Public relations & dealing with the media

Information about communicating with the public and the general media.

Advocacy Action Plan Workbook (PDF)
A guide designed to help you create an action plan for library advocacy. It will help you focus on what you need to do, how you intend to get it done, and how to ensure that the timing is maximized for the best results. The types of activities and task forces listed in the workbook are only suggestions. Depending on the type of campaign you design and what you believe will work best in your community, you might create other types of task forces with other types of activities.

Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit 
Across the country, families are facing tough economic times. Americans are visiting their local public libraries more often and checking out items in greater frequency. Ironically, at the same time, libraries are being forced to reduce hours, cut staff and even close their doors. Check out the following resources and tools, including news clips, op-eds, and statistics to help library supporters make the case for libraries in these times.

Budget in the Crosshairs? Navigating a Challenging Budget Year
This guide will help you prepare and plan for your library’s survival and growth during tough economic times.

Develop Your Campaign's Message (PDF) or word document
A basic element of any public awareness and advocacy campaign is a communication plan with clearly defined key messages, audiences and strategies for reaching those audiences. It’s important that all library staff and advocates understand the plan, its rationale and their role in supporting it.

Developing Your Advocacy Plan (PDF) or word document
Steps to use as you create and write your Advocacy Action Plan. Includes a worksheet to help you map out your advocacy strategy.

In Case of Controversy: Basic Tips for Crisis Communications
You will want to anticipate and prepare for dealing with organized opposition or other issues that might arise, whether it’s anti-tax, the library’s Internet policy, or other matters. All of the basic communications/advocacy strategies are critical when dealing with a crisis. Available as PDF or word document

Media Relations Handbook for Libraries
The Media Relations Handbook for Libraries is designed to help you determine if your story is newsworthy or noteworthy- and to help you to try and get  media visibility for you events and programs without breaking the bank or taking up too much valuable staff time. Building on the ALA's Library Advocates Handbook, this communications tutorial will take you through public relations basics of outlets and media advisories to navigating through tough TV interviews.

Speaking Out
For any advocacy campaign to work, there must be spokespeople who are knowledgeable and skilled in delivering the library message. That spokesperson may vary with the audience and medium. Every library should have a policy that defines who speaks for the library and when. Available as PDF or word document

Telling the Library Story
The library story isn’t new, but it is one that continually changes. Part of the challenge in building our case is to get people’s attention and convey the value that libraries deliver. But numbers aren’t the whole story when it comes to telling our story.Collecting and sharing library user success stories puts a face on the library and can warm the heart in a way that numbers alone can’t. Also available as a PDF or word document

Working with the Media: Staying in Control
Interviews can be challenging for even the most experienced spokespeople. The following techniques can help you stay focused and in control of your message. They are particularly useful with broadcast media, but also work with print reporters and other question-and-answer situations. Also available as a PDF or word document

Working with the Media: Strategies and Tips for Success
Identifies some opportunities in the media to get your message out, provides tips on how to deal with media calls and being effective on radio or TV. Available as a PDF or word document


Available from ALA Editions

Library PR HandbookThe Library PR Handbook
The fast-paced and complex PR role is becoming increasingly important as libraries need to respond quickly to the changing media landscape and the country’s demographic shifts. This handbook will get you on the right PR track with how-tos of amplifying your message through partnerships, savvy outreach programs, and other suggestions. Written by high-profile experts in the PR field, The Library PR Handbook is for those looking to spice up their library’s message and get the word out.


Creating Your Library Brand: Communicating Your Relevance and Value to Your PatronsCreating Your Library BrandFrom McDonald's arches to Nike's swoosh, logos are part of the everyday landscape. These are the visual representations of brands' extensive marketing stories, defining the meaning and message of the company. Branding is one part of the marketing process that focuses on developing a laser-clear message and the means to communicate that message to the intended audience. But as a library, where does branding fit? In the new media mix, libraries need to stand up and effectively communicate their benefits as a preferred provider of information and entertainment resources. By following the step-by-step guidance of Doucett, branding pro turned librarian, libraries can begin to develop branding that makes a difference. With branding scaled and tailored to the nonprofit public library arena.


