Marginalia

Mid-Year Goal Audit

How is it already July?

Okay, I’m going to halt the direction I was initially heading and take my own advice. Instead of adopting a “glass half empty” attitude, I’m going to say to myself, “I still have 6 months to accomplish my 2018 goals.”

What’s on your list of goals for the year that you want to tackle? The beginning of the fiscal year, for some, is a good time to look at financial goals, but this mid-year check-in could also audit marketing goals, reading goals, goals for your own personal health, and so much more.

Mid-year is a great time to schedule employee performance reviews, especially if you ask for a list of goals at the beginning of the year.

And this is a great time to reach out to customers through the store newsletter or social media to check on their reading goals. Ask for feedback on any challenges in which they might be participating. Offer category suggestions. Ask about a favorite read so far this year. And perhaps offer a look at the books you’re anticipating the most for the second half of the year. If this last idea seems daunting, spread the wealth a bit and solicit ideas from your staff. That way you’ll get a variety of reading preferences to better mesh with customer preferences.

With a goal list check-in, it’s easy to focus on what remains on the list. But it’s also beneficial to look back at everything you have accomplished. How many events did you put on? How many newsletters did you write? How many recommendation cards did you display?

We have six more months of 2018! Promising, isn’t it?

Say As I Do: Rebecca Makkai

Say As I Do: Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers will be hitting shelves today. I recently spoke with Makkai for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast. If you’ve ever wondered how she pronounces her name, here she is:

 

This seems like a good time…

I’m sure you’ve noticed that Books & Whatnot emails have been arriving in your inbox less frequently. I thought I should explain.

About 6 months after I launched Books & Whatnot in 2014, I took a job at my local NPR member station. I was able to send Books & Whatnot daily for a few years, until I couldn’t. What started as the ‘digital content creator’ position has evolved into a ‘director of marketing and digital content’ position, and I also work on 3 podcast teams as either creator, editor, producer or host. Now I’ve been asked to join a podcast team at NPR’s StoryLab workshop for a project on the forthcoming gubernatorial race in my home state of Kansas, a state which, politically, at least, has been known to be its own worst enemy.

This seems like a good time to reformat Books & Whatnot.

We’ll keep posting reviews, 300-second suggestions, display images, and other noteworthy content to the website in a timely manner, but you’ll only receive a weekly round-up in your inbox. Hopefully this new format will be less daunting . . . for both of us!

Thanks for your continued support.

Beth

300 Seconds: In-House Communication

When communicating information about events planned for the store, it’s easy to remember to use Facebook, Twitter, the store website, newsletters, community calendars and news releases to achieve the best reach. But the most important communication is sometimes forgotten: communication to the staff.

Even if you broadcast event information through all of the platforms I’ve mentioned, chances are someone will call the store for more information, or with a specific question or request. If your staff isn’t equipped with the know-how to handle the call, or that the event exists at all, you’ve just made a bad first impression.

But if your staff knows about the event, they can not only answer questions that arise but can also help spread the message and their own excitement through their personal social media accounts.

So if you only have 5 minutes to spend on marketing today, market to your staff and make sure they are aware of your programs and upcoming events. Not only will this help spread your message, it will be amplified.

Year-End Video: And the winners are…

Thanks to all who entered for a chance to win a produced year-end video for your store. The three winning stores are:

If you’re interested in producing your own video to showcase 2018 at your store, remember that the first step is to take photos. Snap more pictures than you think you’ll need. It’s easier to cull through many photos to find the right shot than it is to recreate the moment!