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ArtWalk Exhibition Openings & One Book Programming

Hartford Public Library

Innovation Leader: Mary Crean, chief development officer, mcrean@hplct.org

Problem Statement

Hartford Public Library did not have a unified electronic vehicle to communicate messaging/branding and to promote events beyond its more static website, nor did the Library focus efforts to collect the email addresses of people who attended events, including the ArtWalk exhibition openings and the One Book programming. Thus, the Library was missing out on opportunities to build its audiences and to communicate more frequently, efficiently and effectively with its growing, diverse and expansive constituencies.

Additionally and historically, the Library’s programmers generally managed the advertising and marketing of their own programs, thereby diluting the Library’s brand inadvertently.

Innovation

The Library created an email marketing database in partnership with a vendor, Constant Contact. The Library began to collect email addresses in various ways, including, but not limited to, adding an email sign up icon to its homepage, print material encourages e-mail sign-up, and at major events the Library uses volunteers to register guests and to obtain e-mail addresses for the database.

Email communications are sent our 4 – 6 times leading up to promoting an event and, in some cases, after an event to report results and or to showcase photos from the event.

Progress

A greater number of people are learning more about the Library and its interesting activities; thereby raising its profile. From November 2009 to March 2010, the Library has collected 2,799 new e-mail addresses with 646 coming directly coming from the ArtWalk and 249 from One Book. Guests are mentioning hearing about the events through the Library’s attractive email newsletter.

A directed effort is underway to capture and unify all the Library’s e-mail lists into one database for marketing and messaging, while utilizing audience segmentation to build more personal relationships and achieve greater success in program participation, volunteerism and giving.