Texas Public Library Standards
Marketing/Public Relations/Advocacy Standards
A library's marketing plan is a coordinated, continuous effort to communicate a positive image of the library.
A well-rounded marketing plan will utilize all forms of public relations to promote the availability of the library's resources, services, and programs. All marketing efforts should be an integral part of the library long-range plan.
The public relations plan should be designed to target local demographics and reflect language(s) spoken in the community and to take full advantage of the service area's promotional opportunities.
The advocacy plan should incorporate the knowledge that elected officials and governmental entities and the laws and rules emanating from these organizations impact the growth and quality of all libraries.
Texas public libraries should work toward the following target areas:
MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
- Recognize that excellent library services and a courteous well-trained staff that meets the needs of library patrons are the heart and soul of any marketing effort.
- Design and fund public relations programs using various approaches to publicity with visually attractive print and electronic materials, signage and graphics. Libraries are encouraged to use materials provided by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Texas Library Association.
- Evaluate public image of library services, staff and programming.
- Evaluate all policies and procedures in terms of effect on the public and the library's public relations.
- Understand, target and meet the needs of special groups (i.e.; seniors, winter tourists, etc.) within the community as well as the general demographics of the community.
Use basic public relations and marketing tools, some suggestions follow:
- Attractively packaged annual reports made available to the public
- Booths at fairs or trade shows
- Cable TV
- Commercial TV
- Conduct surveys of citizen/patron awareness on a timely basis
- Coordinate with other community service organizations and community events for publicity
- Direct mail promotions
- Electronic bulletin boards
- End caps and shelf displays
- Exhibits and displays
- News Releases
- Newspaper Ads
- Online catalog
- Press releases
(information on special programs may be found on www.tsl.texas.gov/news/presspass/)
- Promotional giveaways
- Promotional materials for community leaders, interest groups and agencies
- Public service outlets
- Slide, tape and Power Point presentations
- Speakers for community programs and events
- Staff and Board who join local service and business organizations
- Storytimes in library
- Storytimes outside library in schools, community centers and nursing homes
- Target neighborhoods and special needs areas
- Traveling exhibits
- Utilize marketing concepts in developing advocacy plans
- Window displays
Texas public libraries should develop plans that include the following:
- Develop and nurture community stakeholders and educate with the goal of being advocates.
- Create and nurture relationships with elected officials on community, county, other local governances, state and federal levels. Advocacy must be non-partisan.
- Host events to which elected officials are invited to attend
- Have representation at events, hearings and programs elected officials attend
- Design a communication plan for informing interested community members and library supporters about legislation concerning libraries
- Provide letter writing kits (both print and electronic) with names of elected officials and key information about legislation affecting libraries
- Be informed of TLA and ALA legislative issues and promote those issues whenever possible
- Support TLA Legislative Day with calls, mail and representation