Community Awareness - Developing a Strategy

MARKETING & COMMUNITY RELATIONS Community Awareness - Developing a Strategy

A flow of used assistive technology is essential to the success of a reutilization organization. Part of this challenge can be overcome by making the public aware of the existence of an organization dedicated to reutilization and of the need for donations of equipment. Several strategies can be employed to accomplish this objective, but the most successful will be a multimedia strategy. Messages that inform need to be brief. As a nonprofit organization, it will be important to develop a strategy that garners free advertising and community awareness. While print and broadcast media are loathe to give away space or air time, two circumstances create some availabilities. The first is the need for small to medium-sized newspapers and radio stations to serve their local communities by keeping the audience informed. To this end, local print and broadcast media run calendars of local events in which listings are free. A list of all free event listings in local media should be compiled. This should include the name of the listing, publication days or date(s), contact person, contact information, required format for the information, and deadline for submission. Free air time. Radio and television stations are licensed by the federal government to use the airwaves, which are considered public property. With this license comes the responsibility to serve the community, and they must demonstrate that they do so to renew the license periodically. In partial fulfillment of that mission, they will play public service announcements (PSAs) in unsold commercial slots. These "spots" may be 15 seconds or 30 seconds. The station may specify whether it is willing to have someone read a printed announcement, or whether the spot must be provided in digital audio format to be played. Free print space. Newspapers in America are free enterprises, not licensed by the government, but protected in their freedom by the First Amendment to the Constitution. As profit-making businesses (even those without a subscription price), they are reluctant to print free promotions (called advertising if it's paid) even for nonprofit organizations that represent good causes. Doing so puts the newspaper in the position of juggling the need to offer the same services for everyone. Instead, most have weekly calendars of events in which announcements of fundraising events can be listed free of charge. The deadlines, format and required delivery method (print or electronic) can be obtained from the editor (usually the Features section.) If the event is large, an early press release with information about the event may be directed to the local news or features editor. Flyers. Sometimes it helps to take the initiative and distribute information. Flyers and posters are one way to do this. It is best to use care in the manner in which this is done. The image of the organization will suffer if it indulges in littering front yards or windshields with flyers, and leaving flyers in mailboxes violates the U.S. Postal Code. Flyers can be posted on the free bulletin boards found in some local supermarkets and restaurants. A volunteer can stand in a public spot with heavy foot traffic and hand out flyers. Some supportive local businesses may be willing to have flyers left at the cash register to be picked up when customers check out. Some examples of promotional campaigns from the Kansas Equipment Exchange are attached. DISCLAIMER The contents of this document were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the Georgia Department of Labor/ Tools for Life Program. These contents, however, do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Georgia Department of Labor, and the reader should not assume endorsement by the federal government or the State of Georgia.






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Title: Community Awareness - Developing a Strategy
Module: Marketing/PR
Author: Trish Redmon
Audience: Implementer
Sub Title:
Procedure: Encouraging Equipment Donations
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 10-25-2009 7:02 PM