There are more than 3,000 publications and other resources on the Virginia Cooperative Extension publications website. In 2013 the site received nearly 3.3 million page views —an average of 272,000 per month! Sounds pretty impressive, right? But how can you ensure that your publication is actually being seen?
Let people know about it
When a publication is posted online, it will be listed in the “recent publications and resources” list that appears on the Virginia Cooperative Extension homepage and publications page, but its presence there is short-lived. On a typical day, up to 20 different publications get posted to the site. The more publications that are posted, the less time your publication will remain on this list. In some cases, a publication may only show up on this list for a few hours. Once it moves off the list, the only way someone will know the publication exists is if they search for the publication’s topic or they already know it is there.
You have spent a considerable amount of time and effort creating your publication, so take a few minutes to make sure it gets into the hands of those who can use it.
Here are a few simple things you can do to help your clients and other Extension professionals find your publication:
- Send a note to your colleagues via your listserv. Let them know the publication has been posted.
– Provide a link to the publication page with a brief description of the publication.
– Tell them why it is beneficial to them and their clients.
- Share a link on your social media sites. Each publication is tweeted at http://twitter.com/VAExtensionPubs.
– Retweet this link to your followers.
– Add a post to your Facebook page or pin your page on Pinterest.
– Share the link to related social media sites. For example, if your publication is about nutrition, share the link on other food and nutrition social media sites.
- Submit an article or column to your local newspaper. Repurpose your publication into an article.
– Pitch it to local media outlets or trade publications.
– Contact Lori Greiner, VCE communications manager, for possible inclusion on the VCE website or in other publications.
- Notify related organizations and agencies of your new resource.
– Ask these organizations to share your publication with their clients and members.
– Provide a related article with a link to your publication that they can use in their newsletters or publications.
- Add a link to your Extension website topic page and your personal website.
– Notify the staff in Communications and Marketing that you have a new resource and where you would like to promote it. For example, they can create a link to your publication on another Extension website.
How can you tell if your publication is being seen?
Staff members in the Office of Communications and Marketing can check the Web page analytics for your publication. They can provide statistics on the number of page views and PDF downloads. While you can’t determine who actually reads your publication, page views and downloads are good indications of readers’ interest in your publication.
More information about the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s publication process can be found online and you can also contact Lori Greiner if you have additional questions.