A Communication Handbook for Libraries

American Library Association

This handbook was designed to help librarians and others develop and maintain effective relations with the media and win support for libraries and their programs, all with minimal use of precious resources. Starting with the basics, it explains what publicity is and how it can help a library attract attention, create interest and gain support and continues through creating a plan to connect with media.

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I. Introductory Letter to Libraries

II. What Can Media Attention/Publicity Do For Your Library?

III. Developing a Targeted/Simple Media/Communications Plan

  • Determining Your Goals and Objectives: Who, What, And When
  • Defining Your Target Audience
  • Shaping the Key Message
  • Designing and Outlining Your Tactics: What Will Best Fit Your Library?
  • How Much Time Do You Have? How to Devise an Internal Planning Calendar
  • Using Existing Resources: How a Limited Budget Can Be a Help, Not a Hindrance
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness Your Campaign
IV. Moving Forward with Your Plan
  • The Results: Envisioning Your Media Hits
    • Print
      • News
      • Feature Stories
      • Listings
      • Editorials
      • Ads
      • Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
      • Letters to the Editor
      • Op-Eds
      • Photo Ops
      • Newsletters
    • TV/Cable
      • News
      • Feature Spots
      • Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
      • Cable News
      • Video News Releases (VNRs)
      • Community Calendars
    • Radio
      • News
      • Radio News Releases (RNRs)
      • Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
      • Talk Radio
      • Community Calendars
      • Commentary
    • Internet
      • News
      • Chats
      • Electronic Discussion Lists
      • ViraMarketing
      • Blogs
    • Wires
      • TV
      • Print
      • Radio
      • Internet
    • Newswires
  • Developing a Media List
    • Media Guides
    • How to Create and Update Your Media List (Including defining beats and reaching out to ethnic/minority press)
  • Media Events and Tactics—How the Media Takes Notice
    (Short descriptions of the following media happenings)
    • How to Run a Press Conference
    • Media Briefing
    • Editorial Board
    • Media Tour
    • One-on-One Media Visits
    • Phone Pitches
    • Paid Advertising
  • The Written Work—What You’ll Need for the Media
    • Media Advisory
    • News Releases
      • Don’t Send This Release
      • A Guide to Your Release-by-Numbers
    • Pitch Letter
    • Op-Ed
    • Sample Letter to the Editor
    • Sample Public Service Announcement
    • Online Pressrooms
  • The Spoken Word—Interviewing
    • Who Are Your Spokespeople? Director, Children’s Librarian, Volunteer?
    • How You Can Help Train Spokespeople
    • How to Direct an Interview
    • How to Succeed on Radio
    • How to Succeed on TV
  • Tricks of the Trade
    • Inside Look: What a Journalist’s Life Is Like
    • Ten Tips For Getting Your Name in a Reporter’s Rolodex
    • Giving an Exclusive
    • Hoping onto Trends
    • Dealing with Bad News
V. Glossary

VI. Key Library Editors

VII. Bibliography
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