Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Art of the Press Release

Recently I was in a meeting where we were discussing a new initiative with a campus department and a colleague said: "I really should take a page from Stacey's book and write a press release on this!" Everyone chuckled a bit and I slunk down in my chair a little, reminded of being teased by an old college friend about my Facebook statuses. My friend had said: "I haven't been to the UK campus or even Kentucky in ten years, and I know all about your Hubbub party!" So I admit, maybe I am a little over the top occasionally with promoting the Hub and related events/services. I have stated more than once that I'd like everyone on campus to at least know what the Hub is (an ever-changing population of over 26,000 students--how tough could that be?).

One of my many strategies for promoting the Hub is through press releases. I know, many of you are thinking: how many undergraduate students actually pay attention to those? Probably not many, but the editors of the student newspaper do, the local media do, and so do many faculty and administrators. Sometimes it can be very effective to reach one audience so that they can inform another.

We have an excellent PR team on campus, and I'm lucky to work with someone who understands the library and is always looking for the right angle (you are awesome, Whitney!). We've worked together on a series of press releases. These are featured on the main campus website and are also available via RSS feed or email. As I was rearranging some of these last week in my publicity binder, I thought it might be helpful to share a few to give you an idea of different ways to promote your commons space:
Help Desk hours expanded. This one just went out yesterday. We now have a librarian at the desk from 5-10 pm on Sundays and have also expanded our chat hours (until 10 pm Sun-Thu). Also I felt this served as a good reminder about some of the things we do at the Hub.

Head of Hub honored. OK, this one is more about me, but we mentioned the Hub several times, as well as The Uncommon Commons. Once again, the Hub is out there.

Celebrate Archives Week. This is one of many releases we've done for a video windows exhibit. This press release triggered yet another student newspaper article about the "Mustaches" part of the exhibit.

Hub's appeal continues to grow. This one announced the Hub video and provided some updates on new services and furniture. It also, once again, reinforced who we are.

What's all the Hubbub about? This is one of many, many ways I advertised the Hubbub party.

Diversity on display. Another press release on a video windows exhibit. After this release, we were featured in the staff newspaper, in the student newspaper, and even in a short spot on a local station.
I have many more in the binder, but perhaps this sampling will give you some ideas. Feel free to take a page from my book and write a press release about it!

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