Creating an Organizationally Embedded Strategic Communication Plan for Libraries
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This is the first in a series of articles appearing in Library Leadership & Management that provides library leaders with an outline for creating a sustainable and consistent communication plan across all platforms and venues. Going beyond traditional marketing and branding, this series suggests a comprehensive approach to communication - both to people and to the computer networks that people use – for everyday communication, for disaster planning, and for the library’s strategic endeavors. There are many elements that can communicate and convey a library’s identity and values – social media posts, budget structures, library guides, strategic plans, etc. A coordinated and strategic plan for communication and outreach will strengthen your library’s value by creating a common experience and understanding by your library community, including library patrons, boards, administrators, and donors as well as internet search engines, social media networks, and their users. This plan will keep the library focused on objectives from the strategic plan and not straying beyond the plan, which could otherwise drain resources from what is trying to be achieved. This first article outlines the purpose and development of a library’s values, mission, and vision statements, a strategic plan, a communication plan, and the embedding of that plan in organizational culture. Subsequent articles explore offshoots of this communication including budgeting message and presentation, social media strategies, and search engine optimization and semantic web identity.