Public Relations

Relating to the Public

Public relations is much more than the flash, pizzazz and hoopla typically associated with PR. Publicity and advertising are not sufficient alone to cultivate good relations between the public and the library. Public relations is the person-to-person effort to put libraries into the lives of the people.

Good service to the public is the foundation for good PR. It is everybody's job! The trustees, director, staff, even the buildings and resources affect the public image of the library.

Trustees play a crucial role in public relations, as ambassadors of goodwill. Their involvement helps sustain the organization's credibility in the public eye. As the official representatives of the community, trustees are vital to the PR program of the library. Trustees have a group responsibility and an individual role in relating to the public.

Board Responsibility

  • Establish public relations policy
  • Develop a positive PR plan and schedule for the library
  • Recognize PR as a total and continuous function of the library
  • Assign members to participation in PR events
  • Support staff training and involvement in PR program
  • Evaluate the PR program and public service
  • Allocate funds for PR activities and/or volunteer specialists to offer help

Individual Trustees

  • Be vocal and visible
  • Be well-informed, use the library, and spread the word
  • Listen to the community
  • Attend meetings of community organizations to speak and gain information
  • Convey the progress, plans, and policies of the library to individuals and groups
  • Ask the opinion-makers known by trustees if they will be library supporters
  • Spot gaps in the library's information program and make suggestions
  • Work closely with municipal and other officials
  • Tell people what trustees do, who they are, when they meet, and how they can be reached
  • Sell the philosophy and merits of quality library service
  • Learn about other libraries and services statewide and nationally
  • Support Friends of the Library and recruit members