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 running, there are still ongoing responsibilities – even if it’s only for content (not an inconsiderable responsibility) – and even if that person is you!
Answered all the questions? Got your plan in place? You are set to succeed at Promotion.
The above elements were drawn from a lecture I gave to my Library Promotion class at Seneca College. We were discussing the process for creating promotional tools – whether those tools were printed or electronic – and one of our points of discussion was the advantages / disadvantages of printed promotional material vs. electronic “publications”. What do you think? Comments? Suggestions?