newsletter

Marketing and Outreach

Organization: 
Community Partners
VISTA Name: 
Edward Gonzales
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Edward has worked with members of the California Community Technology Policy Group (CCTPG) to engage underserved communities in discussion regarding the usage and impact of emerging technologies in their communities. Specific activities have included: Developing online tools to track data, policies, and reseach on technology access and use in low-income communities; Developing communications tools and systems to disseminate policy updates and action alerts; Disseminating the results of CCTPG research to community leaders for use in local negotiations on access to emerging technologies.

Project Outcome: 

- Edward has been key in revamping the communication strategies of CCTPG by helping develop the website and manage the Action Alerts and Newsletter communications to members.
- Edward has help in the research and production of Wired for Wireless? a report on Digital Inclusion and government-led wireless networks.
- Edward has developed new content for the CCTPG website – the content has addressed key issues related to community technology.
- Edward has been key in CCTPG’s outreach efforts by identifying new members and developing relationships with them.

CCTPG is a project within Community Partners. Community Partners has undergone a reassessment of the public relations and communications strategy. During this process, Edward has been key helping incorporate online tools to enhanse the public relations and communications strategy.

Website and Social Media Development

VISTA Name: 
Kelsey Parris
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

This project would involve an update of SoFAB’s website. This would include the integration of the e-commerce site, blog, twitter and Facebook components, the newsletter, developing the e-zine, collections, and the wiki of Southern Food. This would make the marketing of SoFAB more modern and direct. It would mean that we will reach more members of the community who can become involved with SoFAB and its programs.

The VISTA member would be helping SoFAB “catch up” and would train the appropriate staff to maintain and continue to update the technical capacity of the organization. In-person training, as well as a training manual, would be a legacy that would build the capacity of the organization.

- Work with the webmaster and various appropriate staff members to implement the technology necessary to achieve the goals of integration, improved content and improved marketing.
- Make recommendations and suggestions to the staff, based on the volunteer’s observations, skill and experience.

Project Outcome: 

First, because of her willingness to become a part of the organization, and secondly, because of her knowledge and understanding of the technology, Kelsey became integral to our planning process, helping us to make choices and actually use the advances in technology in new ways. She dragged us into thinking in new ways about what we were doing, so that now our entire culture has changed into being not only more modern, more attuned to technology, but also in now thinking to include new technologies in all of our projects and in our actions. This was a major cultural shift, accomplished by the example and encouragement of our VISTA member.

1. An update of SoFAB’s website, including the integration of the e-commerce site and blog. This goal was completely accomplished, except that we have merely archived the old blog and have begun to use our Facebook account instead.
2. Twitter and Facebook components were established.
3. The newsletter, developing the e-zine, collections, and the wiki of Southern Food have all been advanced.
4. Our website was entirely redesigned and completely updated and reorganized. Our VISTA member was the primary person behind all of this, assisted by summer interns and other volunteers.

Kelsey continues to refine the projects that she worked on last year and to prepare a video game regarding children and nutrition.

Impact Quote: 

Kesley dragged us into thinking in new ways about what we were doing, so that now our entire culture has changed into being not only more modern, more attuned to technology, but also in now thinking to include new technologies in all of our projects and in our actions. This was a major cultural shift, accomplished by the example and encouragement of our VISTA member.”

Liz Wiliams, Supervisor

Website and Social Media Development

VISTA Name: 
Colleen Beach
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

Colleen Beach was responsible for a variety of Web2.0 efforts including work on CMC web efforts including cmcweb.org, californiavoices.org, and CMC Facebook and Twitter pages. Colleen also organized efforts to create an online contact database and e-newsletter for CMC. Our VISTA member came to the project with extensive knowledge of Web2.0, and did considerable research and self-training in areas where she needed additional expertise.

