HLG Nursing Bulletin Vol 34 (1)
In the first in an occasional series, LfN Committee member Phillip Barlow describes how to use the new features of OpenAthens as an additional way of marketing resources:
Using OpenAthens as a marketing tool
On 6th February 2014, the brand new OpenAthens interface was launched for NHS England, which provided an enhanced user experience for Athens administrators – summaries of usage and account activity are available immediately on logging on, as are alerts of users that have joined and require confirmation, and those that are expiring. Further, the spectre of a user having multiple accounts is reduced thanks to the prevention of users being able to use the same email address with more than one account, combined with being able to move accounts to any administrator in England.
However while all of these features are fine for the day to day Athens issues, there are other features that while ostensibly also for these elements, can also be utilised as a marketing effort for the library and information service, making use of the fact that the administrator has a captive audience for marketing in the form of all the users that have requested an OpenAthens account.
This can take two different forms – advertising specific sessions at specific times, and advertising resources that can be accessed at any time. In the first instance, this can be through the use of an email shot either to all users or, if required, to specific user groups, by downloading the complete user list. This will be into a spreadsheet from which you can copy and paste the users’ email addresses into an email. However, while this is good, it is not a new feature, as it was possible with the old interface to obtain the email addresses of all registered users. The presence of a number of accessible and adjustable email templates on the other hand is a new feature. These cover the creation, approval, activation and expiry of accounts, and can be adapted both with the alteration of text, to make it more specific to your library (and thus, hopefully, not to be ignored as potential spam), but also with the addition of attachments. This feature can then be used to advertise any specific resources that have been locally purchased, as opposed to part of the National Core Content or any local top-ups, and are available using OpenAthens. By adding this to one of the email templates, such as the one containing the activation code, which are sent automatically, it means that anyone that registers for an OpenAthens account will see the attachment and be immediately made aware of the resource.