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April 10, 2007

Comments

Angel

Damn, I just cringe at having to wear a tie, so there is why I would never make director. Anyways, congratulations on the award. I like the idea of looking at the student "connectors" as the ones who will spend the money. Definitely the questions you want to ask them are questions we should be asking more of our service community. Best, and keep on blogging.

Ken Liss

Having worked in public relations before becoming a librarian, and having dealt with PR people as a newspaper reporter before that, I have to say that while far too much PR is indeed about “patting yourself on the back and saying ‘look at how great we are,'” good PR is really much more about “what do you need, oh yeah? Well check this out.”

As a reporter, I got lots of press releases beginning something like “ABC company, the greatest thing since sliced bread, is proud to announce….” What dreck! And most of what followed was dreck, too, self-serving and of no interest to our readers.

But as a PR person, I learned that the key to getting media to use your news was to present it in a way that met their need, that helped them provide information or entertainment or something of value to their audience.

That meant being selective about where you sent things. It meant writing press releases, when you used them, as news stories, like a reporter not like a flack. It meant not sending people things you knew they couldn't use just because they were on your mailing list. And it meant responding promptly and professionally when the media contacted you.

Everybody has a message, and PR -- through the media, special events, or whatever -- is a legitimate way to spread it. But to be effective it has to have something for the receiver as well as the sender.

Sorry to get on my high horse about this, but I learned a long time ago that the #1 rule of public relations is "Know Your Audience." It made me better at what I did then, and it makes me better at what I do now.

Richard Meyer

Modest correction to the facts: 8 students were included in the lunch for 50, in part to reflect their leadership and engagement with the library. Given space and budget constraints, the whole student body was provided a free hot dog lunch on the library patio. One of the speakers for both sessions was a student leader.

Brian

Rich,

I guess my point is that I am more interested in influential students rather than student leaders. I thought it would have been interesting to also run ‘chill’ focus group rather than a celebratory lunch. Anyway, I hope it worked out. I saw the photos and it looked nice.

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