Thursday, September 30, 2004

ALA : A communications handbook for librarians

From the introduction:

"When it comes to communications, in many ways the library community—public library professionals and staff, school librarians, library researchers, curators of special collections, trustees, systems librarians, and Friends of libraries—has a head start. All you need is at your fingertips. You have the technology and the skills to keep you in instant and

constant touch. Remember, public relations is a versatile tool. What’s more, you’re well-organized and have the good will of everyone who has gained a lifelong love of learning.

Communications and public relations are in essence the art of influence. In fact, non-profit public relations may have started in 1855 when the American Medical Association passed a resolution that it would cooperate with the media.

With the relations we have developed with media—and therefore the public—over time, we have gained the ability to help shape public opinion in our communities through such efforts as National Library Week or Teen Read Week. We have worked steadily using daily outreach and efforts to build relationships with professionals in our community to motivate our customers to use our unique library resources throughout their lives.

This guide is designed to help you determine if your story is newsworthy or noteworthy—and to help you to try to get media visibility for your events and programs without breaking the bank or taking up too much valuable staff time. Building on the ALA’s Library Advocates Handbook, this communications tutorial will take you through public relations basics of outlets and media advisories to navigating through tough TV interviews."

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