After a big story breaks, many people will need to be able to reach you. Your local press deserves a story and if you have been submitting stories to them asking to promote your library then it would be highly recommended that you contact them now with the big story. People will be going to your website to make contact. That is where you need to create a page dedicated to communicating and create a link from the front page.
On this page include the following:
- An official statement (A press release would be really nice too but if you are rushed for time, a simple statement listing the facts will help keep the information consistent and correct.
- Quotes from the library director and other key players. (You can keep them simple but make sure they address the major areas of concerns rather than "fluff".)
- The phone numbers and titles of the people you want to speak with the press. (Make sure you call a quick meeting of staff and let them know where the information is located and who you want to serve as your communicators. If it is important to keep on message, request that staff not speak to reporters and have them give the contact person's phone number.
At the risk of sounding like an opportunist, any big news story will bring people both into your library and to your web pages. Consider it an unexpected visit but take a little time to be prepared.
This may be the first time some people have visited your library, what do you want them to know? It may be best to think in terms of why they are coming and let them know about the programs, products or services that would appeal to them.
When your library gains national attention people want to be a part of it, they want to show support. How can they support your library? Should they join the Friends? Buy a t-shirt? Sign a petition? Once you decide, make sure they know how they can do it.
Most of all make sure you get information from them that will allow you to send them additional information like a newsletter. A simple guest book that allows people to sign their name, address and email would suffice. On the web, post a link where they can sign up for more news. The blast of attention will die down rather quickly but once you have their names, you can keep them interested.
content: marketing your library