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Word of Mouth Marketing: Worcester State University

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Structural details


Educate library users about online help resources






# research help chat service transactions

# online email service transactions 

feedback for online research help services 

Worcester State University
Learning Resource Center
486 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA  01602-2597

Project Description

Team WSU launched an online chat service in Spring 2017 to augment regular desk service and the online question form. It was a soft roll out and, unsurprisingly the usage was low because of a lack of marketing. Staff having acclimated to the new service, Team WSU used their WOMM project to create a marketing plan and promote online reference services.

"The Worcester State University community has access to information, anytime, anywhere." - Team WSU

Communications strategies

Internal training in library meetings 

Signage for reminders to log in to chat 

Bookmarks to promote chat and other online library services 

Better placement of services on the website 

Mentioning online help tools in instruction sessions (especially in First Year Seminar classes) 

Use of social media to inform patrons 

More campus outreach via non-traditional methods (example, mentioning online services with student groups or at WSU events)


And so, how'd it go?

Our usage dramatically increased in the months after our bookmark campaign, but has once again decreased.

And how will you keep the momentum going?

We will need to do some other kind of outreach, and we will consider getting the campus marketing department involved. In our next staff meeting, we will remind fellow library employees to promote the chat service consistently.

And can you talk a little about setbacks, adjustments, or lessons learned?

When working in an environment where the user population changes frequently (such as a college or university) it is important to maintain the high level of outreach that improved usage in the first place.