A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to reviewing some of the primary assumptions of the Communications Audit and determining whether or not the C/M Team agrees with these assumptions.
The communications audit identified the following groups as those most critical to the Libraries communications efforts – senior faculty and new hires, first and third year undergraduate students, senior university administrators, and all Libraries personnel.
The C/M Team accepted these groups as the Libraries high priority audiences but also identified graduate students as another important "captive audience," because they need library resources so much. Graduate students also have great influence because they can also be TA's.
"Third-year students" can also mean transfer students, an important audience. New Brunswick has a mechanism for reaching all of those students, since they are required to take English 301. Newark and Camden have no such mechanism for reaching every transfer student.
The C/M Team also considered the audiences identified in the latest draft of the Libraries strategic plan:
(1) New areas of academic excellence - departments
Transportation, Asian studies, childhood studies (Camden) are examples
(2) Information literacy materials (Searchpath, for example) - all undergraduates would be the audience for this resource.
(3) Improved access = remote access, intralibrary loan, subject guides and finding aids - all students and faculty
(4) Enhanced role for departmental liaisons
The C/M Team will need to consider what ways can library liaisons increase their effectiveness? What can we do to help them? This led to a discussion of the role of the C/M Team. In addition to the planning strategies, we must provide enough examples of useful tactics for our colleagues to get involved in word-of-mouth marketing.
How can we create incentives and motivation to make sure as many people as possible will participate, including staff and student workers? Idea: marketing and outreach activities included in the personal annual report of librarians. Idea: wear badges so that users know with whom they are speaking: librarian, staff member, student worker. Camden is doing this now.
Other groups identified in the draft of the strategic plan were:
(5) Alumni, legislators
(6) Collaboration with OIRT and CAT
The C/M Team looked at the 10 key suggestions identified in the executive summary of the communications audit and rated each as follows.
1. Make communication a priority - internationally and externally. Done.
We are doing it now
2. Appoint a "Marketing/Communication Team." Done
We also have a Web page mounted.
3. Develop and budget for a marketing communication plan. In process.
4. Strengthen the Libraries' visual identity. To do later; priority 2.
5. Manage the message. Immediate need.
We'll need different messages for different audiences.
6. Make the Libraries more comfortable and attractive. Beyond the control of this committee. One idea we could advocate: sell or make available non-spillable cups to help control the food and drink situation while encouraging students to stay in the libraries longer.
7. Practice two-way communication. Priority 1.
8. Harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Priority 1.
9. Seek to build partnerships. Priority 1.
a) A welcome/educational campaign for first-year students as well as new faculty, graduate assistants, and adjunct faculty - Reaching out to these groups early on is critical to shaping their impressions and establishing two-way communication. Priority 1.
b) Ratchet up the faculty liaison program on all three campuses to improve the depth and consistency of personal contact. Priority 1.
c) Overhaul the Libraries' publications. Priority 2.
d) Make more and better use of e-mail. Priority 1.
e) Develop a media plan Priority 3.
There are limits to placements in the New Brunswick Targum and the systemwide Focus; we have little control over where and when our news or advertisements will appear. Student newspapers in Newark and Camden are separate.
f) Strive for systemwide consistency in the Libraries' image... Priority 2.
Harry recently participated in a virtual seminar on the topic The Anatomy of Buzz: Lessons in Word of Mouth Marketing by Emanuel Rosen. Rosen, former marketer for EndNote, writes about "buzz marketing", a variation on word-of-mouth marketing. Harry will send the power point slides to the C/M Team.
Other ideas from C/M Team members for Word of Mouth marketing included:
- Eat in the faculty dining room so you can see and be seen.
- Take advantage of commuting time with other faculty - on trains, for example.
- As a step toward providing outrageous customer service, ask Marianne to contact a new faculty member once a month. This will also encourage librarians to contact their new faculty members early.
We have questions for Paul Belliveau concerning the work with the Rutgers Business School's MBA Interfunctional Management group. Harry will invite him to the next meeting.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 9:30 a.m., in the Nicholas Rutgers Conference Room, Alexander Library.