CILIP PPRG Conference & Marketing Excellence Awards

Last week I attended the CILIP PPRG Conference in Cumbria – that’s the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals – Publicity & Public Relations Group – I’m sure you’ll agree the acronym is so much easier!

The conference takes place each year in the Lake District. Which may seem like a mighty long hike from Devon but it seems to attract people back, year on year and from all parts of the country. This year the venue was The Low Wood Hotel near Lake Windermere – and the conference fully booked.

The conference is residential over 2 nights – however as a member of the committee, as is the tradition, we arrive a day early in order to meet and sort out final arrangements for the conference. It never ceases to amaze me how we manage to pull this off – as we only meet as a group 3 times a year. The answer I guess is through team work and shear determination!

The hotel was fabulous, the facilities excellent and the staff extremely helpful. In fact we were so impressed that we have provisionally booked for next year.

I felt the conference went really well this time. The ‘theme’ was Branding, and the title of the conference – Libraries a brand to be reckoned with. Speakers included a graphic designer, experts in human-centred design and branding (of course!), and library services who had implemented successful re-brands. Hopefully everyone gleaned some gem of wisdom to take back to their organisations. We also had a lively debate about the name Libraries as a brand and whether there was any merit in using something new like, Ideas Store, Learning Resource Centre or (and I shudder here) Community Hub.

On the Friday evening, this year’s Marketing Excellence Awards were announced and presented to the winners by Bruce Madge, Immediate Past President of CILIP.

Publicity and marketing is often very undervalued in our organisations – so this conference is an excellent opportunity for people to network and share ideas on promoting services, even on very tight budgets. It was also great to see the winning entries and nick a few new ideas!

If you want to find out more about the PPRG – or find out a little more about what went on at our conference – please visit or search for pprg09 on Flickr and Twitter.


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