Posted by: bluesyemre | May 25, 2018

Library Advocacy, Part 2: Creating an Effective Message


Creating a message can be difficult and if done improperly, it will prove to be largely ineffective in achieving your goals. There are many things that librarians want the public to believe about libraries. However, an effective message shouldn’t be influenced by librarians’ desires, it should be informed by the public’s needs and delivered in a way that makes sense to them.

What Makes a Good Message?

One of the things we’ve seen libraries do that can have a negative effect on their ability to convey their library’s message, is having an overly wordy, unclear or unconvincing message. It’s important to make sure that your message is being delivered in the most efficient and effective way possible, as often as possible. The best way to do that is to make sure that your message sticks in the minds of the readers by using the following criteria.

Your message is not an essay discussing the relative merits of the library and why it’s important. Get to the point and get there directly before people have a chance to move on.

Don’t leave any doubt about what your message is and what the library is all about.

Repetition is the best way to stand out in the minds of your community members. Repetition is the best way to stand out in the minds of your community members. Repetition is the best way to stand out in the minds of your community members. Yes, I repeated that 3 times for emphasis. Don’t have multiple or differing messages that you are delivering. Everyone needs to be on the same page and saying the same thing because consistency and repetition reinforce the message.

Never deceive your supporters or community members. There is no quicker way to lose the public’s faith than to be perceived as untruthful. People already view government work with a critical eye and if your library is caught in a lie, there is no way to win their trust back. They will believe that you don’t care about them enough to tell the truth. Be honest, sincere and exact about what the library has, will do and can do. Transparency helps build trust and support.

This is a response to the Google problem. You need to draw a line in the sand on the favorable side of your community’s needs. For example, if you only tell people about the way that the library solves the same problems that Google does, you won’t give people a reason to choose to support your library instead of just Googling it. What is it about your library that contrasts with other things in the community? What other need does it fill?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: