April 20, 2018

The Loneliness of the Long-distance Library Marketer

Calling all library marketers! Help me address this need. When I wrote about the not-tobe-missed LJ Directors Summit last December — the one focused on marketing — I received this email:

“Thank you for sharing recaps from the LJ Directors Summit! I was scheduled to attend but, to my great dismay, I was unable to make the trip. I was really bummed out, too, because I really could have benefited from all of the expert advice! I’m heading into year three of a marketing & pr office and, although I think my two-person office has made great strides, we continue to have to defend our priorities, our work, and our existence as an office. I wonder if anyone else in the library marketing world is feeling similar pressures?”

Don’t that just break your heart? And who among us hasn’t had the same experience?

Here are my two recommendations

1. Find ways to demonstrate real value-add that can be measured. Social media growth, earned media growth, Google analytics on web pages, fundraising, increased memberships in Friends of the Library or volunteers. Set a goal and then get there.

2. Don’t take it personally. As a marketing office you represent change and change is hard.

What about the rest of you? What recommendations or support can you share?

Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.