Thursday, May 8, 2008

If You Build it, Will They Come?: Marketing from an Academic Library Point-of-View

If You Build it, Will They Come?: Marketing from an Academic Library Point-of-View
Lisa Wiecki, Assistant Director for Public Services and Outreach, Library and Technology Services, Brandeis University;
Joshua Wilson, Associate Director, Library and Technology Services, Brandeis University

I have a personal interest in this session. I wrote before that our library at Salem State College quite suddenly closed last October. In relocating in offices around campus, librarians really had to refashion and repackage what they do on a day-to-day basis. There seemed to be a lot of marketing involved in communicating with the campus what the librarians do, and do well, without a library building. This has been a good model for librarians to become highly visible in a profession that is constantly changing.

Lisa and Joshua introduced a tool that helps with communication, called the communication scorecard. There are two case studies in implementing marketing in an academic library.

Lisa and Joshua say they are a Liberal Arts/Research University and created a model for communication. The model is a distributed model designed for the 110 full time staff members in an effort to get the word out efficiently to campus constituents. There are still hurdles to effective communication with such a large number of staff--hence the scorecard that was created by Lisa and Joshua.

The presenters ask us to think about Aspects: Context (Project, Goals, Audience Focus), Message (Message clarity, Message consistency, message distribution, message frequency, and message timing), and Materials (collateral). These consist to make a Scorecard, or a model, to follow in marketing services. The case study Joshua reports on is Brandeis' migration to LATTE (Learning And Teaching Technology Environment).

Case Study:
Project LATTE
Context: Project
  • WebCT heavily used; at great risk of failure
  • Decision: Launch LATTE in Fall 2007
Migrate to Moodle
Name it LATTE (Learning And Teaching Technology Environment)

CONTEXT: Goals and audience
  • Sophisticated, thoughtful, strategic approach
  • use branding to enhance message
  • focus on faculty audience

Scorecard: Context (On scale from 1-4)
Project = 3 (clearly defined?)
Goals = 3
Audience = 4 (defined?)

Clarity and Consistency
Told a 3-Part story
  • Risk: WebCT in danger of failure
  • Benefit: LATTE offers enriched environment for learning and teaching
  • Support: LTS will offer excetional, innovative support for faculty and students
Message: Distribution, Frequency, & Training

  • CIO presentation to faculty meeting
  • LATTE Project Action Plan
  • Email and website news
Scorecard: Message
  • Clarity: 4 (Clear and concise?)
  • Consistency:4 (disseminated consistently?)
  • Distribution: 4
  • Frequency: 4
  • Timing: 4 (Appropriate timing--prior to semester start)
Materials: Collateral
  • Publications branding latte coffee bean packets, magnets, postcards and fliers
Materials Scorecard:
  • Collateral: 4 (well-designed and eye catching)
LATTE was a success based on scorecard. The scorecard also helped to guide the study and implementation successfully.

LISA talked about her case study. She held short info lit sessions once a week and sought participation from the Brandeis community. Here is the case study as it is followed by the scorecard.

Context: Project
  • Brandeis offers a wealth of services and resources
    • 30,000 e journals and 250 databases
    • mega huge challenge to get the word out
  • Idea!
    • Develop a weekly learning series to showcase services and info resources
    • Name it Thursdays@3 (time no classes--theoretically students are available)
Goals and Audience:
  • Just dive in and do it approach
  • Success criteria never really defined
  • Target audience sometimes students, sometimes U employees, faculty, sometimes everyone
Lisa tried different sessions, such as "trace your family tree."

Scorecard: Context
Lisa did not have ratings, but let the audience at the presentation vote.
  • Project (Project clearly defined?): 2
  • Goals (communication success?): 2
  • Audience Focus (audience clearly defined?): 2
Message: Distribution, Frequency, & Timing
  • Flyers and table tents
  • news alerts on our website, etc.
Scorecard: Message
  • Clarity: 3
  • Consistency: 3
  • Distribution: 4
  • Frequency: 4
  • Timing: 4
Materials: Collateral

Lisa had no budget--Assistant helped create logo
Thursdays@3:00 pm with the T as a tree and an owl at the top of the tree (owl=Brandeis logo)
Different flyer every week and changed color, which people were not fond of seeing.

Scorecard: Materials
  • Collateral (well-designed?): 2
Taken in the whole, the Scorecard dictates a context and materials that need work, but the message was great. The case study scorecard allows for reflection and review.

Lisa had 10 sessions in the Fall, 8 in the Spring. predominantly staff who showed-up and raved about the number of staff who participated. Lisa never saw so many staff show-up.
Stuff that was "sexy" did well. Show-and-tell from archive, etc. Needed a different spin to services.
Meetings took place in "Commons" area of library where hip hang-out. udience at the presentation offered advice for working with faculty and finding other ways to arget students.

Joshua and Lisa then implemented a workshop for us at the presentation. The audience agreed to interview Heather Tompkins from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. The audience participated in listening to Heather explain her project about imparting information literacy to faculty and helped to devise a scorecard to implement the project. Employed an interviewing technique based on the questions from the scorecard to really reflect and respond to a variety of projects.

Scorecard: Context (Why pursuing info literacy, learning and teaching with curriculum)

  • Project: 3
  • Goals: 3
  • Audience: 4
Scorecard: Message (For imparting info literacy skill set to faculty)
  • What message trying to send?
  • How will your message change over lifespan of project?
  • How will you maintain the consistency of your message?
  • In what ways will you disseminate your message?
  • Will these methods reach your target audience?
  • What frequency and timing will best serve your communication effort?
Scorecard: Message
  • Clarity: 3-4
  • Consistency: 3-4
  • Distribution: 3
  • Frequency: 2
  • Timing: 3
  • What collateral will you distribute?
  • What resources will you allocate to create this collateral?
  • How will this collateral amplify your message?
Scorecard: Collateral
  • 2
For more information you can contact Joshua or Lisa at Brandeis University. For more about the scorecard try visiting the following link synopsis communication measurement scorecard

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