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Show, Don't Tell

Laura McPhail

Marketing Libraries Journal, volume 1, issue 1, pages 8-16.
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Abstract: This article presents a practical case study that addresses the challenge of awareness-raising for public library foundations. It analyzes awareness of the of the Huntsville Library Foundation using Grunig’s situational theory of publics to segment the foundation’s targeted audiences. It also describes an effort to determine the medium with the most effective reach as well as the logistical process of creating a persuasive video for converting the foundation’s latent and aware publics into active library donors. Tactics used in the course of this process included leveraging an e-newsletter already in use by the library, a simple poll, a six-and- a-half- minute video, websites, social media, and in-person viewing. A supplemental e-mail campaign used segments of the video for an end-of- year appeal for donations. While full evaluation of the video’s impact was still under way at the time of publication, an early measure of its value merited an award at the American Library Association's PR XChange. A summary of evaluation efforts to date is included.

Keywords: public, library, situational theory, video, persuasion


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Citation to article:

McPhail, L. (2017).  Show, Don't Tell.  Marketing Libraries Journal, 1(1), 8-16. Retrieved from


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ISSN: 2475-8116