Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) has long been the “bread and butter” of library marketing. Simple, direct, and cheap, the requirements of WOMM often fit limited library resources available. WOMM happens organically, for good or ill, regardless of the library’s intent, yet is also a powerful strategy that can be employed intentionally. In 2018 the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), a statewide library support organization, mounted a Word of Mouth Marketing Project. With the expertise of Peg Barber, former ALA marketing staff, and author of “Building a Buzz,” MLS guided 24 member libraries, including public, school, academic and special participants, through training and support to mount their own WOMM campaigns. From school libraries promoting e-books, to hospital libraries building relationships with key hospital staff, each library identified messaging, target markets, and key performance indicators of success. The road wasn’t always easy, but the results have been promising. This session will provide an overview of the project from the perspective of the organizers, review the training provided to participants, and discuss the participants’ experiences. The Massachusetts Library System and the WOMM participants created a toolkit to support future library WOMM efforts. That toolkit and the continuing adventures of Massachusetts Library WOMM efforts will be reviewed.
ALA Unit/Subunit: LLAMA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.