The Content Questionnaire: Gina Perille, Boston Public Library

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In our Content Questionnaire, Gina Perille of the Boston Public Library shares what it's like to create marketing content for a 166-year-old institution.
For this week’s Content Questionnaire, we asked Gina Perille, Chief of Communications & Strategy for the Boston Public Library, to share her likes and dislikes about web marketing. Plus, some trade secrets about how to develop a voice for the first large free municipal library in the United States.  
Q: What’s your idea of a perfect piece of web content?

Something compact, highly visual, and easily shareable.

Q: What is your current content focus?

Prioritization. There’s no shortage of content at the Boston Public Library. My job is to match our resources to the stories we want to tell.

Q: What is your biggest marketing fear?

That too much reliance on social media will make us less diligent about in-person interactions.

Q: What do you dislike most about your website’s appearance?

It’s organized by department rather than by customer need.

Q: What buzzwords are you guilty of using most?

“Messaging” and “authenticity.”

“[My biggest marketing fear is] that too much reliance on social media will make us less diligent about in-person interactions.”

Q: What brands do you have a marketing crush on?

Oreo, JetBlue, Sweetgreen.

Q: Which results make you happiest?

When a piece of communication solves a problem or earns a new user.

Q: What marketing skill would you most like to have?

Merchandising.

Q: What do you consider your greatest content marketing achievement (to date)?

Establishing a contemporary voice for a 166-year-old institution.

BPL Tweet

Q: If you were a type of web content, what do you think it would be?

An infographic. Absolutely.

Q: If you could do it all over again, what vertical would you work in and why?

Political campaigns. The pace and opportunity to create change is attractive.

Q: What personal trait are you always trying to improve?

I can be a little stingy when it comes to giving people third and fourth chances.

Q: Do you think your office environment reflects your brand?

Not yet in all our locations, but we’re getting there.

Q: What is your brand’s most valuable asset?

Frontline staff who deliver on our service promise every day.

“It’s always someone’s first time interacting with your organization. Make it count.”

Q: What is your favorite part of the workday?

When an unscheduled conversation leads to fresh thinking.

Q: What is the quality you like best in other brands?

Willingness to poke fun at themselves.

Q: What’s the quality you like least in other brands?

Unwillingness to directly engage with stakeholders.

Q: How can other brands/marketers get on your good side?

Know something current about my organization before pitching me.

Q: Who are your favorite writers/brand leaders (online or off)?

Daniel Pink, Chip & Dan Heath.

“[My favorite part of the workday is:] when an unscheduled conversation leads to fresh thinking.”

Q: What is your marketing pet peeve?

When messages are not sufficiently customized for their intended audience.

Q: What’s one social media trend that you wish would die out?

Follow Friday (#FF) on Twitter. Make it stop.

Q: What’s your current inspiration?

The change of season puts me in the frame of mind to try new things.

Q: What is your marketing motto?

It’s always someone’s first time interacting with your organization. Make it count.

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Lauren KayeLauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.
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