Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Message Development

Marci Merola, Director, ALA Office for Library Advocacy.

Perfecting your elevator speech:

  1. Learn your library issues. Stay informed, learn your environment.
  2. Know who might ride your "elevator." Learn all you can about the people who make decisions about library funding.

  3. Connect your issue to their issue. What matters to them, how do you motivate them?

  4. Practice. practice, practice. Advocacy has to happen every day, not just to your legislators. Articulate your passion.


Use the calculator "What's your library worth to you?" In these tough economic times, libraries provide a solution.

Add It Up

Advocacy University Resources www.ala.org/advocacyuniversity

http://www.ilovelibraries.org/ Marci encouraged us to contribute our stories.

Strategies to getting the message out:

Internally and externally. Internally: newsletter,web site. Advantages - total control. Externally - press releases, other contacts with the media. A bit more complicated. Need to watch local media with a critical eye, find a reporter who can become your champion. Keep building your relationships with the media. Refer to Library Advocate Handbook.

Everybody needs a Crisis Communications Plan: Who is the spokesperson? Director? Chair of the Trustees? Have a policy.

Your voice and efforts are important: "Anyone who thinks they are too small to be effective has never been in bed with a mosquito."

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