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Influencers & Advocates

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Just listening to a session on Advocate Engagement: Turning fans into advocates at CRM Evolution 2012 in NYC. The speaker, Christopher Carfi, VP, Social Business Strategy, Ant’s Eye View (which was just acquired by PriceWaterhouseCoopers yesterday) is very engaging. He says that “Social business” requires fundamental change and discipline to transform from a traditional enterprise to one that is fully engaged with its customers, partners and employees. And that requires advocates. Advocates are different than influencers. Influencers have significant networks, personal or professional, and use it to get opinions and recommendations but they don’t indicate their views. They are amplifiers, but neutral. Advocates are defenders of the brand, on behalf of the brand by pleading, recommending, etc. What drives advocacy: involvement, trust, belonging, identity, knowledge. Advocates can be really useful in online communities: less in 911 groups where people have something broken and want a fix, but more in 411 communities where people learn & improve and in 511 communities where people explore & discover, for example, here advocates who are on the bleeding edge come up with a cool tool/hack. Think about verbs when you think of advocates and their behaviours — explore, like, praise, show off, comment, challenge, share, teach, interact, taunt (an interesting behaviour but it’s use depends on community). Christopher had lots more, so check out his slides. If you want more on customer relationship management and customer experience, check out the twitter feeds from the conference #CRMe12 and #custse.

Here’s another take on Carfi’s

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Sharing a Secret

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Did you know I was the model for today’s Google doodle? LOL You know those ice breaker exercises where you have to tell something that no one knows about you? Well I guess I won’t be able to share my secret life as an archer with the University of Toronto team many years ago since Google has outed my secret!

Exclusivity

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Rebecca participated recently in a new event and posted about lessons learned from retail, specifically:

What successful retailers are doing: even e-shops are opening physical showrooms, including Ebay and Amazon. People want an escape, an experience and something memorable. Shops are working to make people feel they are the priority from the time they walk in the door Friendly, helpful service is a must that extends to advice and demonstrations (Genius Bar of Apple Stores); Apple is extending their help bars that have stools – why don’t “reference desks” have stools? People expect to be checked out on the spot, not have to go to a checkout desk.

Rebecca also posted the key messages including space that is friendly, personal and curated. So I want to continue the discussion of learning from retail. I’m back to Nordstrom and my shopping experience the other day. When I went into the store there were sections of each department in the store that were blocked off with floor to ceiling grey drapes with a small opening in front. I asked what was going on and was told, “this is a peek at our new fall merchandise whichwe have put on sale for our loyal customers (you have to use your Nordstrom card to purchase at the sale price!).” How cool is that — see what’s coming up for fall (future trends we curated from collection), get an early discount (a treat for being a loyal customer), we value you and want you to

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Promotion 101: Is blogging part of your plan?

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One of the marketing “P”s at which librarians excel is Promotion. One of the most popular promotional vehicles for many libraries is their blog. Many libraries, like many organizations, assume that “if we blog it, people will read it.” And rarely do libraries look at how the blog fits in their overall promotion or marketing plans. So, before you set up a new blog – or continue on your current blog, scope out the plan. Consider what you are trying to achieve with the blog, and how you plan to achieve that goal by answering the following questions:

Purpose: What is the goal of your blog? What do you want to communicate or promote? Be clear about this.

Description: What do you want your site to look like? Plan the physical description of the blog. Sketch out your vision so you can “see” it before you build it.

Schedule: How often will you be updating your blog? Set a publication frequency that’s reasonable.

Audience: Who are they? What’s the target market?

Cost: How much? Even electronic publications have a cost, including – and especially – the “cost” of your time!

Distribution: How are you going to ensure that you reach your audience? Where is the “Place” (another marketing “P”)?

Person(s): Where does the responsibility lie? During set-up, you may want to create a project plan to identify milestones – especially if you are relying upon outside expertise to deliver certain aspects of your site. After you are up and

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Ebook Xmas Extravaganza!!

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Are you ready? Hamilton Public Library Chief Librarian Ken Roberts and I talked about ebooks a few weeks ago for an Education Institute “Conversations with Leaders” series. We talked about was the huge increase in ebook circulation over that last 18 months and how there was a real spike after Christmas last year. A recent Toronto Star article emphasized the same situation with ebooks in the Toronto Public Library.

So have you made your plans for supporting the even greater tsunami of ebook seekers following holiday gift giving of electronic goodies? If you thought it was ebook crazy last year, this year will be even multiplied at least ten fold. Suggestion: make it really clear on the front page of your website how to deal with ebooks — how to download to particular devices (step by step), how to find ebooks in your collection, tips, FAQs, etc. Be prepared so your customers don’t get frustrated and bypass your library.

Retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I think libraries should have a catchy name for the ebook extravaganza following electronic holiday giving — Ebook Xday, or maybe just Ebookday. Got some other suggestions?

Powerful Social Media Lessons

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Social media (from Tom Stewart) just pointed me to a fascinating article, Anatomy of a Trending Topic: How Twitter & the crafting community put the smackdown on Urban Outfitters. A great story but what I really loved was the lessons learned:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of Tribes.

