CILIP BNG Marketing Day

19 11 2009

On the 18th November I attended the CILIP Branch and group Marketing Day (as PR and Marketing for UKeiG, it seemed a good idea). I had no idea what to expect, or how much I would learn, but I was pleasantly surprised by the whole day.

Elizabeth Elford

Elizabeth is responsible for marketing at the British Library, and she had some really useful insights. A lot of them were things that are fairly obvious, but sometimes you need someone to point them out first!

She talked about RSVP: Relationships, Strategy, Value and Professional. These included things like getting people involved to get buy-in, developing a message for the detailed strategy to hang off, persuading people of the value of what you’re selling, making sure it looks REALLY good.

She also talked about social media – something I am most definitely a believer in, so she didn’t have to convince me of its value! She cited the example of a woman who started a group on Facebook in disgust at M&S pricing larger bras at a higher price, and drove them to do an about-turn and remove the price difference. now that’s powerful stuff!

Elizabeth’s suggestion was to supplement traditional methods with these new methods – so as well as a traditional press release, why not send a link to an electronic press release, which has video and photos, so they already have their quote, photo and information ready to go straight into an article.

Social media has to have the same principles as traditional press, but I think people find it easy to forget this. I treat anything that goes onto any of these platforms as public information, and assume that anyone and everyone will be reading (since they can). But I can see how it could be easy to forget and think you’re just talking to your friends. But you have to keep it:

  • Credible
  • Consistent
  • Responsive
  • Integrated (make sure all your communications in various places have the same basic message)
  • Civil (you’re an ambassador for whatever you’re representing, even if it’s just you on some platforms).

Rest of the day

We spent the rest of the day working on practical examples of how we would market an event. As the group I was in was given a 2-day conference, I volunteered using the UKeiG Conference from June as an example, to make sure we didn’t have to invent a whole new event as well as our marketing strategy!

Using some of the ideas from the day and some suggestions from Kathy Ennis and Lyndsay Rees-Jones, the organisers, we came up with some interesting ideas not only for the marketing, but further ideas on how the conference itself could have been tailored to attract different, additional audiences.


On the whole, the day was really interesting and worthwhile.I took some useful ideas away, and made several notes throughout the day about things i should do in my UKeiG role.  So I might be asking other committee members for help – be afraid, be very afraid!

The day was well organised, and the fact that we got to meet and chat with other professionals is always a bonus. especially when you already have the common fact of being committee members to give you something to talk about! Kathy and Lyndsay were very helpful, and had some useful ideas to contribute.

I also got to meet Jo Alcock (aka Joeyanne Libraryanne), who I have been following via RSS feeds and Twitter for a while now!




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