I’ve mentioned that I’m giving pres release classes around the state for library staff that are just starting out. We partnered with CJRLC for the one in Middletown a couple of months ago. For next one we are partnering with INFOLINK and have scheduled it on October 3 at the Free Public of Monroe Township. If you are an INFOLINK member give them a call at 732-752-7720 and let them know. It’s free!
Speaking of press releases NJSL has been developing a series of press release templates for NJ libraries to use. They are posted on our website and are really easy to use. Just plug in your library’s info and send out to your local paper. They are geared to be blurbs rather than a full article, just something the paper can use as fillers. Pick one a week and send it in, don’t worry about repeating, these are handy for papers looking to fill those empty spaces. We'll be adding as time goes on so keep checking back.
We heard from Jodi Fulgione, the director at Emerson Public Library, who loved the templates. “Just a quick word to say "thank you" for all of your templates on the State Library's website. They come in handy, especially for important initiatives.”
She also offered some advice that works well for her library, “What I have found to be the most effective (in terms of press releases) is actually meeting the Library Events reporter in person. On occasion, I write them personal notes, complimenting them about their work. My goal is to express how important their section is, how it contributes to the overall enrichment of our community.”
Jodi is right on target! It is all about relationship building and nothing builds a relationship better than positive feedback. Here at teh State Libray we try to make sure we send out at least an email to reporters who have written stories as a result of our press releases but if you have time for that hand written note- go for it! Our media person, Mark Amorosi, spends most of his time connecting reporters to people in the field and he make s it a policy of calling the reporters before the story is run to make sure they were able to reach the people and get the information they needed.
Finally don’t forget to post those releases to your website. Reporters work late hours and having the information online can be very helpful.