Training, Webinar and Keynote Topics

Below is a list of my training, webinar and keynote topics. Unless otherwise indicated, these topics are geared toward public, academic and special libraries. Length varies from 60-90 minutes and can be customized to your needs.

Marketing & Communications Strategies

Back to Basics: Creating a Marketing Plan

Have you been tasked with handling marketing for your library, but don’t know where to start? Work is always easier when you have a plan. Fortunately, creating a marketing and communications plan doesn’t have to be difficult. In this session we will discuss how to create a simple marketing and communications plan for your library with audiences, goals, key messages and strategies. Then we’ll talk about how you can use that framework to create plans for special projects, programs, events and other initiatives. The more you can plan ahead, the easier it will be tor respond to requests when they come.

Branding for Libraries: More Than a Logo!

Sergio Zyman, in The End of Marketing as We Know It, says: “A brand is essentially a container for a customer’s complete experience with the product or company.” That’s why library branding is so complicated. Someone’s complete experience with libraries may include many different libraries over many different decades and geographical areas, and they bring all of that to their relationship with your library. That’s why it’s important to be strategic with your library’s brand. In this 90-minute program, we will discuss the three components of a brand: beliefs, story and promise. We’ll define each and discuss how you can develop or strengthen yours. Finally, we will discuss strategies that you can use to build your brand and tell your story.

Crisis Communications for Libraries

A crisis is any situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of your organization. This could include funding reductions, safety or security events or health issues at your library. In this webinar you will learn how to create a Crisis Communications Plan so you can be prepared and know how you will communicate in the event of a crisis. This includes who will communicate, what they will say, what audiences need to hear the message, and how you will reach them. We will also discuss the distinction between a Crisis Communications Plan and a Crisis Response Plan.

Getting to “Yes” – Making a Case for Email Marketing at Your Library

Are you tired of putting a lot of effort into library marketing without getting the results you want? Do you feel like you’re missing the opportunity to speak directly to customers in a way that is strategic and measurable? Maybe it’s time to begin or expand email marketing. In this session, we will discuss the benefits of email marketing for libraries and their customers. We will cover how to make a case for email marketing; how it can increase customer engagement, usage and program attendance; and how to ensure transparency and legal compliance. Includes a checklist and handout to help you make the case to library leadership and decision-makers.

Marketing Library Services for Schoolchildren 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how schools operate, and with that, the children who have the greatest needs may be left behind. That’s where libraries can step in – by offering technology and internet access, digital literacy skills, educational support, access to reading materials, and other valuable services. In this session, we will talk about how you can use marketing strategies to identify the wants and needs of schoolchildren and their families. Then we’ll cover different strategies you can use to communicate with them about what your library has to offer in support of their needs. Finally, we’ll discuss one case study of a library-public schools partnership and how marketing contributed to its success.

Putting the “Relationship” in Media Relations 

Libraries rely on earned media coverage as a way to get the word out about their services and programs. However, as the media landscape shifts and shrinks, we can no longer rely on traditional tactics like press releases to garner media coverage. Using case studies, we will look at ways to build relationships with reporters and producers at traditional media outlets, as well as the entrepreneur-minded owners of new media outlets. We will talk about the importance of reaching out to potential media partners before we want something, so we can learn more about their goals and business models. Then we will discuss ways to work with the media to generate coverage and give it longer and broader life on social media.

Social Media Strategies for Libraries

Social media provides an opportunity for libraries to engage with people outside of the four walls of the library. Libraries have been using social media since its inception, but we have typically relied on it for promotion, not engagement. In this webinar, we’ll discuss how to shift from promotion, which is a one-way conversation, to engagement, which is a two-way conversation. We will discuss strategies such as active listening, trending topics, analytics, social media as a customer service point, and much more. We will also discuss the pros and cons for centralized and decentralized management of social media, and how governance and policy can be balanced with creativity and flexibility.

Why Marketing Matters

We who work in the library industry know that libraries are more relevant today than ever before. So why doesn’t everyone else know that? It all comes down to telling your story. In today’s environment, with so many different things competing for people’s attention, it simply isn’t enough to open your doors and wait for people to come. Libraries must market their services in ways that are compelling to their potential customers. In this webinar, we’ll discuss what goes into marketing your library, beginning with the audience in mind; how you can work within the larger framework of your college environment to get your message to the right people; and finally, how programs and events can be a part of your marketing strategy.

Customer Engagement Strategies

Moving from Promotion to Engagement

Too often, when we talk about promoting libraries, the strategy resembles a megaphone. Tell as many people as you can as many things as you can about your library, all the time. True engagement is not a megaphone, it’s a two-way conversation, and though it requires more effort, it yields better results. In this one-hour session you will learn the rationale for shifting to an engagement strategy, as well as examples of engagement strategies such as active listening, customer feedback and stories of impact

The “Marketing Funnel” Approach to Customer Engagement

When marketing our libraries, w create and share messaging across many platforms such as email, social media, website, news media and more. But have you ever paused to think about the many ways your customers interact with your library outside of your promotional messaging? In most libraries, the policies, procedures and processes that dictate the customer experience are managed separately from marketing. But they shouldn’t be! After all, your marketing messages are promising an experience that your library has to deliver. If you’re going to keep your marketing promises, you need to think holistically, looking at every customer touchpoint from when they first become aware of your library to when they use your service. That’s where the “marketing funnel” comes in. Join us and learn more!

Welcoming New Customers to the Library

When was the last time you signed up for a library card? Most of us who work in libraries have had a card for such a long time that we may be out of touch with the new customer experience. When someone signs up for a library card, your library has a one-time opportunity to welcome them and make them aware of all the great services and programs you offer. This session will provide recommendations on strategies you can use to welcome new customers, get them engaged with your library and encourage them to use different services and programs. We will also discuss potential barriers that prevent new customers from signing up and/or using their card, and how to remove those barriers to increase engagement.

Best Practices in Libraries

Program Planning with a Marketing Mindset

Libraries have been offering programming for decades, and in many cases the model has been, “Let’s plan a program, promote it, and see who shows up.” This approach hasn’t changed much, even with social and technological changes, not to mention the pandemic and streaming programs. Program planning with a marketing mindset starts with identifying your customer’s needs and wants, then developing programs and services to meet those needs and wants. We’ll discuss how to use research – quantitative and qualitative – to plan and market programs that will engage your customers. We’ll talk about “bundling” programs and services for different audience segments. We’ll also cover how this more strategic approach can save time and resources for your library.

Best Practices for Marketing  Programs

You have created an engaging program that meets your customers’ wants and needs. What are some best practices that you can use to increase awareness, participation and engagement? Whether your program is live or recorded, there are some simple steps that you can take to help your customers find, access and participate in programs. We’ll discuss concepts such as the “hub and spoke” model for digital marketing, new ideas for the post-COVID-19 era, how to encourage word-of-mouth marketing and how to continue to derive value from your program even after it is over. Join us for a roundup of best practices and share some ideas of your own.

More Than Programs: Marketing Services, Collections, Spaces, and More

Programs have become a popular offering among library employees and customers alike. However, most libraries spend the bulk of their budgets on three things: employees, books and buildings. So why do we spend the bulk of our time marketing programs? In this session we will discuss how to expand your marketing efforts to include and even prioritize other offerings such as collections, online resources, physical spaces and staff expertise. Using real examples, we’ll review how marketing and communications are essential to supporting and communicating a library’s strategic priorities. Finally, we will explore how this broader approach can actually help to strengthen your library’s reputation and brand.