August 21, 2013

PR Recommendations for the Park Library

My library recently served as the client for Dr. Lois Boynton's PR Writing class, where her students analyzed the Park Library from a public relations perspective. It was both a humbling and terrific experience, and I got several great bits of advice and some great videos out of the experience. Plus, I got to see some of the work our PR students do - which will help me help future PR students. It was win - win - win.

image from Microsoft
I'll start with the students' Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats analysis, interspersed with some comments of my own. I'll share the students' suggestions and outcomes in another post.
The strengths, as defined by the students, include:
  • The library's chat feature (tho' one student had not used it, thinking it would be as slow as email; note to self: promote chat as "Instant Chat").
  • The Library's website and all its resources.
  • Return books from any library to the Park Library.
  • Food & drink allowed in the library.
  • Therapy dogs during finals.
  • The Library's location within the building where most department classes are held.
The weaknesses & threats, as listed in the students' SWOT analysis, include:
  • Not enough visuals on our website; library website is difficult to find on department website.
  • Longer hours (mentioned by multiple students).
  • We don't have a free campus printer (aka CCI printing).
  • Funding.
  • Students are afraid to ask questions or don't want to ask for help.
  • Olivia H. wrote "Easy access to library materials on Park's website could mean fewer students actually using library facilities because of home access."
    Olivia adds: "Although Stephanie makes presentations to many classes, students may forget about the resources and information that she shares as the semester goes on."
  • Too much information on our website and in our "extensive online collection." 
  • Faculty don't encourage use of library in their classes.
Opportunities & recommendations
  • More visuals! (on the website and on the School's digital signage boards).
  • More promotion generally -- through flyers and bathroom signage.
  • Extended hours.
  • Update the website.
  • Adding a free campus printer.
  • More information about Stephanie (which seems strange to me, but this was mentioned several times, over two semesters).
  • Social media contests such as hashtag promotions on Twitter or Instagram.
This statement highlights my aspirations quite nicely: "The goal is not just to get [students] in the door but to also to get them comfortable enough to ask questions while they are there." (emphasis mine)

So ... hearty thanks to Dr. Boynton and her PR Writing students. I hope to implement a few of their ideas this semester; and I will post about them as I do.

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