On a + note

What do you really do, Kitty? #15: 2012

Posted in on a + note by Admin on May 21, 2012

What is the primary job of the CEO? Rather, as someone put it to me several weeks ago, “Kitty, exactly what do you do all day?”

I estimate that:

► 40% of my time is dedicated to planning and supervising the daily operations and management of the library.

► 35% of my time is board-related work, e.g. drafting policies, writing reports, strategic long range planning, budget development, etc.

► 25% of my time is spent promoting GPL.

What surprised the person asking the question most was the last estimation. “Promoting the library, really Kitty?” Yep! Who knew when I want to library school (when dinosaurs still roamed the earth!) that a significant part of my day would be spent talking (well, maybe that wasn’t so much of a surprise), writing, and using social media to promote the library and telling our story.

Social media exists, because it fulfills the human need for interaction. It’s all about making new friends. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular, because they attract new customers and connect to existing ones in a two-way dialogue that is beneficial to both the receiver and the sender. People using social media are interested in meeting people; the product is only secondary.  Successful social networking sites understand this dynamic and tap into the customers’ need to connect. In promoting the library in 2012, we need to understand this basic social media dynamic and learn how it can benefit the library and the customer.

For library CEOs to be successful in the digital world, they must:

► Be a good, if not great, salesperson, able to promote the library at any and every opportunity, face-to-face and on social networks.

► Understand that the more you tell the library story, the better you become at it. This is a classic case of practice makes perfect.

► Really know our product, how and when it’s used, and how much it really costs.

► Have all channels open and engaged. CEOs need to be able to send and receive messages on all of the communication channels out there.

Some may see this as cheerleading or prostitution. I prefer to think of selling the library as a fundamental part of the CEO’s job. The explosion of social media has made the responsibility all the more challenging, all the more effective, and all the more fun!

Have a great week.

Kitty Pope                                                                                               #15 May 2012 kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

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