missrachelsmith

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STOP PRESS: My top media tips

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Since 2010, one of the areas I feel I’ve really progressed in is writing. When I started working towards CILIP Chartership, this journey was already beginning – I’d written a few webpages from scratch and I’d pulled together the odd report. But I hadn’t really had any involvement with media and PR (although in a previous life I did quite fancy being a broadcast journalist, so I had a bit of background knowledge about this area). However, in terms of the Library’s reputation, this was becoming an increasingly important area for us…

In 2010 and 2011, the Library was regularly getting slammed in the student newspaper, for one reason or another (fines, damning comment articles, etc). In some ways, I can understand this – we’re one of the biggest University departments relevant to all students, and bad news is often deemed more interesting than positive. But the newspaper was also getting a lot of its ‘facts’ wrong, which was not ok, and the editors’ weren’t asking us for the Library’s take on anything they were reporting on. So a couple of articles published in 2011 were unbalanced and full of errors. Although the newspaper published retractions in subsequent issues, the damage was already done.

So when I was promoted in late 2011, I decided this was something that needed to change. We needed to be more proactive about getting Library news out there and build up a relationship with the editorial team, so that when they were planning an article about the Library, we could put our point of view across. I attended a training session from the University’s Media Office and then I got started.

Be proactive: write a press release

Now, we regularly release news about Library news, events and activities to the student press. I identify stories I think the student media will find interesting – so, new developments, interesting statistics – something that has a coherent narrative and will make a great headline.

Next, I draft a press release. Here are my top tips!

  • Follow your organisation’s guidelines. The University have a number of press release templates, so I usually start by choosing one of these to ensure my formatting is correct and I write the release in line with the Media Office’s guidance. If you work for an independent library: start by googling ‘press release template’. The University of Reading and the University of Leicester have some good starting points to show you how a good press release is structured.
  • Think about your audience. Write with them in mind.
  • Start with a hook. Ensure your headline and first paragraph hook the journalist and make them want to read on.
  • Be succinct. You need to make sure the writing itself is tight and interesting, rather than waffling (like I often do on this blog!). I aim for one A4 page maximum for the main body of the release.
  • Don’t be vague. Don’t leave your release open to creative interpretation, or assume that the journalist reading it will understand Library jargon. Make the writing as straightforward as possible.
  • Stick to the facts. The main body of the release should present the facts, rather than offer an opinion on them. Obviously you can focus on the more positive facts where possible, but …
  • … don’t leave out the negative. Bad news is fine, as long as you explain the situation and what you’re doing to minimise the impact on your customers. In fact, I usually find it’s better to be up-front about bad news, as at least you’re being transparent.
  • Include statistics. Both librarians and journalists love a nice statistic.
  • Always provide a quote. This is where you can offer an opinion! The rest of the release tells the reader the facts, but journalists usually want a nice quote from someone central to the story. Our quotes usually come from either the Librarian, or the Deputy Librarian.
  • Write the quote yourself. I used to ask the actual person who was being quoted to provide the quotes, so that it would be as genuine as possible. The problem is that often, senior management just don’t have time – so now, I always draft the quotes and then check it through with the person being quoted. It saves time and it means the quote fits in nicely with the rest of the release.
  • Try and make your quote sound as if it’s spoken. Journalists like to give the impression that they’ve spoken to the person involved directly, so try and make the quote sound quite natural. This part can be a bit more informal.
  • Pre-empt questions. I also try to pre-empt any questions that student journalists might have and include that information in the release, to make their job as easy as possible. When you’ve finished your first draft, read it through with your ‘journalist’ hat on, and try and think whether there’s any questions you’ve left unanswered.
  • If there’s a lot of information, provide additional details. I usually do this at the end of the press release. Then you can provide schedules, full details of statistics, etc, so that the journalist has all the information they require to write their story.
  • Say you can provide a photo. And give details of what the photo is of. The newspaper may or may not take you up on it – often they use their own photographers – but it’s nice to offer…
  • ... Or let the media know of potential photo opportunities. You could invite photographers from the newspaper to an event you’re running, or organise a media call for photographers to attend.
  • Finally, get someone else to check it over. You may need to get sign off from senior management, or you may need to run it by the central media team (I do both). But even if you don’t need to do that, get a colleague to check it over for you. A second pair of eyes is always good!

Then, send it out to relevant media contacts – if you have a central media team, they should be able to provide you with a list of contacts. If not, you may need to build up your own by getting in touch with the publications where you’d like the news to be featured to find out who is the best person to send it to.

