Tag Archives: Public Relations

“The Student Worker” Week 1

To kick off a new semester, although I realize that it’s February and I’m incredibly behind, I thought I’d post up some things about my student job in the Humanities department. This is truly preparing me for a job as a minumum wage secretary when I graduate; at least I know that I’ll have the skills.

Furthermore, I don’t know what’s so bad about being a secretary; I find it quite amusing. It’s sad that the general public “looks down” on those that take this sort of job. I feel like I’m doing internal public relations for the English Department.

 To begin my Thursday afternoon, a three hour shift, I finished a newsletter that I had due later that day; that took me less than 20 minutes($2.42.)

Then I looked around the office, trying to make myself useful.

I then discovered that the paperclip holder was, unfortunately, empty.

For the next 30 minutes ($3.62), I meticulously shoved both “jumbo-smooth” paperclips and “small-smooth” paperclips into the magnetic top of the paper clip holder because someone had taped the top shut.

 

 

 

The next 30 minutes ($3.62) of my shift I spent making a sign for the writing center drop box.

Many of those over the age of 45 didn’t get it. However, it did make students at least notice the drop box. (How this corny phrasing has affected the influx of completed surveys I’ve yet to find out.)

After making 20 copies of a poem on spring garden green paper, I talked to a favorite proffessor for an hour ($7.25) about poetry and mortgages.

I then spent the remainder of my time on making the new dry-earase calendar for March. March, yes, I did say March. For a college student, it’s impossible to conceptualize March; gasps and groans flowed freely from passers-by when considering all of the pages that much be read and written before then.

After removing the old calendar from the board, I flipped it over to find the yearly calendar for 2003.

 It’s more difficult to conceptualize 2003 than March ($0.00).

 That was my 3 hour shift. Regardless of all the silly tasks I perform for the department, I like to think of this situation from my shift today.

 I went to deliver something to the floor below and ended up getting stuck talking to fellow English Majors in the hallway for 10 minutes ($1.20).

When I apologized to my boss for taking so long, she said, “It’s alright. There’s not much happening here. It’s like PR for the department if you’re out there.”

 

 

 

 


Investigating the Facebook Generation: A Case Study on the Nashville Library’s YA Social Media Tactics—Part V

The Basics

The YA Department of the Nashville Main Library is an undeniably important part of the teen community in Nashville; what it lacks in social media strategy it makes up for in face-to-face interaction.

However, I truly believe that committing to more social media interaction would highly benefit the patrons of the YA Department; most of them highly support more advanced usage, at least concerning Facebook. However, Twitter is growing, though, for this age group.

Thoughts & Solutions

1. Use the platform; tweak the platform.

According to the interview with Lisa, the library has a social media platform, but again, it doesn’t have much to do with the YA Department. Also, it’s not so much that its in use, but rather, administration has a a document to “prove” that they have “plans” to make the library’s online presence stronger. Commit already! The platform should also be tweaked to allow the YA Department a little more freedom; for example, its own Twitter may be helpful, rather than just a broadcasting of pre-approved tweets from @NowatNPL .

2. Time Management

One of the biggest limitations to improving social media in the YA Department is, of course, time. However, just because there is no “time” doesn’t mean that accounts should be set up and then left alone out in cyber space. Updates don’t have to be every five minutes, but major events, contests, and reminders should be posted. Working out a schedule between YA librarians could be helpful; Hootsuite would also be a great tool for timing and collaboration.

3. Open Communication: Remember the Audience

As mentioned in the platform discussion, the YA Department should be given a little more freedom in managing its own social media. A PR department for 21 library branches as a whole doesn’t seem sufficient to get out the word about the great things going on with the teens. There should be open communication between the different departments within each branch about social media efforts, as the audience for each department is extremely different. The demographics for each branch are vastly different as well; remember the audience. Research and adjust!

4. Publicize.

Outdated social media cards aren’t enough to encourage interaction online; social media usage should be openly publicized, especially in the YA department.

Even simple posters could encourage interaction!

For example, I saw this poster on my walk to Starbucks a few days ago. Kudos, UPS, for jumping on the bandwagon! Advertise for prospective interaction.

 

 

 

 

5.Take advantage of patron knowledge.

The teen patrons of the YA Department know tons about social media; they were brought up in an online culture, and this culture keeps growing! If librarians tried to get them interested, I’m sure they would be happy to help out, even if it is just something to put on their resumes for college. Either way, use the manpower resources that are available!

6. If all else fails, hire an intern.

The library offers high school and college internship programs already but not with the YA Department. There may be some liability issues, yes, but in order for the YA Department to increase its reach and effect, time must be allocated to social media tactics and development.

Final Musing

All libraries across the U.S. with YA Departments could definitely benefit from getting on board with this whole social media craze; believe it or not, this is not a fad, and social media is not going anywhere anytime soon.

