ALA Unit/Subunit: YALSA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Are you responsible for marketing your Library's programs and services to an often difficult to reach demographic, teens? You'll leave this session ready to reach teens who are not currently using the Library and increasing engagement with those who are by: focusing on teens' communication preferences, focusing on teen-created marketing materials, and inspiring and enabling them to be library ambassadors to other teens.
Kelly Rottmund, Teen Services Coordinator, and Molly Bennett, Director of Communications & Creative Services, for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) will present the Library's new Teenspace brand as an example of how these strategies allow you to increase engagement with both existing and non-users. Teenspace, which promises the Library is a 'Space to be,' focuses on teen-created marketing materials and frames teens and their accomplishments as the heroes of the Library's story.
Over the last six years CLP has built up Teen Services and teen awareness of it, however we saw an opportunity for growth both in attracting new teen customers and in improving our relationships with existing ones. We recognized that some teens were still unaware of Teen programming or unable or uninterested in participating, and we wanted to identify their interests and any existing barriers so we could invite and engage them. For teens who were current customers, we were seeking ways to deepen their level of involvement as leaders and peer mentors, inspire and enable them to be ambassadors of library services to other teens, and to highlight their accomplishments in media that framed them as the hero. We knew from teen feedback that they didn't see themselves reflected in our existing marketing materials and didn't feel like the language on the materials were speaking to them. We also knew that they were interested in making program flyers for us, which was not a standard practice. However, we also knew that when teens create something they feel pride in it and are more likely to share it with their peers – and teen word-of-mouth advertising is more valuable than anything we could pay for. With these things as well as the YALSA Future's Report and Organizational Plan in mind, which call for libraries to support connected learning, provide workforce development training and embrace teens as co-creators of library activities, we sought out a marketing firm that could help us develop a strategy to support the following belief: by focusing on teens’ communication preferences and developing strategies to connect directly with them and encourage their sharing of the Library with each other, we could reach teens who were not currently using the Library and increase engagement with current users. Through all of this, we've worked to transform our customer expectations of what the library is and what's possible for them through the library.
During this session, we'll share with you what we learned through that process and how we're implementing it, so that you can begin to map out a marketing strategy that will further your library's vision for serving teens and increase teen engagement.
· Upon completion, participants will be able to conduct an audit of their current marketing efforts (both print and digital) and determine whether or not they align with teens' communication preferences.
· Upon completion, participants will be able to identify at least two ways they can incorporate teen-created materials into their marketing efforts, enabling teens to be library ambassadors.
· Upon completion, participants will be able to describe how making teens the hero of the library's story increases teen engagement.