More empathy for the busy dealers and dancers

Last we left off, we were chasing a busy boy through the marketplace while lamenting how busy we all are. If we’re so busy, then surely our audiences are too. We need to be sensitive to that and tailor our VIM (very important message) and how we get it to them accordingly.

(First post is here.)

Okay. About our audiences. Let’s pick two for the academic library for the sake of our conversation: The Dealers (as in top administration, or the ones who hand out chips at the end of a winning hand) and The Dancers (as in students, who are moving about quickly in their own style).

1. Where are you?

Dealers: I am in my office or in meetings or schmoozing with people who may contribute to the university.

Dancers: I am in my dorm or apartment or class or bar or friend’s house or soccer field or gym or home or library …

2. What are you doing?

Dealers: I am making deals, obvs. These deals will advance the university. My success will be measured by the funds we bring in and the status we achieve (as measured by assessment – please see David Beales).

Dancers: I am in class or sleeping or studying or partying or working out or texting or going home or rushing or …

3. What do you want?

Dealers: I want our university and its students to be successful. Also, I want to be a part of (acknowledged for) that success.

Dancers: I want to graduate and get a job and have a good time and make money and maybe meet the love of my life and …

Already we can see how different these audiences are, yet both are very important to the library. How do we reach them knowing this about their lives?

Stay with me: Recently I had an appointment with a new health practitioner. One of the questions on the paperwork was about how I prefer to be reminded about my appointment times. Do I want a call, text or email? I appreciated this question because it acknowledged that different patients want different things. So —

Next up, we’ll offer a process for identifying audiences for your library and how they get their information. David brought the idea to our library, where we workshopped it recently. Fun and effective!

Photo thanks to Kraemer Family Library on Flickr via the Idealist Blog.


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