In preparing a vision statement on communications and marketing for the Libraries over the next five years, we are privileged to draw on two valuable sources of analysis and advice - the suggestions offered in the recent Communications Audit, prepared by Library Communication Strategies, and the observations & recommendations of the ad-hoc committee on communications and marketing, which met January 5, 2005. Committee members were: Vibiana Bowman, Ken Branson, Veronica Calderhead, Kayo Denda, Linda Langschied, Fernanda Perrone, and Roger Smith.
To create a broad awareness of the resources, services, and support available to the university community through the libraries, we envision a communications & marketing strategy built on three pillars.
1. Appointing an active Communications and Marketing Team
The C/M Team should include Libraries personnel at various levels, from all three campuses. The C/M should report directly to a member of the University Librarian's Cabinet, to assure the broadest level of support and visibility for their work. The C/M Team should include external-to-the-Libraries professionals who can provide critical expertise, advice, and perspective. The Communications & Marketing Team should be charged with the task of developing and implementing a broad, multi-year marketing plan that addresses goals for internal (within the Libraries) and external communications. The Communications and Marketing Team should receive a sufficient budget to succeed.
2. With guidance from the Communications and Marketing Team, and other Libraries leaders, focus greater attention and involvement in communications message design, delivery, and exchange.
The Libraries need to create key messages, that can be repeated by personnel at all levels, and develop innovative occasions for interaction between Libraries personnel and members of target audiences, beyond the regular routines. Word of mouth marketing, in a variety of forms, will be an essential tactic in this regard. Towards this end, Libraries liaisons in particular should be provided with greater resources and support in their work. Student workers may also play a vital role in the conveying key messages to other students.
3. Devote resources and attention to Libraries atmosphere, environment, and image.
The libraries should upgrade facilities to create more welcoming and engaging spaces. The visual identity of the Libraries, in publications and on the Web, should be unified and strengthened to convey the vibrancy of so much of the Libraries activities.
It is in our best interests, as well, to seek to recreate our Libraries as community spaces, to draw in more people with a variety of interests. On method of accomplishing this aim might be to regularly schedule telecasts, and perhaps follow-up discussions, of major addresses by the university president and guest speakers at Rutgers in the Scholarly Communication Center's Teleconference Lecture Hall, the conference room in the Paul Robeson Library, and in the Dana Room at the John Cotton Dana Library.
Prepared by Communications Coordinator Harry Glazer: Revised January 26, 2005