Cool Book about How to Network

TwentyoneDays_book-promoHere’s a heads-up about a cool and useful book on how to improve your networking skills. The book is 21 Days to Success Through Networking: The Life and Times of Gnik Rowten (Amazon affiliate link), published by Information Today (yep, that’s my publisher).

They gave me an advance copy, and I LOVED it. Why? Well, for two reasons:

  1. The authors present some really useful info on how to network, build and strengthen business relationships. Who couldn’t use that?
  2. The way the information is presented – as in, a story that presents all the relevant information in a fun, highly readable, way.

So – fun read, and I learned something, too!

Here’s a little more about the book, from the publisher:

21 Days to Success Through Networking: The Life and Times of Gnik Rowten presents a range of real-world situations, events, insights, and challenges through the eyes of a fictional character with whom almost anyone can relate. Gnik Rowten (that’s “networking” spelled backward) has made a fresh start in a new city where he has few, if any, friends, prospects, or business contacts.

Follow Gnik’s life over a 3-week period as, each day, he discovers and learns tools, techniques, and strategies for effective business networking. Through sharing his adventures and “Aha!” moments, you’ll learn to extend, deepen, and effectively utilize your own personal and business networks in just 21 days.

Here’s the Amazon link to buy the book (Amazon affiliate link). If you want to help out the authors, buy it today! Why? They have an interesting goal of being Amazon best sellers … today. So – help em out!

Communicating with Our Customers

new catalog signageDuring my library’s ILS (library catalog) migration project, we wanted to make sure our customers knew about it. It’s not usually a good thing to have your customers show up the day after we go live, thinking “what in the world happened here?”

Communicating with 170,000 people is no easy task! Here’s what we did:

Signs in the building: We had signs everywhere in the building (check out my Flickr set to see some of our signs), including:

  • huge banner in our entryway
  • images pointing out the new catalog was coming on our digital signs
  • small stand-up signs on tables and at the service desks
  • signs on all the catalog-only computers
  • a HUGE sign at the circulation desk

digital branch signageSigns on our digital branch: if you visited our website in the past month, you knew about our ILS migration! We used one of our big ads on the main page of our website to point to an article and video about the change. People actually read the article (judging by our Google Analytics numbers) and we received 38 comments on the article (some from me, answering questions).

We actually used that article and the big front-page ad as a countdown of sorts, too. Every day, we updated the ad (i.e., 3,2,1, it’s here! type stuff) and updated the article with a “tip of the day” for the new catalog.

Social Media: We shared about the project widely via social media. For us, that meant pointing to the article and answering questions about the project using Twitter and Facebook. We also made a video about the project, and dumped it into Youtube and on our website.

Traditional Media: we have a good relationship with local media, so we were able to tell customers about the new library catalog via a local TV station (they do a “Library Tuesdays” segment during their 4pm news show) and through an article in our local newspaper.

And now, the big question – did all that communication work? I think so. While I’m sure there are people showing up at the library or at our website, thinking “what the heck? Why does this look different all of the sudden?” I also know that customers knew about our project. Why? Because they told us. I had more than one person come up to me, find out I worked at the library, and said “how’s that new library catalog project coming along? We love the library!” Other staff told me they had a similar experience.

That says to me that our customers, for the most part, got the message. So – mischief managed!

Have you ever had to communicate with a large group of customers about a project? Did you do something I didn’t list? Let me know in the comments!