Advocacy

Phase 2: Create Awareness

You've completed the planning, now it's time to bring your local awareness campaign to life.

This phase focuses on introducing the awareness campaign beyond your usual library patrons, to the broader community, via strategic advertising and public relations initiatives—including the use of traditional media like newspapers and radio. At this point, the goal is to make a personal connection between members of the community and the library, by emphasizing the library’s role in helping people explore their individual passions.

Your campaign goal is to promote community engagement and inspire a community-wide discussion about the value of the library and the need for adequate funding. Research shows that the most important demographic to target are not necessarily frequent library users, so it’s critical to promote the campaign out in the community. Use advertising and public relations initiatives—including the use of traditional media like newspapers and radio. Forge personal connections between members of the community and the library, by emphasizing the library’s role in helping people explore their individual passions.

See: Public Relations, Advertising Drives Awareness, Pitch to Local Media, and Print Advertising Schedule Tips

Priority number one: get the public’s attention. Take time to understand the target audience for your campaign, and use multiple methods to get in touch with them,

See: Recognize and Target the Appropriate Audience

Organize an official launch event or activity—outside of the library, if possible. Leverage the media relationships you already have to publicize the launch and report on your local campaign. Write and distribute a launch press release. Create displays that can be taken to community events.

See: Campaign Launch Advice and Create Campaign Displays

Showcase the campaign inside the library as well, and be sure to get all staff involved in the fun. Use library communication channels such as the website, social media, newsletters, e-mail updates, weekly newspaper column, etc., to explain the campaign and how people can get involved, showcase the library’s role in supporting people’s individual passions, and talk about library funding issues both local and nationwide.

See: Represent the Campaign in the Library and Social Media Post Samples


"In order to position the library as something vital for a healthy community, we don't need to tell the people in the library about what makes us valuable, we need to get the message to everybody in the community."

—Solano County Library in Fairfield California, Community Relations Coordinator Ann Miller

"Building relationships with the media is so important. It is a year-round effort. I have a lot of friends in the media because it's something I nurture. We just support each other."

—Linda Hyles, Fund Development/Marketing Coordinator Chatahoochee Valley Libraries

"During the campaign, everyone was talking about it. They said that they couldn't wait to see who was going to be featured next. People were literally stopping and backing up to see the billboards. People are still talking about it!"

—Linda Hyles, Fund Development/Marketing Coordinator Chatahoochee Valley Libraries