More and more people rely on suggestions and interactions online that ultimately affect their physical choices.

Even if YA Departments are just about creating a sense of community and fun, rather than attempting to bolster literacy, social media would help bolster that community outside of the library.


Investigating the Facebook Generation: A Case Study on the Nashville Library’s YA Social Media Tactics–Part IV

The Nashville Public Library’s Main Branch brings in an array of students to the Teen Department including:

– Hume Fogg Academic Magnet

-Martin Luther King Magnet

-East Literature Magnet

-Hunter’s Lane

-McGavock

-Pearl Cohn

-Big Picture                                                  [click the photo above for more Bus info!]

-Cane Ridge

-Hillwood

The Metropolitan Transit Authority makes bussing possible from all of these schools to downtown Nashville; these teens have many different choices for after-school programs or destinations, but they choose the downtown library.

I got the chance to chat with some of the teens a few weeks ago about how they feel about social media, specifically relating to the library.

What Teens Think

One Hunter’s Lane student and ROTC leader explained his love for Facebook:

“It’s a different way to talk to people outside of school.”

A McGavock student commented that Facebook interaction would be great with the library to share pictures and increase “library exposure.” If the Teen Department had a Twitter account, he would definitely follow them in order to keep up with events.

Events like the ones documented on the nplmainya’s flickr (for example, the summer reading party to the left) could potentially go unnoticed without social media interaction.

 

Another student mentioned that Facebook would connect everyone for contests more easily, making them easier to know about; she would also like to be able to keep up with events in this way, as she has missed too many for her liking.

However, concerning Twitter, she exclaimed:

“NO! I DON’T WANT TO FOLLOW THE LIBRARY!”

[This feeling relates back to James’ point of what the library has to offer the teens.]

Finally, one well-spoken Senior from Cane Ridge explained his view to me; for the library’s purposes, he believes that Facebook is better, as it would offer more information, but he would still follow the Teen Department on Twitter.

At Cane Ridge, though, he asserted, “Most people are on Twitter; they do it in class on their phones because it is easier than Facebook.”

What It Comes Down To

 

Like James mentioned in his interview, the YA department’s social media presence should be about functionality.

The teens, though, seem very optimistic about using social media in order to connect with their library.

 

The Problem & What’s Next

Advertising, or getting the word out, about the YA Department’s social media efforts is key, but with time resources limited, devotion to the social media platform is limited at best.

The final installment of this series will present some ideas for improvement!


Investigating the Facebook Generation: A Case Study on the Nashville Library’s YA Social Media Tactics– Part II

An Interview with Lisa Schutt: NPL YA Librarian

Lisa, a former high school teacher, now works at the Teen Desk at the Nashville Main Library. Her bubbly and relaxed personality is extremely welcoming, and the teens there seem sincerely interested and comfortable in chatting with her and participating in craft time.

On November 17, 2011, I had the opportunity to talk with her spontaneously about the library’s current stance on social media and its use in the YA department.

Ironically, Lisa explained the main library had just recently had a meeting about improving its presence online, specifically concerning Facebook and Twitter.

Lisa believes that social media gives librarians more access to patrons and supporters than ever before, especially concerning library philanthropy.

But what about the YA Department?

There is a core group of students that come to the Teen section after school virtually every day; Lisa thinks that using social media would be a great tool for “keeping up” with this core group, but there are some issues.

Time resources are incredibly limited in the  YA department. Lisa explained that the library has a “social media platform,” but it is difficult to find someone who can dedicate his or her time to it.

She asserted that “unless you go into it with a genuineness,” social media isn’t going to be effective.

“Cobwebs”

The current social media situation at the library, specifically with its Teen Web Blog, has been in “cobwebs,” according to Lisa.

However, there is work being done to correct this, as the blog has become active again.

What are the kids into these days?

With a variety of socioeconomic classes represented in the YA department in downtown Nashville, teen social media usage here is probably an accurate description of the online engagement of teens ages 12 to 18.

Lisa hears a lot of chatter about Facebook from the teens and a little about Myspace as well.

“Twitter? Not so much,” she said.

Surprising? I thought so too. [More about Twitter in Part IV]

The Wonder of Facebook

For the YA Department of NPL, Lisa believes that Facebook is and will be the most useful. From events to funny blurbs and inside jokes, Facebook offers the best possible connection to the teens at the library.

However, this is not the PERSONAL Facebook account of any of the librarians; Lisa, as well as others, want to keep personal life separate from work.

The open communication with Facebook events could potentially increase event attendance as well; according to Lisa, if the teens get to see that their friends are “attending,” the programs will become “less scary.”

Learning from Lisa

The library has a platform for social media, which is a great start, but more importantly, it should be implemented.

The limitation in implementation? Time resources. This seems to be the biggest problem for in social media strategy– time commitment.

What’s Next?