Be reactive: writing responses to media enquiries

I thought I’d also mention reactive responses here. With press releases, you call the shots. With media enquiries, the newspaper does. If a newspaper picks up on a story which you haven’t released to the press, they may contact you to ask some questions or to get a quote from someone involved. A lot of the tips above still apply about writing style etc, but here’s my advice on dealing with media enquiries:

  • Know when the journalist’s deadline is and keep to it. These people have tight deadlines for when the article needs to be ready and there is no wiggle room. If the enquiry arrives in your inbox on Monday and they need the information by Friday, make sure they have it by Friday. In fact, try and send it to them by Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning if possible.
  • Answer their questions. It might seem a bit obvious, but they’ve asked you particular questions because they want to know the answers.
  • Let them know who they can quote. If they want to use any of the text you’ve provided as a quote from someone in the library, let them know who they can quote. Again, I usually pick the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

So how does this work in practice?: Fines Friday

Last year, the Library decided to donate one day’s fines revenue to charity for the first time – a perfect media story. We also asked students to vote for which charities the money would go to. So I drafted a press release in association with the student charity committee, which along with the rest of the publicity, was released a week before Fines Friday:

Fines Friday press release

There was immediate interest from the student newspaper (here’s where we get into the reactive part!). An issue was going to be published just a couple of days after Fines Friday, and they wanted to know the total money raised so they could include it as part of the story, as well as the results of the student charity vote. I closed the charity vote late on Friday afternoon and sent the results over, and our Systems Manager checked the fines totals first thing on Saturday morning and sent that to the journalist too.

This was the resulting news story on Page 3 of that issue:

Library donates day of fines to charities

I was really pleased with how this turned out. We also had great media coverage over the course of 2012 about Library 24/7 and building developments. And best of all, the student newspaper has also started to contact us when they’re planning to publish other Library stories, which I’m really happy about. And at the moment, I’m hoping that the next issue of the student newspaper will include a story about our progress towards Customer Service Excellence, our performance in 2012, and the introduction of a number of Key Performance Indicators. So it’s onwards and upwards!

Written by missrachelsmith

February 10, 2013 at 18:17

Posted in Librarianship, Marketing

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Planning and organising projects

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In my last blog post, I thought about how I organised my time at work. But actually, as I mentioned, most of my work as Communications and Marketing Officer for the Library and Heritage Collections is project-based, and most of the projects I work on I’m usually also leading. For me, time management and project management are pretty much intertwined, so I couldn’t really tackle one subject without exploring the other…

Project management

Although I manage a range of marketing and communications projects, I don’t have a formal background in project management. Everything I know about project management comes from common sense, or from what I’ve picked up from other people.

So how have my project management skills developed? Well, back in 2010, when I started working towards CILIP Chartership, I wasn’t working in a management role. As a Library Assistant, I was required to support projects, but I wasn’t really supposed to manage them. But things don’t always quite work out like that…

First steps

The first marketing project I managed was back in December 2010. The Library’s previous Communications and Marketing Officer was absent, so I managed the production of all of the publicity materials to open our new special collections gallery. This was a challenging project – at this point I wasn’t working closely with archives and special collections and had little experience of publicising exhibitions. I had to liaise with the University’s central communications and procurement teams, as well as external design and printing companies for the first time. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention – the deadline for getting everything produced was early January 2011. Counting out the Christmas break, I had about 3 weeks to get a poster, leaflet and gallery opening booklet ready.

Treasures of Durham University exhibition banner

However, I knew that this was strategically important for our historic library and for the University, and the publicity materials were delivered on time, to budget and to specification. Due to the short timescales involved, there was no formal plan involved – I just made sure I prioritised this over all of my other tasks.

Induction 2011

In 2011, I got more involved in managing our induction communications and I project managed a complete format change from our Library induction tours for new students from the previous years: the Library Treasure Hunt.

Library Treasure Hunt

I developed the programme, came up with a range of questions and activities, and figured out how the Treasure Hunt would work operationally in the Library. The Treasure Hunt was part of the larger induction 2011 communications plan – I also led on other activities that year, including organising our stall for the International Students Fair and overseeing our stand on the first day of the Fresher’s Fair. The Communications and Marketing Officer and I discussed all of the activities that needed to be completed ahead of the induction period, and my colleague organised these into a Gannt chart (I’ll come back to this in a moment) so we could keep track of all of the different timescales involved in the project. I found that for a complex marketing project like this, having a visual idea of what needed to be completed when really worked for me.