Crisis in Employment: A Librarian's Guide to Helping Job SeekersALA EditionsIn difficult economic times people turn to their local library for help seeking new work. Crisis in Employment will give you the tools you need to support this growing group of patrons. Based on interviews with librarians across the country, as well as research from ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics, this ALA Editions Special Report offers advice and methods for providing appropriate training and education to job seekers. Crisis in Employment will help you meet the needs of patrons seeking new work, making career changes, or starting their own businesses in a comprehensive way that suits your local community’s conditions.


Visible Librarian: Asserting Your Value with Marketing and AdvocacyVisible LibrarianRecent law, corporate, and even public library closings are the sad confirmation that libraries are no longer a given. Despite the fact that librarians bring unique value to their communities and organizations, too often their work goes on under the radar. The benefits provided by information professionals are invisible and taken for granted as Internet search engines replace real experts. It's time to assert your value and the value of the resources you marshal. Step from behind the desk or computer to make your community aware of just how indispensable your services are. Here are all the tools you need to become the "squeaky wheel" and attract the attention your work deserves. Use these practical strategies to connect with customers, make services both visible and valuable to the community, and get the word out using proven marketing, customer service, and public relations tactics specifically tailored to the library environment.


Building a buzzBuilding a Buzz: Libraries & Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Want to get the word out about your library in the most cost-effective way possible? You can achieve this with the effective word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) strategies laid out in this book. Two creative marketers, Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace, bring you sound marketing principles to spread the word about your library within the community. Renowned for their creativity, Barber and Wallace bring you WOMM ideas that will help you turn your existing library patrons into a major marketing force.


Powerful Public RelationsPowerful Public Relations: A How-To Guide for Libraries
The library is still the best place to go for traditional information—and for everything from Internet access, database reference, video and CD check-out to engaging exhibits, entertaining events, and more. The challenge is getting your customers and community to believe that their library has more to offer today than it ever did. It's up to you to communicate that the home or work computer can't come close to delivering the unique services your library provides. And you can do this with Powerful Public Relations. Whether you have a lot of time to devote to a PR program or just a few hours here and there, communicating your library's many benefits is paramount to the satisfaction and number of customers you have each day.


Library public relations promotions and communicationsLibrary Public Relations, Promotions, and Communications, Second Edition: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians
The popular first edition (1997) of Lisa Wolfe’s guide has been totally revised, and includes five brand-new chapters: “Positioning Libraries in the 21st Century”; “Brand-building for Libraries”; “Using Technology as a PR Tool”; “Creative Effective Web Communications”; and “Planning for Crisis Communications.” Once again, Wolfe comes to the rescue with ideas and step-by-step guidance for PR campaigns that make measurable differences. Chapters explain how to position today’s library in terms of policy issues, funding programs, and technological opportunities; how to develop a PR plan; build a brand identity and define your library’s message; use the Web, the media, and library-developed marketing materials to tell your story; create word-of-mouth coverage; approach crisis communications plans; and evaluate and re-tool your PR program.


Library marketing that worksLibrary Marketing That Works!
Library marketing has forged into new territory as commercial marketing and public relations methods have reached the nonprofit and educational sectors. New technologies offer multiple new avenues for promoting library products and services. In Part I of this guide, Walters, author of the classic Marketing: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians, provides step-by-step guidance for each and every phase of a comprehensive marketing program: determining the mission, conducting a SWOT analysis, doing market research, holding focus groups, planning campaigns, developing strategic marketing plans, and evaluating marketing efforts. Part II explores new techniques librarians can use including relationship marketing, marketing using listservs and Web sites, developing and using a wide variety of contact databases, and building relationships with stakeholders and donors.


Breakthrough brandingBreakthrough Branding: Positioning Your Library to Survive and Thrive
Branding provides a unique way for your library to distinguish itself: its identity, personality, and image. Drawing on five vividly unique case studies from libraries across the country, this book shows you how to mesh your library’s brand deeply and seamlessly within your internal culture, to leverage and better position your brand for the audiences you serve, and develop and implement promotional strategies and tactics consistent with your objectives.