Why a statewide marketing initiative?
The marketing initiative is the direct result of requests received by the State Librarian from public librarians across the state for such help, because these libraries do not have the staff or funding to market their services effectively. The State Library’s leadership enabled partnering with a professional marketing consultancy to develop and implement a statewide promotional blitz, with opportunities for tie-ins and programs at the local level, and a sponsorship program to seek additional funding for the initiative. Note that the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) and the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) are sponsors, too.
Why is the brand image a super hero action figure?
When the statewide marketing committee first met with Parker & Partners to discuss our marketing needs, they stressed the need to transform the brand images of libraries and librarians. Much is written in marketing literature about shaping brands. We have learned that it is more of an art than a science. Research indicates that the most successful brands are those that hold an established position in the minds of their customers and prospects. Like other super heroes, the Super Librarian is powerful, bold, high tech, and a problem solver. Focus on the Super Librarian from the perspective of a resident of NJ who is unfamiliar with librarians or library services. The intent is to make people first look or listen to our message and then to make them think differently. That is what the Super Librarian campaign aims to accomplish --- and in a fun way.
Why is the focus television and not newspaper and/or radio?
The marketing plan calls for different approaches at different phases across three years. The TV promotional blitz was chosen for the first phase, based on its impact and our available budget. We’re using a visual medium to take the public to today’s library, as well as audio that projects the new image. Public relations efforts will add newspaper and other media coverage as a result of a press conference and other contacts made by local libraries. With time and additional money from sponsors, we plan a wide variety of promotional tactics including ads on buses, trains and planes. (OK – maybe not planes).
What are your goals? What does the marketing initiative hope to accomplish?
Based on input from our colleagues in the field, and together with a New Jersey based marketing firm, we created a dynamic and innovative marketing campaign designed to change people’s perceptions of libraries and librarians. The goals of the statewide marketing initiative are clear. We want more people to use New Jersey public libraries and we want those who are already library users to use their libraries in new ways. When people seek to enrich their lives by reading, listening to books and music, and viewing films, we want the library to be the first place they go to. And when people need information, we want them to think of their librarian as the first person to ask. By creating a “brand”, the Super Librarian, and a slogan, "No boundaries, no limits, know your library”, “blitzing” cable networks throughout New Jersey with 2,000 plus thirty second commercials, and distributing posters, bookmarks and other materials for every library system, we have created an inclusive program that is easy for librarians to use and participate in. Every librarian can and should be a Super Librarian. Our multi-year marketing plan includes specific targets for library use. To measure the effectiveness of the TV spot, several libraries are helping us to conduct a post-campaign survey.
What can we do at the local level during and after the television blitz?
Display your posters, wear your buttons, distribute bookmarks, and most importantly BE A SUPER LIBRARIAN! Here are some ideas we heard at the kickoff parties: Plan programs with the Super Librarian theme. Create display of Graphic Novels with Super Librarian materials. Be a Super Librarian for Halloween. Use the Super Librarian graphics in all your flyers and correspondence. Contact your local newspapers and cable stations and ask them to do a piece or a continuing series on all the Super Librarians at your library. Have your Mayor and Council pass a resolution naming your library a Super Library for National Library Week . (Great photo-op here)
How can I share my Super Librarian success stories with my colleagues?
Send photos to our website to show your colleagues what the Super Librarians at your library are doing. Share your great ideas by emailing your Super Librarian stories to our website. Your colleagues want to hear your great ideas and clone them. Will we get more graphics? Yes, graphics will be available on the website for you to use freely. To ensure quality control of the Super Librarian image, all we ask is that you not stretch or alter the Super Librarian or the slogan in any way. (She’s proud of the way she looks!)