The induction period that year went really smoothly as a consequence…

… and then the Communications and Marketing Officer left the Library and I was offered a promotion in November 2011. So after that, I wasn’t just picking up projects at the last minute when colleagues were absent, or leading on aspects of larger projects which someone else was managing. Now, it was up to me to plan and organise projects…

Getting started

The first thing I decided when I took up my new role is that I felt that even smaller projects needed to be planned more carefully. One of the things I’d learnt from covering for my colleague was that it’s difficult to know what has and hasn’t been done if you’re not working to a plan. I also felt that having a project plan would make it easier to convey to my line manager what I was doing. So as soon as I started managing Library communications and marketing, I started to plan.

Communications plans

Every campaign I run now has a communications plan. They’re usually pretty straightforward. Here’s one I put together for this year’s MORE BOOKS campaign:

More Books communications plan

Essentially, I think about the activities that need to be completed as part of the project, the timescales I want them to be completed in, and then the staff members that will be involved. This involves considering which activities depend on other tasks being completed (I can’t expect a colleague to design a screensaver, for example, if I haven’t finished the campaign graphics), and the staff resource available.

Communications timelines

Projects don’t always work out this way, of course. In the end, I put together the MORE BOOKS graphics and posters on the morning of Wednesday 14 November (5 days before the service relaunched, so not ideal) due to another project heating up. So when that happens and I’m not keeping to time, I sometimes do a backwards record of a marketing project. As well as planning forwards at the start of the project, I’ll record when things actually happened as the project progresses.

Here’s an example of the communications timeline I put together for the building development communications that dominated my work in 2012:

Library developments publicity timeline

Having a record like this can be really helpful for analysing how successful particular publicity methods have been. For example, if I see a sudden spike in hits to our website on 13 February, I can tell that this is due to the link being circulated in the Vice Chancellor’s regular email bulletin, as well as the social media posts we published that day.

Project plans

But these quick plans aren’t so good when you’re organising a complex project with a lot of discrete actions. An example of this would be communications activities leading up to the new academic year in October. Following my colleague’s lead, I used a variation on a Gannt chart when planning my work for Induction 2012, which helped me to work to a range of timescales and track my progress:

Induction Plan 2012

Down the left hand side, I’ve listed the main activities that need to be completed. At the top, I’ve plotted out the weeks between the beginning and end of the project. Then I work out when I think each activity should be completed by, but also (and here’s the big difference between that and the simpler communications plans) how long I think each activity might take.

This is a plan from very near the end of the project. How can I tell? Well, most of the bars are green, which in the traffic light system I use, mean they’ve been completed. Usually, I’ll adjust the bars if activities are completed earlier/later than planned, so the finished plan reflects the timescales I actually worked to. I felt that this worked really well for induction last year, and I’ll be using this same system in 2013. In fact, it’s a technique I’d like to use more, but I find that I often don’t feel like I can afford the time to set it up.

So what’s next?

I think the next big thing I have to tackle in this area is evaluating projects – I have very little time for reflecting on projects in any great depth at the moment, as I’m straight onto the next deadline. As and when more support is found for my role, this is something I’d like to do more of. I’d also like to undertake some training to further improve my skills in this area too!

Written by missrachelsmith

February 2, 2013 at 18:02

Organising ‘Marketing Libraries’

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Earlier this month,  I organised a one day training event on behalf of the CILIP Career Development Group North Eastern division committee. The day was entitled ‘Marketing Libraries : Strategic and Creative Communications for Information Professionals’. When the committee first came up with the idea of running an event on marketing, I found myself accidentally volunteering (one of my favourite hobbies) to take the lead on organising the day. Given that my job centres around communications and marketing, it seemed a little unfair not to help out!

Someone suggested the University of Sunderland’s strategic marketing workshop, and I was keen for the rest of the day to cover practical areas of library marketing and look at some of the toolkit steps being used creatively in different library contexts. So I contacted speakers, organised a venue, developed the programme – and co-ordinated other members of the committee who handled advertising the event, the booking process and payment.

And you know what? Marketing Libraries was the first time I’d done any of that stuff. I’ve organised training sessions before – I do it pretty much weekly at my Brownies group. Organising events is part of my role (I’m currently juggling six separate induction fairs over the next two weeks! I might try to blog about that). But I’ve never organised a professional development event before on that sort of scale.

