July 19, 2018 Meeting Topic: Public Relations and Marketing
Terri, Vestavia Hills
Pre-topic, we discussed the 2019 ASRT schedule -- I've got topics chosen (all but one month!) I am putting out a plea for host locations (Clay, Pelham, Pinson, maybe? anyone?) We will be hitting the new Trussville library for our September 20, 2018 meeting. I've already gotten volunteers for host locations in 2019 from Homewood and Vestavia. Shoot me an email if you'd like to host!
The main focus for today's meeting was Canva.com. Michelle from Irondale gave us an updated version of her JCPLA Staff Day talk from 2 years ago. And, boy, has she improved her skills in those 2 years! Working within the free online tool, you can quickly and confidently become a graphic designer pro! Irondale opted to buy the base membership to Canva, allowing for a more diverse set of options such as graphics, etc. However, Canva.com *free version* still does the trick for me!
The one thing we all agree is very valuable within Canva is that it gives you an enormous amount of examples of finished marketing promotions that you can take and change however you like. Also, when designing something, you can pick just the right promotion format -- for example, you can choose Facebook post and it will already be the right dimensions for posting directly to Facebook. Same goes with Twitter or a 3-fold flyer -- whatever it is, you can most likely find an example via the database and go to town making changes such as fonts, pictures, backgrounds, etc.
Michelle pointed out that she often uses the free picture database of Pixabay.com for items to download, then upload into Canva.com. She does caution that Pixabay does sometimes direct you to pay-for-use sites such as Shutterstock so keep vigilant if you want the free stuff!
Michelle also lauded the Canva.com mobile app -- frequently she can design a Facebook post on the go or while doing other things (longggg meetings anyone??) and post them directly from the app. There is also possible to print and download your works with an option to send it to one of the selected printing agencies used by Canva. Michelle did point out that she has found these are not always the most cost effective.
It costs nothing to look into Canva and play around. See if something new and bright and modern might make a display POP or make your social media posts go viral!
Michelle also showed us the new-and-improved Irondale Public Library website
Deidre from Bessemer wanted everyone to know about their upcoming Local Authors Expo on August 18th. Entry is only $30 with authors welcome to sell their wares. Give her a call or email if you'd like more details!
And, because our September 20th meeting is our annual Adult Program Swap, we did discuss the use of "My Mystery Plays". Michelle says she has bought her 2nd "kit" to use with her teens. I am still trying to find the best time to do one with our adults at Hoover! So far, about four different libraries have bought kits which include scripts and detailed information for characters and settings. Basically it's a live-action game of Clue with patrons acting as the possible criminal. Many libraries have reported great success with these! We hope to make all the existing kits/scripts available for free at the September meeting in case anyone want to give it some consideration. Caution: this is labor intensive on the librarian's side as you do have to have a top-down understanding of all the working parts. I'm looking forward to trying it!
In preparation for the meeting, I put together what is essentially a screen-shot from PLA about Marketing that includes some webinar information (essential!!) along with templates (including Canva.com!) and some of my own websites I've grown to love.
Check it out here: PLA Marketing Strategies
So, don't forget September's Adult Program Swap -- bring your ideas, small inklings of ideas, contacts, bring your successes and your failures. We will swap, shop, talk all of them and hopefully update the existing adult programming database/spreadsheet!!! See you then!