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Why Do Library Marketing Campaigns Suck So Much?

7 Aug

I have to say that while I am delighted with the concept of ALA‘s Atyourlibrary.org social media outreach initiative, I am slightly dismayed by its execution so far. For being an online-centered initiative, the website is drab and cluttered. And while obviously young and hip, the initiative’s spokesperson is less than articulate and struck me as having fairly banal things to say about the campaign:

As a huge proponent for pushing libraries to market themselves effectively, I am obviously in support of ALA’s effort. But a dull website and a lackluster public appearance do not an effective social media strategy make.

Also, why are parents, teens, kids and job seekers the target audiences for this social media outreach initiative? Those are already many libraries’ main users. And I don’t think these demographics are necessarily the main users of social media. It seems more logical to me to use social media to target folks that don’t necessarily already use the library regularly and who use social media a lot, like people between the ages of 18 – 60. Of course, if we did this, libraries would definitely need to think long and hard about what kinds of services we provide, or need to provide, to that demographic, which is a whole other post right there.

I guess I feel like a broken record in saying this, but I just think that libraries could do so much with savvy marketing campaigns, and so far, library marketing campaigns seem to suck. That’s right, suck.

So what do you all think? Is this initiative missing the boat a bit, or am I just crazy? And please, please let me know of any really awesome library marketing campaigns that you know of…

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