So how did it all go? Well, the preparations for the day took longer than I expected. You know, organising the timings and writing the programme for a training day actually takes quite a while, because you have to make executive decisions on things like how long each session will last, when people will want breaks, which order the presentations should go in, etc etc. And then after you’ve done all that you still have to make sure the booking process and costs are sorted, write some vaguely attractive sounding blurb and make sure all the speakers are happy with how you’ve presented them and their session, before you can even tell potential participants that the event is taking place!

This ‘not really accounting for the time things would take’ thing continued into the days before the conference, when I suddenly realised there were lots of little jobs to do, like making sure the room was correctly laid out, buying gifts for the speakers, printing the event handouts, finding name badges… there is a lot of work that goes into a training day that you just don’t realise as a delegate attending. I think at future events I’ll definitely be more appreciative of the effort that goes on behind the scenes.

On the day itself? Well, everything went well on the whole (apart from when the projector decided randomly to time out twice throughout the day – why does technology never behave?). Although I was concentrating on making sure the event was running smoothly, the sections of the workshops and presentations I did catch were really interesting. Myself and Aude, the committee’s Secretary, shared the job of introducing the speakers throughout the day, which was probably the most terrifying part of all – having the confidence to speak to large groups of people is  something I need to work on.

All in all, I get the impression that delegates seemed to enjoy the training day and took some useful information away from it – job well done. And the CDG North Eastern committee are satisfied that the event was successful and profitable, so I’m happy about that.

All that’s left now for me to do is look at the course feedback, and write a review for CILIP about how the day went. So I haven’t finished organising Marketing Libraries just yet!

Written by missrachelsmith

September 23, 2012 at 15:31

Building an infographic

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I spend a lot of time building awareness of Library resources, services and facilities. And for the last few weeks I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on building awareness about, well, buildings. Over the last couple of years, all of our libraries have been undergoing redevelopment work and the end is in sight for the current phase of the Main Library development project. After the refurbishment of our entrance level in 2011, a new four storey extension is due to open in April. Offering 500 additional study spaces and increasing the size of the Main Library by 42%, the £11 million East Wing is a big thing to communicate…

At the moment, we’re focusing on trying to raise awareness amongst our internal audiences primarily (University students and staff) about the East Wing opening in April, and what benefits that will bring for their study, research and teaching. As well as telling students about the great new facilities the East Wing will provide, with the backdrop of £9000 tuition fees being charged from the the 2012-2013 academic year, we need to demonstrate value for money. We’re using lots of methods to try and get this information across, including working with student media, writing articles for staff publications, social media, our webpages, digital displays… but I’ve decided to go for a something different in terms of printed materials. The thing I’d really like to post about this week is the infographic I’ve created to try and illustrate to the University community the benefits the East Wing will bring to them…

 East Wing in Numbers

How did I go about building the infographic? Well first, I looked at the facts and figures available about the East Wing. The key information I was aiming to get across was the size of the extension and what it means in terms of study facilities. When you’re talking about floor space, 12,400 square metres is quite hard to visualise. But 3 football pitches really serves to illustrate this. I tried to draw attention to the additional study spaces and the increase in study rooms by making these part of images of study tables and doors, respectively. I also looked at the length of shelving provided by the East Wing and decided to compare this to the most iconic building in the city, Durham Cathedral (the Main Library has fantastic cathedral views!). Then I used a combination of images already created (such as the architects’ floor plan of the extended building) and graphics I created myself using a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop Elements and put these together into an A3 document using Adobe InDesign.

We’ve had some really great feedback from the Vice Chancellor, which is brilliant, because the VC is obviously an important stakeholder. As well as sending this to all colleges and departments, the Librarian wants large versions on the hoardings at the breakthrough areas to the new extension and potentially a pull-up banner as well (one of my jobs for next week!).

I’ll be interested to analyse whether this is successful way of communicating this message more widely to University staff and students. And as for that, I’ll have to wait and see!

Written by missrachelsmith

March 3, 2012 at 20:57

New Year, new job

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So it’s been a while. You know how it is – life takes over. Blogging and Chartership work haven’t really been at the top of my to do list. Outside of work, there’s a lot of family drama unfolding. I’m pleased to say though that things are looking much more positive as far as work’s concerned. Back in November, I had an interview for the post of Communications and Marketing Officer for Durham University Library and Heritage Collections. And I got the job!

