We were recently interviewed for possible inclusion in a book about word-of-mouth-marketing. The authors are intrigued with how we market our library services and resources not just to our patrons, but also to our funding organizations, other libraries, and other organizations. For example, staff have used free software programs to create a video entitled "Who Needs the Public Library?," which you can view on YouTube in our crrlvideo "channel."
The library, like any other business, needs to get the word out in any possible way in these tough economic times. We'll be sharing our message and resources with attendees of next week's (April 22, 2009) First Annual Fredericksburg Region Business Seminar & Expo, focusing on creative marketing. The event will be held at the University of Mary Washington's College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Five sessions on marketing will be held throughout the day. If you want to attend, contact Bob Carter.
Why is the library attending as a vendor? Everybody knows we have books. In fact, one recent study indicated that our brand recognition of books is around 70% in English-speaking countries (from OCLC's Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources). Most businesses will envy that kind of recognition. But people generally don't think first of the library when they want to find business information for free, online databases, homework help, or reference librarians online 24/7. Did you know that we provide those services, among many others?
We'll be at the Expo to reach a group of people who might not realize that we may have treasures to help them get their messages out in these troubling economic times because:
- We share our programming information with local media outlets
- Create videos which air weekly on local cable (CRRL Presents)
- Submit a monthly column of business resources to the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce's Chamberlink newsletter - "Notable & New @ the Central Rappahannock Regional Library"
- and have a great web site, if we do say so ourselves, providing many resources at your fingertips
And, sure, we hope to pick up a new marketing idea or two as well. These are definitely times to pursue creative marketing.