Day two of the SCONUL planning meeting focused largely on events, marketing and communications.
The SCONUL conference is a highlight of SCONUL’s activity over the year. All such events have to continually review their structure and content, what their target audience is and what their audience is looking to get out of the event. The SCONUL conference is no exception and a lively debate ensued. However, it was also recognised that it is important not to lose all that is good about the conference by trying to be too radical. Evolutionary change is likely to be the order of the day. Identifying your audience and stakeholders is also important when considering marketing and communications in general and an organisation’s website in particular. SCONUL, like UCISA, needs to demonstrate to its members the benefits it delivers but also needs to ensure that other stakeholders can access the information they need, know who to contact for advice and can pick up the key issues the association is tackling.
The meeting concluded by focusing on three main themes: learning and teaching; marketing and communications; and strategic alliances. The three are interlinked. Under the learning and teaching strand, the need to demonstrate the impact of libraries on the student experience was highlighted the previous day. Assuming that a model to measure the impact can be identified there will be a need to communicate the findings of any study to a variety of stakeholder groups and to Universities UK in particular. Promoting the value of a service will help service heads argue for a commensurate level of funding in any super converged service. Clearly identifying those organisations with which you want to build alliances with will help shape the marketing and communications strategy. Specific items such as learning and teaching will help tease out particular stakeholders and it is likely that different approaches will be required for different stakeholders. The three discussion groups on these themes produced a raft of recommendations and suggestions – the Executive Board will need to decide what their priorities are to bring benefit to SCONUL and its members.