help build a vibrant sense of the library and define its relevance in the community. The award places a special emphasis on an individual (or team) working for a library who has instituted or reinvigorated a marketing strategy in the past two years that has:
  • had measurable impact on some aspect of the library’s use,
  • created a new understanding of the community served via market research,
  • improved the prominence of the library in community, and/or
  • driven the marketing around a successful funding initiative that enables the library to reach new audiences or secures deeper sustainability.
Read more details online, and nominate someone by August 1, 2016. I'm so happy to see library marketing getting more recognition and encouragement!  

 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CIVICTechnologies Releases 'Core Customer Intelligence' Report



The report cover show a map
of  customer segmentation.
At the Public Library Association Conference (PLA, www.placonference.org), CIVICTechnologies released a new in-depth report called "Core Customer Intelligence: Public Library Reach, Relevance and Resilience." It's all about using one of today's hot tools, "big data." The vendor, which helps librarians use their data to map out where various client segments exist, wanted to obtain information and insights that would help librarians retain these core users and also gain new customers like them, so this is a powerful tool for customer retention and recruitment. 

The report's website explains: "In partnership with the Las Vegas–Clark County Library District and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), CIVICTechnologies completed the first big data study in the library world." 

Here's what happened: CIVICTechnologies investigated the "core customers" of 10 large U.S. public library systems. These the customers were most active in borrowing physical materials (books, DVDs, and CDs). Those 10 libraries serve a total of 7.8 million people, and the study analyzed data from 4 million customers and 67.4 million checkouts. So it's a very large sample.

As the website says, "Ultimately, this study raises as many important questions as it answers: How can libraries use the core customer information uncovered in this study to attract new library customers and to increase existing customer use? Will libraries be able to retain these core customers as formats shift from physical to virtual? Who are other groups of library customers that are active and loyal? How will libraries accelerate the adoption and use of this kind of customer data to stay relevant, nimble and valuable to the public?"

Page 2 of the Executive Summary explains the three main findings, which pertain to Reach, Relevance, and Resilience.

If you want to understand how to bring in, then keep, more public library users, download the report for free here so you can digest the big data.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Speakers Needed: Library Marketing and Communications Conference

The conference hotel
The Call for Proposals Is Open
for the
2016 LIBRARY MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE

Dallas, TX, Nov 1617, 2016
Crowne Plaza Dallas Near Galleria–Addison


The Planning Committee of the 2016 Library Marketing and Communications Conference (LMCC) is interested in receiving proposals for presentations that showcase the tried and true, the latest trends, and the best practices while providing practical tips and takeaways that can be immediately applied to any library's communication and marketing efforts. We're looking for speakers who have done this work long enough to have experiences and lessons to share.

You should have enough content to fill at least 45 minutes, not counting Q&A. You'll be able to share handouts and slides with attendees electronically.

GUIDELINES FOR SUBMITTING PRESENTATION PROPOSALS

Submission Deadline: Midnight Eastern Time on May 2 
Notification of Presentation Approval: May 27

Get all the details here.


POTENTIAL PRESENTATION TOPICS
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, these concepts:

1.      Communications campaigns / Media relations
2.      Social media plans / Tips / Analytics
3.      Marketing / Communication plans
4.      User Experience / Customer service
5.      Collaborations / Partnerships
A scene from LMCC 2015
6.      Community engagement projects
7.      Planning and promoting programs
8.      Market research / Surveys / Focus groups
9.      Branding strategies / Projects
10.  Technology / Apps / Websites / Software
11.  Graphic design / Production
12.  Communications / Support / Management of internal staff
13.  Political strategy / Bond issues / Budgets
14.  Effective PR / Messages / Value statements
15.  Promoting electronic resources
16.  Pop-up libraries / Services outside of buildings


For any additional questions, send email with the subject line"LMC Speaker Questions" to: General Questions About Speaking: 
Joan Barnes: jbarnes3@unl.edu  Community Engagement Librarian  University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

Questions About the Proposal Form: 
Emily Glimco: emglimco@northbrook.info  Marketing and Communications Associate  Northbrook (Ill.) Public Library  
Organized by the Library Marketing and Communications Group   www.LibraryMarketingConference.org   
Facilitated by Amigos Library Services  www.Amigos.org  

 FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm the Chair of this event. The first LMCC, held in November 2015, was very well-received. In fact, it sold out! So start planning now for this year's conference. If you don't want to speak, then come to network and learn at this one-of-a-kind show that's focused on just what you need to succeed! ~Kathy Dempsey 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016 LibraryAware Community Award Winners

Three public libraries have just been named as the 2016 LibraryAware Community Award winners. You'll be amazed by what they're doing. They're so deeply embedded in their communities! They prove that strategic marketing, promotion, and partnerships can truly make libraries central to their citizens. 

I posted about the entry criteria and deadline last December. Now you can read about the top winner and the two honorees in Library Journal.

Congratulations are due to:

1. Louisville (KY) Free Public Library, for partnering with schools and civic organizations to make books and useful classes available to children and adults, to support both early literacy and lifelong learning.

Louisville's website
"The award recognizes LFPL’s engagement with the community, its needs, and the priorities of its civic institutions, as well as the library’s ability to make Louisville fully cognizant of what LFPL does and can do. The award is presented by Library Journal and funded by LibraryAware, a product of EBSCO Publishing’s NoveList Division. It carries a prize of $10,000."

2. Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library (joint honorees), for their vital work in the rollout of New York City’s "idNYC" municipal identification project (Prize: $7,500)

3. Cranston (RI) Public Library, for serving an influx of foreign-born and non-English-speaking residents (Prize: $5,000)

LibraryAware is a product of EBSCO's NoveList division that enables better library promotion and publicity. "LibraryAware is an online tool for libraries to connect with readers and keep them engaged. It includes templates and tools to create newsletters, bookmarks, shelf-talkers, flyers, and more for promoting books and resources throughout the library and beyond."

Strive to make your library more "community aware." Email me if you need help.






Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Enter the 2016 John Cotton Dana Contest!

News from the JCD Committee: 

The John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards site is open for entries!  

From the award's website

"The John Cotton Dana Award, provided in conjunction with the H.W. Wilson Foundation, the American Library Association, 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."

"So if you have a well-planned, well-implemented, and well-evaluated initiative that took place in 2015 or the 2014-2015 academic year, please consider entering to win one of eight $10,000 awards! This is a no-strings-attached cash award (not a grant), and the web-based entry process is a piece of cake compared with the previous entry process," according to the organizers. 

The website will be open for entries through March 21, 2016. So don't delay!

For information and inspiration, you can view winning entries from last year -- in their entirety -- here

Search "JCD" here on the blog to see coverage of previous winners and celebrations. Then start prepping your entry today!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Librarians Cultivate Skills

Here's a great image you can share. 
It seems to have originated with Jennifer Lagarde, who you can find on Twitter

It speaks the truth, and I love it!


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. 

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!