Growing old is mandatory growing up is optional Sidecar poster

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Growing old is mandatory growing up is optional Sidecar poster

Part of the problem was that our marketing deadlines were confusing, as there was one for our printed newsletter (which came out every 2 months), another for our monthly enewsletter, and yet another for posters, fliers, and other printed material. That led to publicity requests being made piecemeal, with some details submitted on paper, some in conversation, and others in email. Back then, it wasn’t difficult to keep track of things, even with somewhat sketchy information, because the number of programs Mead offered was a fraction of what it is today. But as we rapidly worked to increase our offerings, our old system didn’t cut it.

We began overhauling our program-planning process by instituting a quarterly program calendar, in which all events would be planned on a quarterly basis for fall, winter, spring, and summer, and publicity requests were due 6 weeks before the start of a given quarter. We then moved our publicity-request form online by creating a custom survey in Google Forms, which is an easy-to-use survey tool that’s part of the Google Drive office suite, along with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more. Mead’s IT department had already set up all staffers with Google accounts to make this sort of sharing possible.

Benefits Get Everyone On Board

Initially, the biggest challenge with these changes came from getting staff members to plan programs much further in advance. This required everyone to think in a new way, to get better organized, and to unlearn some habits they had picked up over many years.

To get everyone on board, we unveiled this new, mandatory process in person during meetings with our public services staffers—with the full support of our library director and management team. Early on, we made sure to provide regular reminders on the new process and deadlines to help guide people, and we worked individually with anyone who needed assistance with Google Forms.

A major change like this needs ambassadors to help sell it, and we accomplished this by communicating the benefits to staff members: This new process would save them time on paperwork and would lead to better attendance, better programs, and a better library.

As time went on, it became hard to argue with the results, because we ended up with more timely, well-thought-out, and well-executed promotion that resulted in better attendance. Very quickly, the heavy lifting involved with doubling the number of programs we offered was validated by seeing full classes and waiting lists for many of our offerings.

 

 

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