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Olsn advocacy

  1. 1. Influencing Skills for Librarians Stephen Abram, MLS OLS North Conference Sept. 24, 2014
  2. 2. These Slides are Available • Stephen’s Lighthouse.com • Slideshare.net • At the conference site • In French and English • Feel free to download, read, and re-use.
  3. 3. What is FOPL? • Simply put: Ontario’s Public Libraries. • Now more than ever before, we play a critical role in the social, educational, cultural and economic success of the communities in our province. Public Libraries are an essential investment in the future of our communities and are essential drivers of success in school preparedness, reading readiness, economic and employment success, and social equity. As the development of the knowledge economy progresses, public libraries are a vital link for every resident and every community to ensure success of all Ontarians, regardless of location or background. 3
  4. 4. FOPL Talking Points The Public Library value proposition is strong and includes (but isn’t limited to): – Excellent Return on Investment – Strong Economic Development – Great Employment Support – Welcoming New Canadians – Provable Early Literacy Development – Ongoing Support for Formal Education and Homework Help – Serve the whole community equitably – Affordable access to community resources – Access to Government Services and e-government – Questions Deserve Quality Answers – Support Cultural Vitality – Recognized and Valued Leisure Activities for majority of Ontarians 4
  5. 5. Specifics • Homework positioning • Seniors positioning • Economic Positioning • Early Years Positioning • eGovernment • Digital Divide and Access Divide • Infrastructure capacity • + + +
  6. 6. What’s the ‘Problem”? • We have a very COMPLEX (not complicated) value proposition • We have great competencies BUT we need to up our game on influence, advocacy, and focus. 6
  7. 7. 7 Public Libraries Transform Communities • 98.8% of Ontarians have access to public library service. • 427 municipalities offer public library service through 1,085 service outlets. • 5.0 million Ontario residents have active library cards. • Ontarians borrow 128.0 million items a year. • Ontario’s public libraries provide access to 10,474 public computer workstations, and hundreds of online resources. • Ontario’s public libraries offer 152,552 programs with annual attendance of 3,011,116 people. Source: 2009 Ontario Public Library Statistics, Ontario Ministry of Culture.
  8. 8. IDEAS are the Currency of Influence
  9. 9. Influence out of context is just a party conversation. START WITH THE “WHY?”
  10. 10. The Essential Definitions
  11. 11. Advocacy is Different • Public Relations is getting your library’s message across – This is who we are and what we do, where and for whom. • Marketing is understanding your customer and how to best deliver services and products • Advocacy is marketing an ISSUE. Support and awareness are built incrementally. Advocacy is an agenda and not an event!
  12. 12. Propaganda bad, Spin good.
  13. 13. Ask Yourself . . . How do libraries differ as an issue? Are libraries different than other community or tax funded services? Are librarians different than libraries? View from the listener’s point of view and experience?
  14. 14. Selling Ideas You are engaging in an INFLUENCE agenda. Selling is not a dirty word! Politics is not a dirty word!
  15. 15. Selling Yourself You are engaging in a long term relationship! Invest your personality Position Yourself and not merely your library’s resources and spaces. . .
  17. 17. Managing Your Brand Equity • Your social presence in person – Dress – Voice – Office – Handshake – Active listening – Conversation pieces – The Introvert Advantage
  18. 18. Managing Your Brand Equity • Your digital social presence – LinkedIn – Facebook – Twitter – Website – e-mail signature – Digital photo(s) – Google search – Publications – SEO SMO GEO
  19. 19. To whom must you advocate? • Your board of directors… • Your community - Users, non-users, clients, customers… • Politicians and councils • Users, clients, customers… • Vendors… • Who else?
  20. 20. Your Network
  21. 21. Essentials for Advocacy • Someone who cares • Courage • Trustworthiness • Passion • Belief • Proofs • Stories and Knowledge • Respect for whom you need to influence • Understanding beyond caricature (e.g. Politicians, the “Boss”, Teens, Seniors, The “Public”, Vendors...)
  22. 22. Definitions "Advocacy is planned, deliberate, sustained effort to develop understanding and support incrementally over time." - Dr. Ken Haycock
  23. 23. When is Advocacy Needed? Before you need it!!