The VISTA will research and develop the following internal systems:
- build the capacity of the CMC Sacramento office to communicate/collaborate with the CMC Fresno office and implement CMC programs in Sacramento community.
- Create hiring and training materials for new staff
- Create standardized premiere planning materials
- Create standardized systems for management training and staff supervision at the regional office level
- Create standardized instructor training workshops
- Create standardized electronic communication systems between offices
- Create standardized staff trainings and guidelines for working with youth
- Create material supplementing the California Voices training manual, focusing on higher-level filmmaking techniques
- Create standardized film distribution resource lists, including social media avenues, film festivals, and community radio/TV avenues

Project Outcome: 

In her first year of service with CMC, Colleen has been extremely important to our organization and has spent the past year on a variety of projects that help us to better communicate and collaborate internally and externally. She made upgrades to our CaliforniaVoices.org website and she also upgraded CMCWEB.org to a newer version of Joomla. She designed and implemented a new contact database, created a social media strategy (includes facebook, twitter, and more), and researched a number of open source software solutions for our organization.

She will continue to work out of our Sacramento office to increase the capacity of our organization to communicate, collaborate, and share best practices between our two regional offices.

In her second year, Colleen has created a curriculum for our youth jobs program that allows for great consistency between Sacramento and Fresno regions as well as opportunity for collaboration. She has also been instrumental in helping our office create a marketing consultant team for our Youth Empowerment Studio and assisted in their meetings. She has also been running our social media campaigns, is working on a business plan for our Youth Empowerment Studio, helping with grant writing, and stage managed our youth film premiere in June. However, Colleen was unable to fully finish the YES curriculum due to changes in the program.

Communications Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Oriana Magnera
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

We are seeking a CTCVISTA volunteer to assist with the our communications systems, specifically in regards to the development of a series of Project Initiative websites, and the internal and external communications mechanisms for project planning and development. This work would include web design and management, integration of social networking tools for initiative projects, communication support for project partners, interviews and podcasts with initiative participants, the development of online evaluative forms and database.

AmeriCorps*VISTA member will work with CDS staff to organize CDS information systems to support our organizations efforts including:

1. internal staff site for communication and information sharing,
2. public website (story theater, newsletter, curriculum, podcasts, program initiative kit),
3. marketing materials and activities (public screenings, brochures, email information campaigns, video PSA’s, surveys),
4. Training for staff, intern and volunteer in implementation of Initiative-based systems

Project Outcome: 

Principal Task: Internal and External Communications including web, electronic and printed materials. Oriana created a new and professional looking electronic and web quarterly newsletter featuring the Program Initiatives for the first time. She created a newsletter template, staff training materials, a form for collecting newsletter submissions, imported and organized thousands of contacts, managed the list and added new names on a quarterly basis. She completed both ongoing website updates as well as a round of improvements to the layout and information on the website. She began research for a new platform and web hosting service as well as prepared information about applying for a Tap Root Grant for web and marketing support which CDS will pursue in the spring of 2011. Creation of “Donate Now” button for CDS website to collect financial/in-kind donations. Creation of a multi-page guide to newsletter production and distribution.

Secondary Task: Oriana has also began making improvements in our internal communications. She has assisted with organizing materials on our internal Staff Site, managed any trouble-shooting issues with our email and web provider, and sent emails to our Program Initiative teams to collect information to place on the Staff Site as needed. She completed a Grant Writing Seminar and gathered and organized current and past grant proposals and resources from staff to place on the Staff Site for reference.

Greatly improved external communication and marketing through newsletter and public website. More connectivity between staff through email and internal staff site.

Oriana also undertook a complete re-layout of our book entitled Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. This task included converting book files from Framemaker to InDesign, revisions on every page of the book, as well as research for updating Technology Appendices and re-indexing the entire book.

Outreach and Development Coordinator

Organization: 
Quote-Unquote
VISTA Name: 
Erica Jones
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

This VISTA member, in their capacity as outreach assistant, would serve to bring new organizations and communities in to work with QUQ. The role of outreach assistant would be valuable experience for the VISTA member in networking, community organizing and learning about the community that she/he would be working and living in. It involves calling people, talking to them, sending them information by email, asking them to come to a meeting and to tour our studios.

The VISTA member would keep accurate records of contacts and the process of recruitment, as well as the steps and the results of fundraising efforts. These records would be used for the manual that would be developed in conjunction with the executive director.

Project Outcome: 

Some main areas that Erica helped to develop and expand are: Volunteer recruitment/outreach, Partnership Expansion/Outreach, and Fundraising development.

