What I have learned over the past years is that marketing and outreach can be organized into an effective plan. In my current position, working with a team, we began our plan by creating a matrix of marketing outlets to select from. The purpose of this was not to utilize each marketing and outreach channel, but to create a broad range for the event organizer to select from.
The first step in our plan is for the event organizer to draft the language and advertising to be used for distribution. This is important so that the information distributed is all uniform and circumvents errors in relayed event details. A few suggestions in creation of advertising:
I would suggest the language cover the who, why, what, when and where. This might seem obvious, but it is the essential details that can sometimes easily be overlooked.
Use a readable typeface, a good thing to keep in mind is that promotional material may be printed in ¼ sheets as handouts. Be sure that the message can be read at this size.
Limit your use of colors and get creative. Like purposefully misusing it, one of the most clicked advertisements I’ve created was in bright pink, blue and maroon.
Limit the formats you create for: Social Media posts 470x394 pixels, TV ads 1920x1080 pixels and 8.5”x11” which is 612x792 pixels. I would also recommend that your 8.5”x11” is created to be scalable to both a larger 18”x24” poster format and a ¼ or ½ page handout.
We broke down our headings into Venue, Contact Person (for the venue, if known), Library Contact (who is responsible) and Timeframe (when to reach out, if known). We began with the most important first step, the blurb about the event and made that the responsibility of the event coordinator. Being a team, this does not leave the event coordinator without help in editing and feedback in creating the advertising and language.
Next we looked at internal channels of communication, what we can do within our facility to market the event. For selecting who was responsible for which task, we relied on who already covered the essential functions. For example, the Library Staff whom maintain the website and public computer screensavers were automatically assigned the responsibility of updating these marketing avenues.
Social media was the next opportunity that we tackled. One of the best ways we are able to collaborate with other departments in social media is by sharing posts. Responsibility is again reflected in who presently covers the role. We discovered that several departments have their own social media outlets and not all the same. For example, our Library has only a Facebook page, but no other social media sites – by collaborating with our Office of Student Services we are able to reach a broader audience through them sharing via Twitter, Flickr or LinkedIn Alumni Groups and we, likewise, share their posts on the Library’s Facebook.
From social media we turned back inwards and created a matrix of email listserv’s, newsletters and student meetings. This is a tricky method of communication as cross postings and speeches can occur. In some cases, email servers can flag you as spam or you end up annoying your audience from multiple email messages. Accountability here was more based off whom had the better working relationship with each venue.
We also considered other internal technological outlets that we could utilize in our efforts and created this list:
After we exhausted our internal avenues, we considered outreach to the community. We tried to consider outreach locations the community often visit and message or announcement boards were commonly found.
Once the matrix is completed, it provided us with an overarching marketing outline that the event coordinator could then pick and choose from. After using this matrix tool a few times, what I have found more effective is when contacting people, to make it feel personal rather than a blast email. Taking that extra step and effort in contacting and using a name in combination with a snippet on how it is relevant to the contacts group or demographic is usually more effectual than simply sending a notice. It’s a simple comparison of which an individual would feel more attracted to attending:
To sum it all up:
After several years of direct library experience I wanted to create a space to provide my two cents on librarianship, chronicle my lessons learned and share some insight.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
This series focuses on making the reader question what is good and what is evil, can you do evil in the name of good or can doing good be evil? When a good and bad girl get swapped in their schools for becoming a princess and becoming a villain, things start being put to question really fast all in the pursuit of their "ever after". The best part is the weaving of classic fairy tale characters into this epic trilogy, they fit into the story perfectly and added a whole other level of questioning right and wrong ethics.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This dark trilogy weaves European history into a fantastic story of a small town kids self realization and acceptance. It has a fast pace with lots of action and I appreciated that the darker side of this story was not sugar coated, it had me on edge the whole time!
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Prepare to have your imagination blown away by this immeasurably creative adventure where magic is based on color, but what happens when a girl is born with no color? This story deals with being a complete outcast of society, being ridiculed and finding ones own self worth. I seriously hope there is another book coming by this author as imaginative doesn't even contain the world that Mafi created in this story.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Another good author friend of mine, Gail never fails to impress with her writings. She comes from a humble background in archaeology and with her strong female lead character Alexia she writes a supernatural steampunk story that is sure to captivate as Alexia struggles to find her way in a society that just doesn't want to make room for her or her strange powers.
Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
It is hard to put this series down for sure, the story focuses on a young child dealing with loss, depression and of course his worst Nightmares! This series is an easy read, but it really captures the perspective of how a child deals with these issues. It is a brave series to say the least.
Geist by Philippa Ballantine
A friend of mine, Pip writes a strong female character in this fantasy series that puts her character Sorcha smack dab in the middle of the worlds of the living and the dead. A series that was difficult to put down, but also one that I with there were more of. It is difficult to find a fantasy so well written and empowering of a lead female character. I love Pip's ability to capture all of this.
The Diabolical Miss Hyde: An Electric Empire Novel by Viola Carr
Ok, seriously, things could not get more exciting with this steampunk story about the famous Dr. Jekyll's daughter Dr. Eliza Jekyll and her investigation of the "the Chopper" murderer. Carr crafted a fast paced thriller that twists the ending so much...well you'll have to read it yourself to find out!
A Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair) by Emma Jane Holloway
Evelina Cooper, she is the niece of Sherlock Holmes. This is a steampunk masterpiece that has just about everything: magic, machines, secrets, crazy action, and all the thrills one expects when love and fear come crashing together. Emma Jane impresses me with this series beyond measure.
Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series) by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
A re-imagined Edwardian Era England is the perfect place to set this steampunk series that revolves around the strong willed Agent Eliza Braun, I adore her. She is partnered with the meek yet intelligent librarian, Agent Wellington Books (go librarians) in an adventure that rivals that of James Bond.
The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders
This is truly an amazing work of writing. I feel that is on par with Harry Potter, but mixed with science! Sanders creates an eccentric and mysterious world and plot embedded in our everyday real world. I felt a constant pull at questioning the motives of the characters...high recommendations for this book and worth every word!
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Set in the 17th century era of King Charles II, it has a unique sense of curiosity. Kevin Sands tackles integrating chemistry concepts in a fun, appealing and explosive way. The story mixes elements of friendship, parental love, religion and growing up to create a concoction that is truly rewarding. I have yet to start the second book in the series, but I am definitely hungry to read where Sands writes Christopher next.
The Thickety by J.A. White
A witch-hunt in the world of children with magic balanced as the problem and solution. J.A. White authored an amazing fairy tale, three previous books, filled with intense emotion. I have been anxiously anticipating the final book for nearly a year and I devoured its pages with my eyes. The story follows a brother and sister as victims of a witch-hunt that turns into a mistake that could end the world.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
I am only on book two of this six book series. Fast paced adventure that does not leave the emotions behind, combine this with the rich retelling of some of everyone's favorite fairy tales and you have a golden egg of a series. Set in two worlds, the fairy tale world and the modern day world, the story follows twins Alex and Connor on quite an adventure in both worlds.