Here are some brief notes I took at the sessions I attended this afternoon at the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, DC. Both were in the "Marketing & Measuring" track.
Nancy Allmang and Stacy Bruss from NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (an agency of the U.S. Commerce Dept) discussed things they did to promote their government. They've done podcasts and vodcasts, and posted photos and posters on a corkboard in a busy hallway. They also have an LED digital display board in a hallway that can run a short message, which they change easily and often. Bruss said it could be hard to distill a worthwhile message to about 120 characters, which is all this LED display has room for -- less space than a tweet! The duo said it was important to repeat messages often and in various media in order to get a majority of employees to notice it.
The last session of the day was from Rebecca Jones of Dysart & Jones Associates. She made lots of good points about performance measurement that match up with my Cycle of True Marketing. First, she stressed that "Measurements begin and end with conversations." And you need to ask yourself, "If what we're doing isn't working, why is that?" in order to improve. Jones also said that many of the things libraries measure aren't necessarily the right things. Instead of asking these questions:
What is the library doing?
How much is the library doing?
How is the library doing things?
To make measurements about impact, progress, goals, and success, it's better to ask this:
What difference did the library make?
After the day's sessions there was a nice reception in the exhibit hall, and conference organizer / publisher Information Today, Inc. hosted a book signing that included yours truly (there I am next to my giant book-cover sign!) along with big-name authors like David Lee King, Nicole Engard, Scott Nicholson, and Mary Ellen Bates.
Special thanks to another great author, Rachel Singer Gordon, for taking the picture. She was my book's editor, and is the editor for the whole "Accidental" Series. If you don't know about the other titles, such as The Accidental Webmaster, The Accidental Fundraiser, and The Accidental Library Manager, you'll want to look them up! Each does a good job at covering a topic you didn't learn about in library school but needed to know once you were on the job. Good stuff!