Be Strategic and Facilitate Public Engagement
Be strategic in how you grow and what populations you can serve within your resources. Smart growth is more important than fast growth. Start with one demographic or existing demographic and build from there. Establish a program that works and develop a smart growth plan.
Understand the resources you have to promote your program through outreach strategies. Creating ways to drive people to your website is helpful in promoting your organization and reaching out to other people in need. If funds are available, consider a targeted mail campaign to other community-based organizations, cancer treatment centers or healthcare providers that serve your target population.
Understand and utilize the strength of your program. For example, if you have an arts program, utilize the artwork from your programs to attract others to it. Leverage existing partnerships to recruit help in promoting the artists and their personal messages too.
Facilitating outreach can occur through multiple channels. Whether it is email, phone or mail--keep in mind that some underserved populations may not have access to certain methods of communication and outreach. Utilize the outreach venues that your targeted population would have access to.
- Facilitate Public Engagement:
As use of the internet continues to grow, innovative technologies are creating new ways of engaging and maintaining the public's involvement. Advances in technology have opened the door to reaching new constituencies, creating spaces for sharing ideas and taking action, and offering opportunities for increased communication. Public engagement can be significantly advanced through the use of the following functions:
- online surveys
- internet forums
- social networking and virtual communities
- group communication tools
Depending on your community, your partnerships and your resources, some or all of the above may be a good fit. While it is important and necessary to engage your community, you want to do it in a forum that they have comfort, familiarity and trust with.