  24. 24. AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action ‘
  25. 25. Issues and Timing
  26. 26. Why is Advocacy Needed? • Is our environment changing? Then you need to advocate and re-position. • Are consumer or community expectations changing? • Survive or Thrive? Choose words carefully since they frame understanding . . . • To avoid downsizing of locations, budgets, staff, collections that hurt end-user success, opportunities and goals • To address shallow thinking about the web, access, electronic resources like e-books, or the role of community libraries • To speak up for the silent majority of library users • To position libraries in the minds of funders and decision-makers • To prepare for future success and to build a well of support and goodwill • To inoculate against political trends and competition for resources and capital within communities (police, fire, parks, etc.)
  27. 27. Advocacy Activities Must Be PLANNED!
  28. 28. Crafting messages Am I an introvert or extrovert or somewhere in between? Who is the general audience? Who is interested? What interests them? What should I do to pique their interest? Will they agree with what I have to say? And will they commit or just nod? If not (which will likely be the case!) what counter-arguments should I be prepared to answer?
  29. 29. Key Tactical Tips • Mirror body image and stance • Introduce others • Lead the conversation • Engage and Disengage • Share your ideas • People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. • Follow through
  30. 30. Logic and values Bias: Impact, Quality, Speed, Time-savings, Authority, Comprehensiveness, strategic alignment with community needs,... the Truth?! Why do you think there’s a problem at all? Is it conceptual or pragmatic? What are the costs? Is their perception of the ‘issue’ the same as your’s? Competition? What kind of solution do you propose? Does it ask me to do something or to understand something? Does it match the problem exactly? Is it a relatively better way, compatible with my methods, less complex, trialable, and observable?
  31. 31. Plan within a plan • Identify your goal and message • Establish relationships with key decision makers • Work with key stakeholders, find new friends • Link with groups that may influence decisions • Stay up-to-date with research • Keep plans ongoing
  32. 32. Lobbying Grassroots Partnering
  33. 33. Robert Cialdini's Six Tactics • Authority • Consistency and commitment • Liking • Reciprocity • Scarcity • Social proof
  34. 34. Homework 1. Identify two to three stakeholders in your local setting. 2. Learn two things about those stakeholders that can help you make meaningful contact with each. Questions?
  35. 35. Seeking and Getting Attention Hints
  36. 36. The Value of Conversations source: http://www.distilled.co.uk/blog/wp-content/ uploads/2009/05/conversation.jpg
  37. 37. Beyond Elevator Speeches
  38. 38. The Elevator Speech
  39. 39. Timmies’ Coffee http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_ioCJ2kqZyyU/TWY39FR9okI/AAAAAAAAFT4/HkdkuHriXFY/s1400/020611-Tim-Hortons-001a.jpg
  40. 40. The Quick Break: Hot Dogs or Deli
  41. 41. Lunch
  42. 42. Social – Out(standing) in the Field
  43. 43. Can You Stand Out in a Crowd?
  44. 44. Metrics • Traditional versus New Statistics / Altmetrics • Statistics versus Measurements • Visualizations • Impact Studies using sampling • Geo-IP data • Massive increases in virtual usage • Social Media • Satisfaction surveys
  45. 45. Learn to tell a story for influence and not just Information and entertainment
  46. 46. VIP • Value • Impact / Influence • Positioning 50
  47. 47. Elections (Oct. 25th!): We can . . . 1. Inform our communities about the vital role of libraries in the overall community priorities context. 2. Talk to and engage community groups that value the public library. 3. Engage and Educate politically active citizens in their roles as trustees, incumbents, candidates, and political activists. 51
  48. 48. Short list of Election Ideas • All-candidate meetings in libraries • Voter registration tables in library branches • Poll stations in library branches on Election Day • Social media information strategies about the economic, social, learning and cultural impact of libraries • Educational activities about the proven impact of public libraries • Offer columns and articles to print media on major issues - print media shines during an election. Be strategic. • Offer programs on understanding the local election process for teens, young adults, new Canadians, etc. Invite seasoned politicians and candidates to present. • Up your TOUR game for community, candidates, counsellors and add photo-ops. • Do a census of your employees. Do you know whom they know? • Create events to get your message out there. Have volunteer thank you events • Make everything viral. Use tools like social media, infographics, annual reports, and online videos to position the library's goodness and impact well and memorably. • Strategically determine the timing of your educational activities value of your library • Review your distribution lists to assess what you can use them for promotion 52
  49. 49. Qualities of Effectiveness 53 • LISTEN first • Be visible • Be likable • Be FOR something . . . not just against a policy or position. • Be memorable • Thank supporters for the past support - well and often • Follow up with a thank you note • And don't complain, whine, attack, or be memorably negative.
