Saturday, 7 November 2009

PPRG Annual Conference - Day 2 afternoon

Lunch was again lovely with another “pot licking” dessert (we didn’t, we just wanted to). Sharon Tuersley, who I mentioned earlier kicked off the afternoon and got us all up on our feet to do a bit of post-lunch exercise so we didn’t slump from too much food (very good idea). You couldn’t possibly of slept whilst she was on though, because she’s very good presenter and very easy to listen to. Sharon is from Warwick University and they have developed a very strong library brand over the last couple of years. There was major remodelling at Warwick which facilitated the creation of the brand. I mentioned in my previous post about a clear message and making that part of everything you do and Warwick’s message is “Connecting you with information, support and your community”. They ran an “it’s my library” campaign, which included snazzy bags with great imagery on the front and back up text on the back. I thought it was a great way to get users to take ownership of their space and hopefully then to respect it.

So how did they get there well they have a marketing advisory group, they did the branding in stages, they communicated well with other colleagues outside the advisory group and they provided support for staff in using the new brand. They have a library style guide (very glossy – nice) but not just that which reinforced what I’d heard earlier about supporting staff using the brand to get them on side, so they take ownership of the brand. This is your internal branding which allows staff to see where they fit into the grand scheme delivering the brand and creates a strong brand culture. It should provide inspiration to increase productivity and clarifies what is on brand and off brand.I like their small concertina leaflets and the Warwick library rocks rock. They also provided students with a card holder to put the leaflet in but that had space for your library card etc. Some of you may have seen their picks of the trick or treat stall – Sharon said this was a light bulb moment. A student who came to their staff at arrivals weekend said all you need is a pumpkin (in reference to the mass of orange on the stall) – so they very quickly set up their trick or treat idea. Students answered questions about the library for treats and the trick if they got it wrong was another question. As well as showing the human/fun face of the library but also gave insight into what students had and hadn’t picked up about the library service – could inform future campaigns. Their stall at arrivals weekend looked really professional (we need to get a table cloth for our welcome week events) and they said even though they clearly had their library branding all over it students came to talk to them. In the past we’ve deliberately not stood under a sign that said LIBRARY as we are in direct competition with pubs, clubs and societies etc. – but maybe arrivals weekend is a different set up to welcome week – I do not know. This year we did have Library and Student support on our new publicity behind us on the stall but I don’t know if it made a difference – something to think about.

This was followed by a library discussion - check out the tweets from PPRG on Twitter.

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