Marketing and advocacy – or why you should get along to LIANZA’s course!

Heather Lamond, LIANZA’s president-elect, has recently blogged to promote the upcoming advocacy workshops that LIANZA is running in New Zealand. There has been slower uptake for these workshops and I thought I would pitch in and do some promotion.

One thing to be aware of is that advocacy and marketing are not the same thing. So if you have already attending one of the recent LIANZA marketing courses (co-presented by yours truly) you will be exposed to a different emphasis and pick up another skill set. As library marketing guru Kathy Dempsey says marketing is:

determining what people want, delivering it, evaluating consumer satisfaction, and then periodically updating the whole process.

While advocacy is:

getting people who have good opinions of your organization to speak to others on its behalf, to convince other people of its value

Dempsey’s definition does make it sounds like advocacy is part of what other people do for us, but as Heather points out:

we all, as individuals, need to have the skills, knowledge and strength to articulate our value and unique contribution (without having to wait or rely on someone else to do it).  This is not just about negotiating library budgets or funding for new buildings, but about being able to tell our story in a way that makes a difference to those outside our profession

This doesn’t necessarily come easy to everyone, but I believe it’s important to do our bit to develop these skills, so that we can be advocates for our libraries, our customers and our profession at every level. You can find details of the workshops in Heather’s blog post – be sure to attend if you can 🙂

 

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Never ask a busy person to lunch …

… is advice offered in this article of  how to get the ear of important busy people.  Look beyond the corporate tone if that doesn’t gel with you – you’ll still find some gems of good advice about how to approach those you want to connect with.

Now how do I go about getting that coffee budget 😉

What tactics do you have for networking and relationship building?

Thanks to @MasseyMBA for the link to this article on Twitter

ALA’s “Advocating in a tough economy toolkit”

What a great idea this toolkit from the ALA is – so I decided to give it its own post! It:

contains resources and tools, including newsclips, op-eds and statistics to help library supporters make the case for libraries in tough economic times.

It includes material on: libraries and the economy, making the case, outreach to patrons and the public, talking to the media, working with government officials and legislators and staging a rally.

Strikes me libraries (especially public libraries) in New Zealand could do with something similar – so many of us have had to, or will have to, gather together material at very short notice to make a case for library services for one reason or another. I don’t think LIANZA has a resource like this already?