2. If you have customers, social media matters.

3. People love a cause.

This is great news for libraries who have a fabulous cause/s — literacy (of words, technology, life and more), who have lots of customers (but could use more champions and supporters), and who certainly know lots about social media. Here is a great story about the impact of social media. Let’s learn from it and get some great impact stories for libraries!

Elevator Listen

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For years we’ve talked about the importance of having our “elevator speech” ready so that when we encounter a decision-maker or influencer in an elevator, at a function, or wherever, we can quickly articulate what we do and how we contribute. While it’s important to be clear on our role & contribution, a chance encounter with a decision-maker is a fantastic opportunity to hear about them — what are they working on? where are they headed today? have they ever heard of the information centre? You don’t have to stick a mike in their face & pepper them with questions, but showing interest in people — finding out about their work — is the basis for all good relationships not to mention the foundation of “service excellence.”

I’m regularly in meetings with information professionals discussing their positioning within a community, the university or organization. Inevitably the conversation turns to ways & means of taking the information centre or library message to those who are new — the orientation of what the library can do for them. In the same way that the elevator encounter shouldn’t be our chance to speak but rather to ask and listen, orientation sessions are our chance to meet & listen to the newbies. Especially if you are meeting one-on-one with a new faculty member or employee, welcome them — take them a coffee, or better yet, take them a voucher for a coffee to use for your next conversation — & find

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CIL2011 Day 1: Stories Not Statistics

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The only problem with Computers in Libraries is that I can only attend one session at a time. There were so many sessions I wanted to be at today, and those I did attend were exactly what I look for in conference sessions: interesting, idea-generating learning events.

What keeps conference organizers awake at night? The nightmare that a keynote speaker may not arrive on time to address several hundred attendees. Although this happened this morning, Jane, Tom Hogan and other Information Today organizers handled the situation gracefully quickly creating a panel with Roy Tennant, Stephen Abram, Marshall Breeding and Dick Kaiser who discussed the issue of e-books-publishers-lending-libraries. My takeaways from this session:

Although many in the library sector have been challenging Harper-Collins, the sector should focusing on Simon and Schuster who won’t license e-books to libraries at all Overdrive has been doing their best with e-books in the library environment Google’s agreement for every library to have “one Google terminal” for Google-digitized content does not include downloading or printing rights.

Madeline Barratt, Strategy & Performance Manager for Enfield Libraries in the UK spoke of London’s Libraries Consortium. Growing from 3 members to 15 in a couple of short years, the Consortium is yielding real benefits for all the boroughs. Madeline’s articulate, humourous delivery was engaging. My takeaways:

“Challenges grow like weeds” even for those who fiercely believe in public libraries, collaboration & consortia One challenge is to maintain a collaborative model as membership grows; they are developing their governance model

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Millenials: Learning from, Living With & Influencing

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I am looking forward to interviewing Patricia Martin, Litlamp Communications and author of Renaissance Generation: The Rise of the Cultural Consumer & What it Means to Your Business. Here’s a video, Library Renaissance, of Patricia following a talk she did last year about not being shed.

Patricia’s latest book is called Tipping the Culture: How Engaging Millenials will Change Everything. It is an ebook and is available for free download. We are going to be talking about this book and how we can learn from, live with, and influence millenials next week in the Conversations with Leaders series from the Education Institute. To join us, sign up and listen in from your desk or a conference room with your colleagues. It will be fun and interesting!

OLA 2011 Superconference: Strategic, Shopping & Services

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Woot! We have a wonderfully busy week ahead at OLA’s SUPERconference (and a super time it is, for everyone!). We are co-sponsoring the Poster Sessions with dmA Planning & Management Services, highlighting our new strategic alliance with dmA & planning thought-leader Jim Morgenstern. Woot!

We’ll be tweeting @ #SC2011.

Check out the Poster Sessions Thursday, February 3, 2011 and Friday, February 4, 2011, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Each day a set of 16 displays will be set up for viewing for the full 2 hours. Individual presenters will be given a 45-minute presentation time within the 2-hour period.

We are also talking….and talking….and I don’t just mean talking in that restaurant at the Intercontinental (although we WILL be talking & laughing in there too!), but at sessions. These sessions!

Thursday February 3 @ 9:05 a.m. Visioning: More Than Words or Plaques! Stay tuned for those slides.

Later that same day…..@ 3:45 p.m. Thinking Strategically & Critically: Seeing Possibilities. Here’s the slides, but do come & test your critical thinking approaches.

Thinking strategically & critically: seeing possibilities

View more presentations from Rebecca Jones.

Friday February 4 @ 2:10 p.m. Innovative Approaches in Library Service Delivery. We’ll present with Deane Zeeman of Library & Archives Canada about research regarding innovative information services underway in corporate & government organizations.

Innovative Services Research for Library & Archives Canada

Innovative Approaches in Library Service Delivery

View more presentations from Rebecca Jones.

And, later THAT day @ 3:45, Jane will present Change Management: A

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