My new role is to continue and develop Durham University Library’s communications processes. I am responsible for ensuring that we deliver clear, consistent and effective information about Library and Heritage Collection resources, services and developments to internal and external audiences. Planning, managing and developing promotional campaigns, publicity materials and events from initial concept to final production are part of my duties. I’m going to be advising and supporting our Web Steering Group and scoping potential mobile applications. I will be heading up collecting feedback, evaluating how effective our services are at meeting customer needs and responding to the National Students Survey results. I also have some responsibility for internal communications.

That’s what the job description says.

I’ve come back to work after Christmas to a series of introductory meetings and I’m using January to review, plan and prioritise. And at the very start of this process, what I’m already starting to realise is that it’s a big job. I’m managing marketing and communications for 5 libraries, one of which is just about to open a £10 million pound extension in April. So far, so at least kind of within my comfort zone. I’ve worked in the Library for two years and I’ve been involved in all of our major campaigns and publicity activities. I have been a student at the University. I know what we offer as a library service, I know our main customer group and I’m confident I can promote what the Library does to our different audiences.

But as well as the libraries, I’m responsible for effectively marketing our archives and special collections. There’s also the small matter of our growing special collections gallery space, which will be hosting the Lindisfarne Gospels in 2013. And then there’s the two university museums. And all of the outreach work that goes with this.

I’m really excited to have been offered the promotion. It’s definitely going to be a challenge and a job that I can hopefully do some really interesting things with. It’s my first ‘professional’ level post, and my first ‘graduate’ job. And I’ve managed to get it without postgraduate qualifications in either librarianship or marketing. I feel massively lucky that my colleagues have recognised that I work hard, that the standard of work I produce is good and that I’m capable at handling whatever’s thrown at me.

But with the very serious concerns I have for my family, who are falling apart over 300 miles away, I can’t help but feel that a lot is being thrown at me right now.

2012 is certainly going to be interesting…

Written by missrachelsmith

January 15, 2012 at 12:09

Adobe wan Kinobe

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This post has been hanging around in draft form for a while now, lost somewhere in the Tatooine desert that is my work desktop. IT skills is an area for development I identified on my original PPDP for CILIP Chartership, where I proposed to ‘learn to use Adobe Illustrator using online tutorials and information’ so that I could ‘take over the updating of Library floorplans’. So when I started playing with the Library floorplans back in May, I started writing this post. It’s now August, and since that point I’ve not only learnt how to manipulate Adobe Illustrator, I’ve also taught myself to use Adobe Premiere and I’m currently dabbling in Adobe Flash/SwishMax as well…

Adobe Premiere

Why did I use it?  I’m creating a testimonial video to promote our institutional repository, and I found screencasting and video editing software Camtasia Studio limited. Having created a first draft of the video in Camtasia, I used Adobe Premiere to create the final version of the video.

How did I learn it?  Mainly through using online video tutorials. I have the CS4 version of Adobe Premiere, so I watched a lot of the Getting Started guides on the Adobe website. I also consulted online forums when I had trouble exporting my video.

What worked?  I created a video from scratch, which I’m quite proud of. I was also able to adjust the brightness of the filming and use overlays using Adobe Premiere, which I couldn’t do using Camtasia.

What do I need to work on?  I need to try to remember to save regularly, as I got quite frustrated when I lost an hour’s work when using Adobe Premiere. Also, the video camera I used to film the footage, which was borrowed from our IT department, is pretty old and this means that the quality of the finished video isn’t great, despite my best efforts at editing it.

Adobe Illustrator

Why did I use it?  To update the Library floorplans, which were already in Illustrator format

How did I learn it?  When this responsibility was passed to me by my line manager around a year ago, he went through how to make basic changes to the floorplans using an older version of Adobe Illustrator. I already use Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, and the menu structure of Adobe Illustrator is similar, so I mainly used trial and error to pick this package up. Although I was making fairly significant changes, I was also working to update a document which already existed, which made this task a lot easier.

What worked?  I managed to pick up the programme quite easily and created professional-looking maps for two of the University libraries which are undergoing major redevelopment work over the summer.

What do I need to work on?  I tend to try and find quick and efficient solutions to problems. However, in this case, it meant that when I was trying to ‘grey out’ unusually shaped staff areas, for example, I’d go for the primitive method of just colouring those areas in with a paint brush tool. This doesn’t affect the way the finished plan looks, but there’s every chance I’ll be using Illustrator for other projects in the future and I should take some time to pick up more advanced tools and features.

