tips on getting into AL Direct

If you missed the “How Libraries Work With the Media” session at the ALA 2009 Conference, here’s a takeaway that will help you get your story into AL Direct:

Finally, AL Direct Editor George Eberhart explained how libraries can get their news into ALA’s weekly newsletter. “Ask yourself the four E’s,” he advised. “Is your news Essential for a national or regional audience? Can other libraries Extrapolate ideas from what you’ve done? Have you Explained the significance of your event? Did you inject sufficient Excitement into your announcement about your program?”

Eberhart offered tips on writing press releases: “Use the active voice. Don’t say, ‘The library is pleased to announce’ something,” he said. “Even if your library is normally grumpy, the fact that you are now pleased does not constitute news.”

He gave some examples of press releases that work: “Use humor (’Librarian transformed into human popcorn ball’), allusion (’The endless summer reading list’), mild exaggeration (’Discover the truth about twittering’), intrigue (’Oprah sends her regrets’), lists (’27 things to do before conference’), and, if all else fails, use clarity (’Registration opens for online courses’).”

“Let us know what’s going on in your libraries,” Eberhart concluded. “Other librarians will be interested too.”

Great info.