Programming Puzzler: How do you get the word out about your programs?

We presented this puzzler to our readers.  Here’s a round-up of their ideas:

“We connected with a local churches and community groups that provide “welcome wagon” baskets to new families in town. We make sure that a copy of our library card brochure and programming flier goes in each basket.”-Sylvia Y.

“We deliver posters to interested groups in our community, including the senior center and local coffee shops.”-Chris C.

“We make sure our schools are aware of our programs and ask them to announce relevant programs in their parent email updates.”-JoAnn R.

Kathy and Christine say:

  • Don’t try to promote all programs equally – if you hype everything, that’s the same as hyping nothing! Choose a few special programs you want to highlight and focus on promoting those.
  • Take advantage of social media! Post upcoming programs on Facebook or Twitter a day or two before they will happen so people don’t forget all the wonderful programs you are offering.
  • Think about the audience you are targeting for each program and adjust your promotion accordingly. Parents of young children don’t get their information in the same places that middle schoolers do.
  • Find a newsworthy hook and involve the press! For example, early literacy is all over the news these days – why not develop a press release explaining how your storytimes support early literacy and send it to your local newspaper?
  • Network, network , network! Seek out connections with people in your community and find out what kind of programs they want from the library, and how they can help you get the word out to the people they work with every day. Despite (or maybe because of) our ever-increasing reliance on technology, we humans still trust recommendations from real people most.
  • Make sure you have a great product to promote! The best advertisement for a great program is the program itself – provide an experience that will keep parents and kids coming back for more.
  • Instead of preaching to the choir, draft them: Explain to your current storytime attendees that you need their help to get the word out about your programs. Pass out fliers for upcoming programs and ask each attendee to invite one person or family to come.

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