“It has worked for us in the past with other things, and so many celebrities love libraries and love reading,” said Montefinise.Have a meeting of the minds In a brainstorm meeting with the library’s PR and marketing teams, Montefinise said they began looking at people who had worked with the library in the past and then moved out to spitball people who would catch the attention of the NYPL’s audience.

Celebrated every September, National Library Card Sign-up Month marks an opportunity for the New York Public Library to bring in scores of new library users.

“It is organized by the American Library Association and it is really designed to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply as they head back to school,” said Johannes Neuer, Associate Director of Marketing, New York Public Library.

However, without the available marketing budget to promote it, Angela Montefinise, Director of PR and Marketing, New York Public Library, said it wasn’t “the easiest thing to get out there.” She said it was very important for the library to “get the word out for people to sign up for library cards and open a whole new world of information and free programs.” The solution to take part in this nationwide effort was to generate a creative social media marketing campaign.

Using its flagship channels of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest, the library could reach its social media network of more than 550,000 fans and followers.

Find the right social media hook Joseph Roux said, “A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.” Proving the wit of the NYPL, quotes have become a social media jewel that was instrumental in the success of growing library cardholders.

In the last few years, Neuer said the library has been analyzing its social media engagement in a monthly marketing dashboard.The marketing team noticed a recurring theme: “If there’s one thing that always gets attention, it is quotes from celebrities.” “We do a good job on social media and in the branches, and to try to get people to do this, we did want to go a little bit further this year with the social media campaign to reach maybe new audiences that aren’t in the building,” he said.Since so many writers and celebrities had previously spoken out in interviews about their support of libraries and the role libraries had in their own childhood, Montefinise said it seemed like a perfect way to get the message out.“We cast our nets very widely on this one, and we were continuously surprised,” she said, saying the team attempted to contact “pipe dream names like Woody Allen” who actually contributed quotes about the importance of libraries.She added, “It was a fun couple of weeks in PR as people kept running around and saying, ‘Guess who just got back to me!’” According to Montefinise, while the team did research on people who had been outspoken supporters of the library, most of the material they used was unique to this campaign, such as the quote from Woody Allen.