Part III will reflect a very different view of social media and the YA Department of the library through an interview with James McClanahan, Teen Program Coordinator.


Investigating the Facebook Generation: A Case Study on the Nashville Library’s YA Social Media Tactics–Introduction

In trying to decide on a topic for exploration for my Social Media and PR class, I finally landed on an idea that was close to my heart—the YA, or Teen, department of the Nashville Downtown Library.

I spent all of my afternoons in high school walking the short 2 blocks from my antediluvian school building to the library; in a herd of my friends, we spent hours in the study rooms there and even participated in the Teen Library Council (see photo below) that helped plan events and make suggestions for the department.

At the time, between 2005 and 2009, though, we never really utilized social media, although we were all heavily addicted to Facebook.

It’s a strange, nostalgic experience to reflect on high school happenings, especially as a Junior in college; however, the library was a great inspiration that kept me on the right path to success in planning my education and career.

This personal connection inspired me to take a look into the Young Adult social media strategy at the Nashville Downtown Library.

This post functions as an introduction to a five-part exposé and analysis of the Teen Department’s use of social media.

1. First, I’ll explain how YA social media is functioning now.

2.Second, I’ll be relaying an interview with Lisa Schutt, a YA librarian at the Downtown Branch.

3. Shortly following, I’ll present an interview with James McClanahan, the Teen Program Coordinator.

4. Then I will be posting and analyzing the interviews with some core patrons—the teens!

5. Finally, I will be giving my own suggestions for a social media strategy, or at the very least, some concepts to consider.

Stay tuned over this next week for some thought-provoking reading about the next generation’s use of social media and the true function of our precious libraries as a whole!

Do you know the true function of a YA department? What are teens using it for? How are librarians staying connected with them?
Keep updated with

“Investigating the Facebook Generation: A Case Study on the Nashville Library’s YA Social Media Tactics.”


Mixing Discourses: A PR Sestina

In my Introduction to Public Relations class, we had the opportunity to perform a creative project for a little extra credit. I’m always looking for ways to combine my two fields of study. So what did I do? I used a complex poetic structure called a sestina to tell a public relations story!

 

 

Corporate Department Spends Work Day Giving Back: A Sestina

Written by Hannah Baggott

 

 

The publicity

would be glorious, but she never

thought twice about the

coverage, the money. She tried to remember: “Do

it for

the right reason. Do it.

 

 

Do it

for the common good, the human condition, not the publicity.”

On her desk sat the forms for

the company volunteer day. She had never

thought to do

this on her own, but she saw their competitors quickly jumping on the bandwagon; the

 

 

date was set and the

t-shirts made up. It

had been researched and planned. Now it was time to do.

She notified the press, as her boss instructed. Publicity,

was, of course, necessary, and she never

expected this to be…enjoyable. Finally, it was time for

 

 

them to leave their screens behind for

something different, something good. The

cameras flashed; they never

expected it

to be enjoyable; it was just for publicity.

Without realizing the effect of what they were about to do,

 

 

they walked through unfamiliar doors to see a few dozen pairs of hopeful eyes. What could they do?

No one can deny a lonely puppy. The suited men and women smiled for

miles, and they forgot all about the publicity.

Shedding their jackets, forty hands fluffed the

warm fur of those grateful little things, and it

never occurred to the human eyes to glance at the clock…never.

 

 

Never

do

it

for

the

publicity.

 

 

Publicity is never

as important as the good one can do

for the community. Embrace it.


Where’s the engagement, Cheekwood?

Let me preface this post by saying that I am a great fan of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art; however, after auditing the organization’s social media “buzz” and online presence for a few weeks, I am somewhat shocked!

For an organization that relies on donations and community support, Cheekwood’s engagement with the online public leaves much to be desired.

Although Cheekwood keeps up a Twitter account and Facebook page, they tend to broadcast rather than interact.

Regardless of the positive or negative feedback, there was not much of a response from the organization. As far as monitoring goes, I question Cheekwood’s attention to its online audience.

As of November 20, 2011, Cheekwood’s Klout score is 36, which I realize isn’t the most reliable analysis (Cheekwood has yet to actually sign up with Klout); regardless, this score seems insufficient for an organization that relies on the public.

Cheekwood’s website doesn’t even allow for public comments; the “Critic’s Corner” there is simply a collection of “favorite” comments. This lack of engagement and interaction cuts off feedback lines.

Within this time period that I monitored, news releases and twitter chatter discussed Cheekwood’s monetary problems and price increases. The organization itself has yet to actually release anything about it on its website, nor are there updated public financial records, the last update being from 2008.

Cheekwood is a beautiful, local organization that deserves public support and positive publicity, but without proper online interaction, the only engagement Cheekwood has is the engagement photography opportunities in the gardens.

Full Report: Social Media Audit Cheekwood

Cheekwood Audit Appendix