Library Project Planning, part 3

The Marketing Plan (.doc)

In the course of developing the marketing plan, I found it seemed rather simpler than the previous project plan. A marketing plan, at its core, has only one or two purposes: to make people aware of something and then to get them to use it. The much more varied project plan, meanwhile, had a number of different intended outcomes depending on which phase and aspect of the plan was under consideration.

The marketing plan also felt simplified by the combination of the presumed lack of budget and the fact that the service will be digital. Online marketing outlets—email, the websites, Facebook—will be noticed by those already inclined to dealing in dealing communication. Unfortunately, I noticed that this same strength also undercuts the ability to attract those who are not accustomed to using the library remotely and who might not receive or might not bother to read mass university mailings. Flyers can be overlooked as well, but at least they may become an object of curiosity when appearing in a strong enough number.

I have learned that it can be surprisingly challenging to decide which user group to ultimately focus on when more than one is available: the actual “users” of the service (the ones who will be IMing and emailing the librarians) or the librarians and library staff themselves, who have to be sold on the idea to make it work. Part of the intended Virtual Service Desk concept is only relevant to those metaphorically behind the desk, and part of the motivation for this project in the first place was stated to be improving work flow. However, the library’s mission and the goals of the library staff with whom we spoke are explicitly to provide strong customer service, and so that is what we went with.

An issue that we initially faced in the project plan reoccurred: we were again hesitant about assigning specific tasks to specific people, some of whom we have never met and have only a vague idea of their job duties, never mind trying to pin down deadlines for them. I find it hard to reconcile the main assignment priority of “doing a project plan to learn how to do it” with “doing a project plan that librarians may actually consider using.”

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