Volunteer outreach: Erica has set up an entire program of recruitment of volunteers. As a result we had as many as 19 volunteer interns at one time at our facility during the fall, spring and summer months. The recruitment efforts targeted local universities and high schools. The success was due to setting up face to face meetings as well as using Craig’s List, social media and e-newsletter contact. This was done in conjunction with the Executive Director.

Partnership Outreach: Erica also worked on setting up partnerships with the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau, Media Literacy Project, The Alibi (local weekly newspaper), Enlace Comunitario, SWOP, KUNM Youth Radio, Albuquerque Film Festival, SW Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Taos Shortz Film Festival, Experimental Cinema Film Festival, New Mexico Daily Lobo, Public Service Media Project, NM Film Office, NM Thunderbirds, CitizenSchools, and the creation of an accredited production class through the University of New Mexico Continuing Education department.

Fundraising Outreach: Erica worked on many small scale and large scale fundraising efforts throughout the year. Some examples of these efforts are: “Benefit Night” fundraisers being help at T.G.I.Friday and Fuddruckers, a “TV Dinner” benefit event, a concert event at a local venue, and the development of a monthly media industry networking event held at a local restaurant. Other areas have included working alongside the Executive Director on research for and preparation of grants and foundation money. Examples of this assistance was the working on a letter of inquiry for the Glaser Foundation which focused on Independent Media projects. We pitched the creation of a youth-focused journalism and mentorship program. A letter of inquiry into the MacArthur Foundation, regarding the same project. The creation of a profile in multiple local community foundations. She did extensive research and compiling together of regional, state-wide, and national grants and foundations that could be potential sources for income. Erica also helped Steve Ranieri with researching and preparing the application for a grant through the McCune Foundation, a local foundation here in New Mexico.

Other general outreach efforts that Erica engaged in were attending various local outreach events, such as: NM Film and Media Day, Digital Arts Conference, NM Film conference, SW Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Fiery Foods Show, and other events where the positive image of our organization was represented. All of these efforts were tracked, documented, and written into a manual titled “How to Outreach: a Resource Guide for Quote Unquote.” This resource will be left behind for future staff and VISTAs to refer back to for guidance.

Two other projects Erica worked on were the transitioning of the paper newsletter to the electronic newsletter and the transitioning of the Dreamweaver based website to a user-friendly, more efficient website through the Grassroots.org services. It developed through the need of better organizational efficiency. There was an indication that some staff had additional responsibilities that were taking them away from their actual work. With Erica noticing this, she suggested making these two main transitions as a means to alleviate extra work from staff (printing of newsletters, mailing them, updating the website using software that requires skills) and to build a more sustainable infrastructure.

YEAR 2
 ——

Erica has been active at Quote-Unquote building capacity both internal to the organization and exteranlly in the community. This has included develping advertising/marketing partnerships, outreach events, and developing trainings, curriculum, and research. On of the major programs Erica developed is the New Mexico Community Journalism Program, for which she developed the initial grant and has formed the core board which meets weekly to continuously fine tune our mission and purpose in the New Mexico Community. Erica has drafted letters of interest for people to invest and join the project as an anchor organization (content providers, mentors, and a place for community journalists to use for resources). This will help form the state-wide network we envision to help sustain the information flow throughout the state and will also help community journlists with guidance and resources to better serve the needs of their communities. This mission is: “Strengthen an emerging state-wide rural and urban multilingual news network that represents unheard, marginalized, and diverse voices, independent of government & corporate control, values, and content. We will provide a multimedia outlet for the news that the local residents determine, produce, and contribute, thus connecting them to the needs in their community.” Erica has also been a devoted VISTA Leader coordinating 20+ VISTAs and participating as a Leader Guide.

Online Outreach and CTC Implementation

VISTA Name: 
Rachel Rose Sandow
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

This project grew out of a strategic assessment and will improve communication with collaborative partners, constituents and improve the utilization of an existing organizational resource. There will be three components:

Development of sustainable communications strategies: E-newletter - To communicate with supporters, collaborators and constituents on a regular basis. The development of an agency brochure and template that can be updated or reused for new programs.

Web-site: To up-grade and improve web-site with information and links to Southeast Asian resources for adults and youth. To provide detail about accessing basic services that supports the work of SEDC’s case managers and links Southeast Asian communities nationally.

