Getting the Word Out Creates Goodwill (Fall 2013 Preview)

image of flowers by Creative Commons Flickr user tedeytanStudents went back to school a few weeks ago, and library staff are gearing up to begin fall outreach endeavors, if they haven’t begun already. Outreach is often tied to marketing so this is a great time to start thinking about marketing strategies to reach teens inside and outside of the library. YALS is here to help. In her article Top Ten Tips for Marketing to Teens (coming in the Fall issue of YALS which will be in mailboxes in mid-October), Connie Urquhart shares some ideas to help library staff working with teens think outside the box when trying to market to teen audiences.
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Combining Advocacy and Marketing (Fall 2012 Issue)

Sometimes it’s hard to separate advocacy from marketing. Advocacy should focus on the why of what we do for teens. Why the services we provide to adolescents are valuable. Marketing is about selling what we do. The how and when of services to teens. There is overlap between the two and there are ways to combine them to better inform community members, and get the word out, about what you do and why you do it.

It’s easy to forget how important displays are in advocacy and marketing. Displays bring people into the collection, perhaps highlighting books they didn’t know (or had forgotten). They show the breadth of the collection and the range of expertise involved in curating books. They help demonstrate the value of the library to teens because they show the range of what the library can provide. Don’t forget that displays don’t have to just be about books: they can include artifacts, newspapers, local crafts, photographs and more. This helps to market the wide-array of resources libraries connect teens to and shows the library as being more than about books – which helps to advocate for teen services beyond the traditional focus of libraries.
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