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BC Library Conference 2020

F21 - Building an effective strategic communications strategy for library initiatives.

Friday, April 17, 2020 at 2:45 PM–3:30 PM EDT
Meeting Room #3
Session Description

In 2019, UBC Librarians and UBC Library Communications collaborated to promote the new campus Seed Lending Library. The initiative, that was launched in 2017 by UBC librarians Wendy Traas and Helen Brown, saw a 240% increase in borrowing year-over-year and a huge increase in seed donations after the 2018 seed saving season. Content shared around the success of the Seed Lending Library was one of the Library’s best performing pieces of content in Q3 of 2019. In this session, we’ll share how we utilized strategic communications and marketing best practices to effectively position the Seed Lending Library and to later bring the story of its success to the larger campus community.

We’ll delve into how the successful promotional campaign was underpinned by
• Data-driven decisions
• Strategic timing
• Leveraging relationships with key community partners and faculties
• Mapping results directly to institutional goals and strategic directions
• A media-trained spokesperson or key voice

and demonstrate how utilizing these fundamentals can help boost awareness and engagement with programs in any community.


Michelle Blackwell, UBC Library

Michelle Blackwell leads and supports branch-level communication and marketing projects for UBC Library. She works with subject matter experts to develop media releases, communications campaigns and editorial strategies to promote the value of the Library and to tell the stories of its collections, services and people.

Wendy Traas, UBC Education Library

Wendy Traas supports teacher education students, graduate students, and faculty at the UBC Faculty of Education and is one of the co-founders of the UBC Seed Lending Library, now in its third year of operation. She is interested in the potential for non-traditional library collections to support community engagement and inquiry-based teaching and learning.