Computer Lab: An underutilized resource, provide technical support, develop policies for use and maintenance. Research opportunities for free and low-cost software. Solicit college student volunteer to staff computer lab and work with clients.

Goal 1: Improve communications with constituencies
Goal 2: Re-open Computer Lab

Project Outcome: 

The VISTA member worked along with SEDC staff to improve communication and collaboration throughout the agency. She developed a sustainable communications strategies, including starting up SEDC Web-site and maintained the site throughout. She interviewed staff and wrote the contents for the web. She established newsletter and distributed widely in the community. She also assisted in setting up computer lab for after school children to use. She spearheaded on all of these projects by collaborating with SEDC staff. The projects that she worked on are still active and we hope to continue it for many more years.

Development and Communications VISTA

Organization: 
Prometheus Radio Project
VISTA Name: 
Ian Smith
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
9/2010
Project Description: 

The Development & Communications project would entail directing a fundamental change in fundraising policy, moving Prometheus towards a more grassroots fundraising strategy. This project would also include developing and maintaining systems for Prometheus’ donor and paid technical service relationships. It also entails creating communications tools, such as a regular and targeted donor appeal, for soliciting a broad base of financial support from those that access our services.

Goal 1: Help build and solidify Prometheus’ ability to engage community radio stations and community radio supporters in opportunities to support Prometheus financially and in a regular and sustainable fashion.

Goal 2: Create a more sustainable source of funding by developing technical services and products that Prometheus can offer for a fee.

Project Outcome: 

Ian’s work as been essential at building the capacity of the organization at a key time of growth and transformation of Prometheus.

Towards goal #1 of increasing regular, constituent contact, Ian has: shepherded the development of a new database merging 4 into one, developed a system for maintenance, trained all staff, coordinated a monthly eNewsletter, coordinated an annual mail appeal, implemented CiviEvent for pre-registration for events, and implemented a paper sign up sheet system for events. As a result, our database list grew by 7,456 new contacts, including over 600 from the US Social Forum where Ian’s sign up system was first used. We now have over 1000 facebook fans who receive regular updates thanks to Ian’s merging of our email, web, and facebook communications. A database consultant worked with Ian to build the CiviCRM database after which he largely implemented the above with input from Prometheus collective members.

Towards goal #2 of building grassroots fundraising support, Ian has helped develop a work plan and donation calendar for the Development Team which has guided our work throughout the year and made reporting on progress much easier. He designed and launched our new Sustaining Funders program. He also designed and launched out new major donor program by identifying potential donors and inviting them to key events and creating a donor packet. Ian assisted in writing a number of grants and grant reports for Prometheus, helping to gather statistics on the effectiveness of our programs and the demographics of our constituents. He did these in conjunction with our Development Director.

Towards goal #3 of developing web donor tools, Ian has built a number of custom donation interfaces to our new database and build contact and other forms on our website. As a result, the new website will integrate seamlessly with our database, cutting out costly duplication of data. We can now track what appeal or route online donations come from and better assess the success of our specific fundraising efforts. Ian was trained by our web developer to create these forms.

Assistant Editor and Curriculum Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Danielle Martin
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2007
Project Description: 

A VISTA will help coordinate the variety of content that supports the CTC VISTA Project and that the Project produces for the community media and technology fields. This position provides an excellent environment in which to develop professional editorial skills in various media. This VISTA will serve as Assistant Editor of the Community Technology Review

As specified in this year’s project basics (www.cpcs.umb.edu/vista/projectbasics.htm), all organizations participating in the VISTA Project will be required to do some work in one of four areas (community networking, community organizing, technology assistance to nonprofits, and digital media for youth). Nationally known experts will be coordinating each of these areas. The Curriculum Coordinator will work with these experts to develop curricular material to be used for people with interest these areas and for the College’s Community Media and Technology program.

