Initiatives Principle 5

Initiatives Principle 5: A good digital initiative has a marketing strategy and broadly disseminates information about its progress and outcomes.

A good digital initiative, whether a short-term project or an ongoing program, will document and actively communicate its processes, progress, and outcomes to its stakeholder communities.  This is called marketing when aimed at the community of potential users and dissemination when aimed at other information professionals.

A good digital initiative communicates its activities and broadcasts the availability of its deliverables as widely as possible. If the initiative produces any models, tools, or prototypes, they should be made available to the public to encourage adoption.  If the initiative has local, regional, or national impact, that impact should be reported through publications, presentations, media, and other channels. "Trade" meetings of library, archive and/or museum professionals can be excellent venues for disseminating information about content, technologies and lessons learned. The Institute of Museum and Library Services' annual WebWise conferences, for example, are designed to showcase digital collections and projects funded by the IMLS.

Good collection description and good interoperability features like support for the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting can help users find collections, but good marketing and communications are essential. Marketing should not be an add-on, but an essential part of building good digital collections, and funds for anticipated marketing expenses should be included in project and program budgets.

Modern marketing techniques aim to promote collections where the users are, on Facebook, YouTube, and other social networking sites as well as Google and Wikipedia. The New Jersey Digital Highway created a collection-level description entry in Wikipedia to promote their collections ( The University of Washington Libraries have gone a step further by creating links to their digital collections in individual Wikipedia articles:

Other resources on publicity and promotion:

The primary goal of any project or program should be to accomplish its stated objectives within the time and budget allowed. However, the knowledge gained in the process should not be lost to other organizations. Most funding agencies require interim and final reports at the end of the project period, but internally funded programs should also issue reports at least annually.

Web-accessible reports should provide a detailed description and honest assessment of work accomplished, and should always include a section on “lessons learned.”

Some examples of useful, comprehensive project reports:


Comment: Updated link for "Managing Electronic Collections" by karen.wetzel on 09/03/2008
The following updated link was added:

This updates: Colorado�s Historic Newspaper Collection: Final Report (2005)
Last updated: 09/03/2008