Publicity and Press Coverage

The success of ALCTS products and services, such as awards, programs, and publications, depends in large part on the effectiveness with which they are promoted and publicized.

ALA offers many outlets for publicity to ALCTS. ALCTS only produces publicity, which can be distributed electronically. ALCTS no longer produces printed materials for publicity.

Through the ALA Public Information Office (PIO), ALCTS issues press releases to the PIO distribution list and American Libraries. Press releases are normally written, edited, and coordinated through the ALCTS office. Once the official press information is prepared, the ALCTS office will make it available electronically for further distribution by committee chairs, etc.

Advertisements may be placed in LRTS or the Newsletter. Banner ads and announcements are placed on the Web site in multiple locations. ALCTS also advertises in American Libraries and other division publications. There is a cost for advertising in American Libraries. The office can most times arrange an exchange for advertising in division publications. We have also place ads in Cognotes, the ALA conference publication. Again, Cognotes carries a cost. ALCTS never advertises outside of ALA publications. The cost of doing so is most times prohibitive. All advertisements are coordinated and placed through the ALCTS Office. The Executive Director has final approval on all advertising.

The ALA membership database is available for ALCTS to use to email ALA members who might have an interest in the product, service, or program being offered. Such lists are generated by the Office based on topic, location, member type, and more.

Discussion lists have become a preferential vehicle for publicity. Using discussion lists is highly desirable since it reaches a wide range of people at little or no cost. The Office can assist in posting announcements to ALA based lists, if necessary. The office cannot help in posting to non-ALA lists. Members who subscribe to those lists are most always willing to post the announcement. Unless the announcement being distributed is an official press release or program description, all non-ALA discussion list postings must be approved by the ALCTS Office.

Other ideas for venues and distribution points are always welcome. If you have an idea, contact the ALCTS Office.

Publicity for specific activities:

  • Awards: The Office sends out a press release each September announcing the availability of the awards. The jury is encouraged to distribute the press release widely itself. In February, the chair of the jury provides the ALCTS office with background information on winners for a press release. The office also arranges for listing in the annual listing of opportunities and honors in American Libraries, and updates the division's own awards Web pages. The office also responds to inquiries from publishers of directories listing awards.
  • Discussion and Interest Group meeting topics: Discussion and Interest group topics are listed in the ALCTS Newsletter Online, when known. Chairs are encouraged to send their topics to the editor as soon as they are established for the next conference. Topics may also be distributed via discussion lists.
  • Workshops: The ALCTS office prepares a press release and a Web announcement to promote workshops. The Office frequently will do e-mailings to ALA members announcing these workshops, particularly in their area.
  • Programs: The most effective publicity is the Preliminary Conference Program. The copy, which the program planners prepare for that publication is also used for web announcements, newsletter articles, and any other outlets that are deemed worthwhile. Program planners are encouraged to contact the newsletter editor to make arrangements to have a report written on the program for the newsletter.
  • Publications: How publications are promoted depends on whether they are published by ALA, by an outside publisher, or self-published by ALCTS. All titles published by ALA Publishing are part of a full marketing program, with press releases, distribution of review copies, and inclusion in the ALA publications Catalog, ALA Store, etc. The marketing for self-published titles is more limited, but utilizes the same vehicles.
If you have any questions about publicity or publicity support from ALA or the ALCTS Office, please contact the ALCTS Office.