I’ve got to say, being able to add ‘familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite’ to my CV makes me feel like  a graphics Jedi. The force is strong in this one…

Written by missrachelsmith

August 8, 2011 at 17:27

Works well under pressure

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Last week, I submitted a job application at the very last of all last minutes, having misread the deadline. One of the criteria on the person specification was ‘works well under pressure’, or words to that effect. This made me laugh in a slightly hysterical manner when rattling off a covering letter at 11.30pm on the closing date.

But in actual fact, working well under pressure is something I’ve been managing admirably for some weeks. Whilst I work well when presented with short timescales and unexpected challenges, this is something I generally try to avoid. I’m not a ‘last minuter’ when I have any say in the matter – but life, and work, is not something I have much control over, and over the past month a few unexpected things have been thrown into the mix.

The library has a dedicated communications and marketing officer, who like me, is based within the academic liaison team, and part of my role is supporting my colleague in this area. Unfortunately, the communications and marketing officer has now been off work for around 4 weeks due to illness.  Obviously, you really can’t choose when you need to take sick leave, but it’s been pretty unfortunate timing, to say the least. I’ve only been in the library for two of the last four weeks myself, having arranged to go on holiday and see my family. But when I have been at work, I’ve needed to deal with a week of catalogue and system crashes, as well as a myriad of opening hours changes, moving from Easter vacation opening hours to Easter weekend opening hours, to term opening hours, to bank holiday weekend opening hours. I’ve chaired a communications and marketing group meeting for the first time. And then finally add into the mix the fact that two of our library sites went into 24 hour opening on Easter Monday…

So it’s been a bit of a crazy-whirlwind few weeks. But now it’s sort of over (is it ever over?!) I thought it might be interesting to take a look at my own personal performance during April in the area of communications and marketing, and how that has affected the library’s service performance (the first of the CILIP Chartership assessment criteria, for those interested!):

Personal performance: Firstly, I probably need to give myself some credit for stepping up to the mark in a pressurised environment. I wasn’t expecting a week of system crashes, I wasn’t expecting my colleague to be off work for such a prolonged period of time, and I wasn’t expecting to have much involvement in this year’s Library 24/7 campaign.

But I’ve managed to roll with it as the circumstances around me have changed. When the system crashed, I put out news stories, posted social media updates and organised posters and notices around the library to make sure that as many people as possible knew why they couldn’t search the catalogue or renew their items.

When it became apparent that my colleague wasn’t going to be able to attend the library’s communications and marketing group meeting, I sought the input of the other group members, who agreed that the meeting should go ahead. I put myself forward to chair the meeting, even though it’s something I’ve never done before, because I was aware that with the communications and marketing officer absent, I was the person who knew the most about what was going on and the person best placed to act as chair. This was a challenge for me, as I had to sort out the confusion surrounding whether the meeting was to take place, as well as prepare for the meeting, in a matter of hours. The meeting itself though went well; we kept to the agenda and to time, the group came up with a list of actions assigned to different members, and I was thanked for chairing the meeting by the group (which was nice!).

And the Easter vacation and Library 24/7 marketing? Well, it hasn’t been perfect, and with so much going on and only one of me I made some mistakes – I forgot to distribute the Easter weekend opening hours posters around to the other library sites until a couple of days before the Easter weekend, for example. Similarly, although I managed to get permissions to make changes to the complicated PHP database behind the library’s opening hours web pages, with nobody to show me how to work it, our opening hours pages were completely wrong at the start of Good Friday and customers were waiting at the Main Library doors an hour or so before we opened. But despite these blips, I got the information out there and the remaining copy and design work was completed to a high standard to form a coherent campaign. The publicity materials were organised and scheduled so that the campaign could be rolled out in my absence online, around the five library sites and the rest of the university at the beginning of the 24/7 period, and I was able to delegate tasks out to colleagues as appropriate.

Service performance: It goes without saying that no matter what is happening behind the scenes, you want your customers to have a positive experience of your service. It really doesn’t matter that taking on responsibility for communications and marketing tasks isn’t necessarily my job, or that I prefer things to be slightly less rushed. My job, as a Library Assistant, is to assist with the overall performance of the library as a service; getting the message out about the disruption to the library catalogue and about Library 24/7, which has massive cost implications, was a service priority. And although it might not have been quite as smooth as last year, I would say that these messages were communicated effectively.

Works well under pressure? I think so.

Written by missrachelsmith

May 2, 2011 at 17:47