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How to Influence Politicians and Win Elections for Libraries

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How to Influence Politicians and Win Elections for Libraries

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Presentation given at the Nevada Library Association Conference October, 2015 about how to engage the public and organize the community and politicians to ensure political success of libraries through ballot measures and influence over politicians.

For speaking engagements please contact PC Sweeney at https://pcsweeney.com/speaking-at-your-event/

Presentation given at the Nevada Library Association Conference October, 2015 about how to engage the public and organize the community and politicians to ensure political success of libraries through ballot measures and influence over politicians.

For speaking engagements please contact PC Sweeney at https://pcsweeney.com/speaking-at-your-event/

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How to Influence Politicians and Win Elections for Libraries

  1. 1. How to win elections and influence politicians Patrick “PC” Sweeney @pcsweeney www.pcsweeney.com
  2. 2. Libraryland Ecosystem Building voter support for libraries
  3. 3. EveryLibrary’s Successes Building voter support for libraries
  4. 4. Why Talk in Terms of Voters
  5. 5. First the Good News Building voter support for libraries
  6. 6. The Numbers Are Great! Building voter support for libraries
  7. 7. Civic Attitudes ● 94% of Parents say libraries are important for their children. 79% say “very important”. 2 ● 58% of Americans have a library card. 3 ● 62% of card holders have visited the library in the last year at least once.4 2. Pew, May 2013 3 and 4. Harris Interactive | ALA, January 2011 Building voter support for libraries
  8. 8. Voter Attitudes Nationwide, of all voters: 37% will Definitely vote yes for the library 37% will Probably vote yes for the library 26% will Probably or Definitely vote no or may vote either way. Building voter support for libraries
  9. 9. Party Affiliation Doesn’t Matter Building voter support for libraries
  10. 10. Library Card Stats Don’t Matter Building voter support for libraries
  11. 11. Library Use Doesn’t Matter Building voter support for libraries
  12. 12. What Does Matter Building voter support for libraries
  13. 13. What do politicians respond to? Building voter support for libraries
  14. 14. What can we get? Building voter support for libraries
  15. 15. DATA!! Building voter support for libraries
  16. 16. Building voter support for libraries
  17. 17. Good Data Building voter support for libraries
  18. 18. How to get the data
  19. 19. Building your army of ravenous supporters Building voter support for libraries
  20. 20. Surfacing Building voter support for libraries
  21. 21. What will you be messaging Building voter support for libraries
  22. 22. Use that data to build your message What we say about ourselves What they say about themselves What we say about them What they say about us
  23. 23. Building voter support for libraries
  24. 24. Targeting your message Building voter support for libraries
  25. 25. Align your message with users and non-users Building voter support for libraries
  26. 26. Align your message with the goals of the local politicians
  27. 27. Align your message with the goals of the influencers
  28. 28. Give them a place on the field Building voter support for libraries
  29. 29. It’s a numbers game
  30. 30. Facebook Building voter support for libraries
  31. 31. Building voter support for libraries
  32. 32. Face-To-Face Building voter support for libraries
  33. 33. What doesn’t work Building voter support for libraries
  34. 34. What can you start doing now? Building voter support for libraries
  35. 35. After your message is out
  36. 36. BONUS SLIDE
  37. 37. How to win elections and influence politicians Patrick “PC” Sweeney @pcsweeney www.pcsweeney.com

Notas do Editor

  • About me and Everylibrary
  • 98% of library funding comes from the local level and completely dependent on local ballot issues and local politics. Your local voters matter most. When votes are that important, why aren’t we talking about it?!?!
  • Voter perceptions report – From awareness to funding
    Pew report 2008
  • Today is the first day of your library campaign
  • Which can we expect to get? People – how do we get more people on our side?
    This is why I talk about library marketing in terms of community organizing and not in terms of sales. This doesn’t follow a sales cycle this is about continued engagement in libraries – a belief system

    Same reason nobody messes with the police – enough people believe that policeman save lives
  • What data
    Why is data so important?
  • What Data Doesn’t Matter- Not circ stats, not library use, not cardholder rates, none of that matters. What are you going to do with that information anyway?
  • Emotions about the library – Data that tells you what to do and how to do it. feeling about the library is what matters. People vote and respond to emotions. Measure their feelings about the library. Why do they think it’s important? Stop asking people to come to the library, convince them that the library is important for society

    Who is using your library, where do they live, what kinds of people are they,

    Also, ask WHY! Why do people come to the library or not
  • What to do with your data
  • Surveys, polls, hire a professional (talk about verbatim), reviews, yelp, etc…
    You want information about local businesses and politicians too – Make sure they participate

    Politicians- Candidate questionnaire
  • We’re going to start talking about using that data now to gain and grow supporters… But major campaigns….

    Political organizations use platforms like nationbuilder, NGP/VAN, etc… Libraries can use Orangeboy
  • Use your data for the Surfacing phase of a campaign –
    What happens during the surfacing phase- The book analogy - Introducing yourself, gathering information about your supporters and opposition, data collection, setting yourself up as the expert (Rick Perry wearing the glasses/boots), developing your message and you image

    Surfacing is what you are you doing from today until the day your campaign starts. Could be 5 months from now, could be 50 years from now.
    Use messaging to frame the library as a community need
  • Theme – Your message can change, but your theme should always stay the same
    Message creation (not in a vacuum) based on data
    Specific to your community
    Specific to who you’re talking to
  • Libraries are NOT all things to all people
    Messaging doesn’t mean, and won’t work, if you’re talking about getting people to check out more DVDs. It’s about creating an identity with people. How do they view themselves in the context of the library. It doesn’t matter if they actually use the library, it matters if the believe in the library
  • Message box
  • Proactive
    What’s great about the library is that if offers so much more! we offer in-person classes, after school tutoring, and information from the deep and unsearchable web

    Opposition
    You’re right, we have google. And the library has so much more, we offer in-person classes, after school tutoring, and information from the deep and unsearchable web
  • Don’t change what the library does, change the way you talk about it.

    Tea Party Example
    Instead of the library being a social welfare organization for the homeless hungry ill-educated, etc… It can be talked about as an economic development organization for local businesses, a service for improving large corporations, the entrepreneurs, the savior of the American dream and liberty
  • Your data will tell you how to target your message - Who is using your library, where do they live, what kinds of people are they, who isn’t using your library and why?
  • To Library Users:
    “As you know...”
    Personal Value Proposition
    Value for Other
    Activation for the library

    To Non-Users:
    “As you can imagine...”
    Value to/for “the other”
    Satisfaction/Activation
  • What was/is their platform? How does the library help them achieve that?
    Have politicians in for storytimes, create
    Talk about Rivkah getting local politicians involved in the library
  • The wealthy, the powerful, Local businesses etc…
    Tell the oakland/chlorox story
  • Police story times
    Media events that city council can be seen at
    Give them big credit at events and in the media
  • It matters how many times people see your message before they believe it
    How much other noise is there out there? How do you get in with all that clutter?
  • Start collecting email addresses – every program, every opportunity, eventbrite, etc..
    Start paying for FB ads
    Get librarians out of the library
    Customer service training
    Message practice (role playing)
  • It’s an amazing thing when people believe in YOU!! They will fight for you. Give them a position on the field when they are needed.
    People will rally around your cause!
    Ask for grants, funding, etc…
    Ask them to talk to city council for you, write letters, etc…
    Letter writing parties
    Sign petitions

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