STAFF RESOURCES

A Multi Year Marketing Plan for the Rutgers University Libraries

June 29, 2006

Developed by the
Libraries Communications/Marketing Team:
Kayo Denda
Harry Glazer, chair
Francoise Puniello
Roger Smith
Julie Still
Roberta Tipton
Ann Watkins

Introduction

The following marketing plan is a culmination of a full year and a half of education, consultation, and discussion by the Libraries Communications/Marketing Team.

The C/M Team was appointed by then Acting New Brunswick Libraries Director Francoise Puniello early in spring 2005, The C/M Team was charged with the task of analyzing all relevant recent Libraries assessments, reviewing current marketing literature, and then developing a multi-year marketing plan that complemented the Libraries new strategic plan.

The C/M Team began their work by carefully reviewing the Libraries Communications Audit, completed in July 2004, and the accompanying implementation chart with notes by members of the University Librarian's Cabinet. To raise awareness throughout the Libraries system of the imperatives of marketing, the C/M Team held an open invitation "Marketing 101" workshop in May 2005. Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace of Library Communication Strategies (LCS), two of the authors of the Communications Audit, led the workshop.

The C/M Team embarked on a process of self-education on marketing in the summer of 2005. Team members each received two well-regarded books on contemporary marketing trends, with a particular focus on word of mouth marketing, which were recommended by Peggy and Linda of LCS. Communications Coordinator Harry Glazer also periodically distributed to the Team relevant articles on marketing from College & Research Libraries News, daily newspapers, MarketingProfs.com, ALA's AcademicPR list-serv, and other sources.

On the recommendation of the University Librarian's Cabinet, the C/M Team enlisted the services of a student consulting team from the Rutgers Business School, starting in September 2005. The student consulting team met with the C/M Team, and on their own, for seven months and drew upon their experiences both as students and as workers in the business world to develop suggestions for the Libraries marketing plan. The student consulting team issued a report in early April 2006 and many of their suggestions were incorporated into the C/M Team's marketing plan.

The C/M Team held a full day retreat in late April to draw together the different ideas and perspectives they'd gathered over the year and start organizing them into a concise and coherent marketing plan. The retreat was very capably led by Training and Learning Coordinator Marilyn Wilt and concluded with a rough outline of four overarching goals, subsidiary objectives to each goal, and activities to realize each objective. A drafting subcommittee refined the rough outline and produced a draft marketing plan, which was refined further by the C/M Team as a whole. The marketing plan that follows is the final version issued by the full C/M Team.

We are grateful to the many administrators in the Libraries system that supported the work of the C/M team over the past year and a half. Particular thanks go to Associate University Librarian Jeanne Boyle, whose vision, advocacy, and practical suggestions and support established much of the foundation upon which this marketing plan was built.

Harry Glazer, chair
Communications/Marketing Team
July 12, 2006

Purpose of the Marketing Plan

The purpose of the multi-year marketing plan is to organize, prioritize, and advance all activities undertaken to increase the visibility of the services, resources, and scholarly activities of the Rutgers University Libraries among our various user groups at Rutgers. The marketing plan also aims to foster greater recognition for the Libraries initiatives and innovations within our broader external audiences.

The Libraries multi-year marketing plan is intended to advance two of the strategic goals identified in the Libraries Strategic Plan, 2006-2011:

Broad goals

The Communications/Marketing Team has identified four broad goals to be addressed in this marketing plan. These goals are:

  1. More stakeholders become aware of library resources and services appropriate for them.
  2. Libraries personnel will remember who we serve and what they need, and will be in touch with users often
  3. Develop publications and activities that directly engage users and explain how they have easy access to library resources, services and facilities
  4. More concisely define and convey the values of the Rutgers University Libraries' system, for easier internal and external reference.

The chart below articulates the objectives, audiences, actions, and cost-factors necessary to achieve each goal.

Sequencing

To allow for a graduated approach to the integration of new marketing practices, the Communications/Marketing Team recommends that the Action Steps identified below be introduced over a three year period. Action Steps followed by a (1) would be undertaken in the first year, those with a (2) would be added in the second year, and those with a (3) added in the third year. On the fourth year the Libraries would conduct a wide-ranging assessment of this plan, and its constituent activities, and begin to prepare a new multi-year marketing plan for the next three years.

Marketing plan chart

Goal #1: More stakeholders will become aware of library resources and services appropriate for them.

Objectives Audience Action Steps Assigned to and Cost factor
Inform multiple audiences of library resources & services University students at every level of study
And faculty members
  • Place outreach kiosks in locations with easy access to users, such as student orientations, campus centers, dorms, etc. (students) (1)
  • Advise WAC on Web design and navigation issues (students & faculty) (1)
  • Explore the development of a student advisory group. (students) (2)
  • Pursue campus media placements (students & faculty) (1)
(kiosks) Access Services staff, in partnership with reference librarians;
(student advisory groups)
Access Services staff, with the communications coordinator, utilizing contacts among student employees; (media) communications coordinator