  50. 50. The Players 54 • Library board members (trustees) • The CEO • Library management team • Library staff • The union leadership • Community partners • Other municipal departments (that may be partners or competitors for public or funding attention) • Cardholders • The community (groups, associations, individuals, donors) • Your associations (FOPL, OLA, OLBA, OPLA, AMPLO, ARUPLO, CELUPL, CULC) and suppliers (SOLS, OLS-N, vendors) who have a shared interest in your success.
  51. 51. Tips • Be short and to the point • Avoid library jargon • Be visual (pictures and charts) • Avoid raw statistics and instead show measurements and impact • Make your point about impact memorable. • Train everyone connected to your talking points so that they can follow up and not just parrot. 55
  52. 52. The Impact Factor Checklist • Brief • Succinct • Complete • Intelligible • Shock Value/Surprise • Upbeat • Illustrative • Appropriate • Personable • Memorable • Inspirational • Actionable 56
  53. 53. Test Your Story(ies) using these ?’s • Is it short and sweet? Can listeners quickly get the message and repeat it to others later • Is there just enough detail to get the point across or does it wander? • Does if answer the basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? • Will your audience appreciate the situation you are describing? Does this tale resonate? • Is the situation unusual in any way? Can the ending be predicted? Where’s the “punch line”? Are they likely to retell it? • Does the story have a happy ending? Finish on a high note. • Does this story implicitly illustrate an impact the library made and the outcome you want? • Does this story fit with your main business? • Will the audience identify with or care about your story’s hero? • Will the listener be able to remember this story? Can it be easily retold? • Does the story have the potential to cause listeners to think about what it means to them? • Does the story have the potential to spring the listener to a new level of understanding and action? 57
  54. 54. Implementation: Talking Point Tools • Tools – Presentations – Handouts – Annual Reports – Video (YouTube) – Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.) – Press releases – Print Media – Events 58
  55. 55. Strategies – P’s and C’s and more • Who? • What? • Where? • When? • Why? • How? • (News) • Product • Place • Positioning • Promotion • People • Price • Public Relations • (Kotler) 59  Plan  Ploy  Pattern  Priorities  Position  Perspective  (Mintzberg)  Concept  Common Interest  Community  Context  Creativity  Content  Climate  Collaborators  Counsellors  Competitors  Citizens Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
  56. 56. Testimonials and Word-of-Mouth
  57. 57. Find Target, Aim, Shoot, Check-in
  58. 58. Be The Sun
  59. 59. Stand Out in a Crowd
  60. 60. Ask for It!
  61. 61. Drive them to what they want
  62. 62. Speak Up!
  63. 63. Money is not the key.
  64. 64. TIME IS THE KEY
  65. 65. Thank Heaven You Have the Library!
  66. 66. The Virtual Handout (English Content) • Value of Libraries Megapost http://stephenslighthouse.com/2013/08/29/value-of-libraries-megapost/ • The Value of Public Libraries http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/04/06/the-value-of-public-libraries/ • The Value of School Libraries http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/04/06/the-value-of-school-libraries/ • The Value of Academic and College Libraries http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/04/07/value-of-academic-and-college- libraries/ • The Value of Special Libraries http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/04/07/value-of-special-libraries/ • Library Advocacy: Save the Library Campaigns http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/04/01/save-the-library-campaigns/ • Springboard Stories http://stephenslighthouse.com/2010/04/07/having-the-value-conversation- springboard-stories/ • Cheryl Stenström's dissertation • http://eprints.qut.edu.au/59510/
  67. 67. Thanks! Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA Federation of Ontario Public Libraries Lighthouse Consulting Cel: 416-669-4855 stephen.abram@gmail.com Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog http://stephenslighthouse.com