I went to the Marketing Conference put on by ALISS at Coventry University's Lanchester Library, and I have to say, it was a VERY useful event.
Quick Overview of Presentations:
1. Three Marketing Projects run by Lanchester Library:
Presented By Olivia Llewllyn and Theresa Morley.
A. An event to get academics into the library to see presentations by Library staff on various services. Run with a specific faculty and so targeted to that faculty. This sounds like a great idea - and one I will be taking back to Warwick.
B. Production of a jute book bag designed by students as part of a competition run in conjunction with the Art and Graphic Design departments in the university. The final product will be sold to students as a reusable bag, and has also inspired the production of reusable water bottles for sale to students with a similar design on it. Of course the marketing was not purely a result of the end product - it was a great piece of departmental liaison work during the competition phase.
C. A promotional video using ECHO 360 equipment, which records the speaker in a lecture theatre as they present with a PowerPoint, so the end product is a PowerPoint which runs alongside a video of the actual presentation - clever stuff.
2. Using Web 2 for Marketing:
Lisa Charnock from Intute.
Lisa's main point was about Web 2 being a 2 way conversation, and about engagement with users in conversation, rather than just using the web to push out content. She touched on the idea of it being a different way of thinking, and librarians involving themselves in web 2 needing to be prepared to let go of control and allow external input. It was very interesting, and Lisa rounded off her session by encouraging group discussion amongst conference delegates about how they are using Web 2. - This was really useful.
3. Students Marketing the Library As Part of Their LIS Course
Becky Laing and Frank Parry
LIS students at Loughborough were involved in a project as part of their assessed course where they became marketing consultants and the Library became their client. They were split into groups and each group presented marketing ideas for different aspects of the library.
What a brilliant piece of liaison! It made me wonder what other courses librarians could get in on in a similar way?
Involve IT students in web design projects? Photography students in promo projects? I wrote down a whole list of possibilities - I'm sure others will come up with the same ideas, so I wont post them all here.
4. Marketing Digital Collections
Christine Madsen from Oxford University
Christine talked about the use of inlink analysis to see the impact of your web content. (i.e. how many other sites link to yours?)
She compared this form of analysis with citation analysis, and pointed out that it has similar flaws (can we assume that someone who links to a site is recommending it as a useful resource?)
Christine flagged up some really useful free tools for doing this kind of work which I had never heard of, but will shortly be looking into, such as LEXI URL searcher created by Wolverhampton University and Yahoo Site Explorer (which tells me that my blog currently has 759 web pages linking to it - that's quite cool).
She also spoke about the importance of Google rankings and search engine optimisation.
It was a very interesting talk which has given me lots of ideas of thing to go off and play with.5. Action Learning Session
I have to say, I was VERY impressed by Sally. She had expected another speaker to be there to deliver a session on student perspectives, but the speaker had not arrived and Sally, in a remarkably calm and organised manner, ran an alternative session getting delegates to share ideas on projects they are working on. The session worked really well, was very productive and resulted in some very interesting conversations and networking.
It was a shame the original speaker wasn't there as the planned talk did sound like it would have been very interesting - but the way Sally dealt with it, and the session she ran was brilliant. perhaps this kind of session should be included at the end of more of these types of events?
The conference was really useful. I'm very glad I went. I am now a bit achy again as a result of sitting in mostly the same position for a large portion of the day - but I suspect that the aching is more because I am not completely recovered from my 2 sick days, and less because of the seating at the conference (which was actually pretty good!).
Oh, and the lunch was fantastic! (See Tom Roper's blog for more good day-in-the-life-lunches, and other stuff, obviously!)