* Cost factor: medium
* Time commitment: High (kiosks & student advisory group)
Leverage Liaison program to best advantage All new and existing faculty
  • Contact new faculty, arrange for library tours (1)
  • Integrate library into more research & methods courses (2)
  • Arrange for a link to the libraries homepage to be placed on many department's home pages (1)
  • Pursue collaborative projects with department's undergraduate & graduate directors (3)
  • Develop guidelines and training for liaisons * (2)
Faculty Liaisons, with support from the Collection Development Council

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: low for (1) actions, high for (2) and (3) actions
Increase university administrators' awareness of libraries' resources & services University administrators
  • Encourage librarians to establish relationships with key administrators (1)
  • Library Cabinet members should hold at least one annual face to face meeting with each key administrator (1)
Library Cabinet members and Library Faculty

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: Low
Work to create an environment where anyone on staff has a broad grasp of our resources, and services Library faculty and staff
  • Add depth to the orientation program for student employees (1)
  • Make policies/procedures easy to find on the web (2)
  • Create and post ethics policies for staff (3)
  • Hold more social interaction events (2)
Access services staff, in cooperation with the Public Services Council and the Training and Learning Committee

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: High
* = These guidelines may include the following recommendations: Every liaison should contact everyone in their department at least once per year; Keep up with curricular changes, new classes. etc.; Make effort to attend dept. functions, be a part of dept. life; Send informal email alerts on a monthly basis; Invite key faculty to library events.

Goal #2: Libraries personnel will remember who we serve and what they need, and will be in touch with users often

Objectives Audience Action Steps Assigned to and Cost factor
Pursue continued assessment & feedback opportunities All Libraries users
  • Develop and conduct online surveys, focus groups, face-to-face interviews (1)
  • Encourage librarians and staff to get involved in university committees, and engage in formal & informal networking (2)
Public services council to oversee

* Cost factor: medium
* Time commitment: High
Establish new partnerships & build on existing ones All Libraries users
  • Strengthen liaison program [see #1]
  • Target specialty areas for Rutgers (1)
Libraries liaisons, with support from the Collection Development Council

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: High
Identify early warning signs Library faculty and staff
  • Review & assess AAL queries on monthly basis (1)
  • Analyze complaints to identify patterns and recurring concerns (2)
  • Create opportunities for libraries personnel in various locations to meet to discuss issues and form solutions (3)
(AAL) Staff and faculty on the Ask A Librarian Team. (complaint analysis) All existing committees charged with a component of public service should look closely at this objective.

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: High
Foster a greater customer service ethic within the Libraries system Library faculty and staff
  • Hold training in dealing with change, difficult situations, how to address problems/issues (1)
  • Create a work environment that promotes learning and collaboration (2)
  • Ensure department goals are clearly defined and understood (2)
Libraries training & learning committee

* Cost factor: medium
* Time commitment: High for (1) actions, ?? for (2) and (3) actions

Goal #3: Develop publications and activities that directly engage users and explain how they have easy access to library resources, services and facilities

Objectives Audience Action Steps Assigned to and Cost factor
Create clear, effective, simple & attractive publications and website All users
  • Survey and evaluate existing publications (1)
  • Involve different users in the creation of new publications (2)
Communications coordinator

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: High
Develop more outreach activities All users Reach out to student groups, Pan Hellenic Association, sports teams, etc. Hold outreach programs for friends of the library, donors, community groups, etc. (2) Communications coordinator, in cooperation with Access Services staff, libraries liaisons, and C/M Team

* Cost factor: May be high, depending on cost of new events
* Time commitment: High

Goal #4: Define the Rutgers University Libraries' system, for easier internal and external reference.

Objectives Audience Action Steps Assigned to and Cost factor
Develop a system brand All users
  • Create C/M Team subgroup to design (1)
  • Bring suggested brand identity /slogan(s) to cabinet for review and refinement (1)
  • Bring brand to councils for implementation (2)
Libraries Communication/ Marketing TeamCouncils for implementation.

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: High
Develop a system slogan All users
  • Create C/M Team subgroup to design (1)
  • Bring suggested slogan(s) to cabinet for review and refinement (1)
  • Bring slogan to councils for implementation (2)
Libraries Communication/ Marketing Team

* Cost factor: low
* Time commitment: High
Involve all libraries personnel and encourage broad use of new slogan & brand identity Libraries faculty and staff
  • Integrate brand values and slogan into existing publications (3)
  • Promote brand values and slogan through internal Libraries events (3)
Libraries Communication/ Marketing Team, in conjunction with the Training and Learning Committee

* Cost factor: none-low
* Time commitment: High

Marketing Plan Implementation

In order to coordinate and oversee the implementation of this multi-year marketing plan, the Communications/Marketing Team recommends the appointment of a committee/group/unit responsible for marketing and public relations issues in the Libraries (henceforward referred as M/PR Group).

Promoting the Libraries should be a part of the work of all library staff. The M/PR Group must develop opportunities for library faculty and staff to participate in the effort and support initiatives to make the Libraries the center, both physically and intellectually, of the campus community. The M/PR Group will:

Incorporating current marketing activities into the multi-year marketing plan

In developing a multi-year marketing plan, the Libraries Communication/Marketing Team did not address the role and priority of existing communications and marketing practices in the context of this plan. In the months ahead the Communications/Marketing Team plans to review and rank the following elements of the Libraries established practices:



 
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