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What does the public know about the FDLP? Not much.

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) has launched a set of videos on the FDLP Desktop, “What Does the Public Know About the FDLP? GPO Takes to the Streets“. Staff members of GPO “took to the streets” of D.C. to ask the public what they know about the FDLP and Government Publications. What do they know? Not much, as evidenced by these videos! These videos can be embedded on your website, so let’s take a look at them here, shall we?

The marketing plan website states that “As evidenced by the Person on the Street videos, promoting the FDLP to the public is essential and necessary”.

I agree. However, is the FDLP Marketing Plan as it stands now, up to the job? Feedback was requested and the results of these findings were published. I think they need to ask for more feedback and publish more results soon, especially for those that did not get to take part in this feedback opportunity before.

One problem I have with the marketing plan is the slogan itself, “Easy as FDL: Free Dedicated Limitless” which I believe means absolutely nothing to the average person, which they proved in these videos! They don’t know what a FDL stands for. They don’t know what a Federal Depository Library is. So why use Easy as FDL as one’s slogan to market itself?

Case in point: A couple of months ago, I left a bunch of the most recent “Easy as FDL” marketing promotional materials on our library brochure table for patrons to take, but I also left a bunch of the older GPO/FDLP promotional materials on the table as well (i.e. the brochures that have images of our nation’s capitol building, stating “Make the Connection for Government Information”, etc). Which ones were completely gone by the end of the week? The older materials. Which were left still sitting on the table? The newer “Easy as FDL” materials. From what I can deduce, patrons grabbed the visuals that had the “government information” phrase on it and the visual of a capitol building or an American flag because those images and phrases “spoke to them” more and they knew exactly what the brochure was about. Hopefully they took the time to read the brochure and learn more about what an FDL is, but I feel the term “government information” grabs their attention a whole lot more!

The marketing plan website also states that “GPO designed The FDLP Marketing Plan to empower Federal depository libraries with the tools they need to market their valuable services to all audiences in the most effective way possible.”

I disagree. I don’t think they designed the marketing plan to empower Federal depository libraries in the most effective way possible and I don’t think we did a very good job of giving them enough feedback. I think that we (“we” meaning librarians, patrons, GPO, FDLP, etc) still need to improve and redesign the marketing plan in a more effective way. What do you think? Let’s give GPO our feedback and ideas! A lot of work was put into this but lets make this a labor of love and really work to improve it even more.

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