Project Outcome: 

In her capacity as Assistant Editor of “The Community Technology Review” (www.comtechreview.org), Danielle ably undertook a wide range of responsibilities including taking over the reins from the previous Associated Editor and completing all organizing and author communication already in the works, coordinating sections and writing a substantial number of articles for the fall issue. She oversaw the development and production of the online version, dealt with university printing services in arranging for hard copy printings, and did author/contributor follow-up. Following this, she was helpfully involved in working with the Advisory Committee in undertaking future planning, and when the decision was made for the publication to go on hiatus and be replaced in the interim with the Project newsletter/report, she accepted oversight responsibility and published the first issue (see www.cpcs.umb.edu/vista/newsletters) in its entirety. She has followed this up with taking primary responsbility for planning future issues for the remainder of the project year, including coordination with the Priority Area Coordinator materials, as that dovetails and integrates with her work with them in developing curricular material for the project that can be integrated with the College’s Community Media and Technology Program (www.cpcs.umb.edu/cmt). In addition to these things, she has proved to be a key and invaluable member of the project leadership team at office headquarters.

Danielle serves as liason between the Community Media and Technology Program curriculum building efforts and the VISTA project’s content focused learning groups. She has been extremely effective in working with faculty in curriculum design, making real connections between the field work of the VISTA’s and the CMT curriculum. She has also worked to assist me in the Tactical Media project, a project-based learning initiative of the program, in coordinating planning and research, presentations and communications flow for the project. She has also taken the leadership in creating and presenting a number of new media workshops, digital storytelling, for example. Along with her VISTA partner, she coordinated a digital media mini conference for students, faculty and staff. Danielle has undertaken extensive curriculum research for a study on community media our program is doing in conjunction with the Benton Foundation, as well research for the development of future courses in the College of Public and Community service. Danielle has performed at a very high level of thoughtfulness and strategic insight. Danielle has made an enormous contribution to the CMT program’s development.

Danielle has quickly become an important part of the Project headquarters team. She has shown admirable persistence in her efforts to draw some useful ‘curriculum’ from busy VISTAs and under-utilized ‘priority area coordinators.’ I actually think that she has accomplished more in this area than she gives herself credit for– mostly through her exchanges with VISTAs in the field but also through her (and Shannon’s) efforts to get VISTAs involved in workshops and events related to the CMT program. She has in some sense become an unofficial VISTA leader through here extensive contact with VISTAs across the country. She has also done a good deal of evangelizing for the Project– a number of new organizations will be applying as a result of these efforts. She’s a gifted/natural-born communicator and that’s just so helpful in so many ways.

CyberY Outreach and Program Building

Organization: 
YMCA of Greater Boston
VISTA Name: 
Jenny Lee
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2006
Project Description: 

The goal of our VISTA is to create, run, and document activities in the CyberYs that enhance current YMCA programming and speak to the challenges in each community. The CyberY activities will be observed by other Boston-area YMCAs with the intent to expand successful projects to other branches.

Project Outcome: 

Overall, Jenny has been a positive force for the lab. Everyone (staff) thought the effort was a success. Jenny was the first dedicated person for the computer lab, which was a huge step forward. Specifically, she continued working with the weekend Passport youth, and did more one-on-one training with preschool staff. The passport is a free access program for low-income Chinatown residents on Saturdays. Jenny also helped implement the E-newsletter.

Jenny completed the first newsletter, built relationships with Saturday Passport youth, collected resources, and worked on the first MIT Astronomy project.

Outreach and Video Editor & Youth Media Coordinator

Organization: 
Boston Neighborhood Network
VISTA Name: 
Alli Shaughnessy
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2006
Project Description: 

Alli, working as a VISTA volunteer, has filled a huge void for BNN by assisting in promotions and outreach to the community. Through her first six months at BNN she has assisted not only the organization, but BNN producers in getting their message out.

In Alli’s second year at BNN she held the position of Youth Media Coordinator. Her duties included organizing a teen media club and producing a monthly program with the teens in the club.

Project Outcome: 

She is currently helping to organize, write, and format BNN’s quarterly newsletter, our most important piece of literature sent to our members. The newsletter introduces new equipment in our facilities, editing and production tips, and production class schedules. BNN has been unable to produce a newsletter since last winter, due to lack of staff and time, so Alli’s assistance in this is especially crucial. Once the newsletter is completed it will be mailed to approximately 500 members and BNN typically receives a positive response from a large number of recipients.

Another example of Alli’s reach to the community is BNN’s Neighborhood Network News Program Highlights which Alli has been in charge of for the past six months. The Program Highlights require Alli to be in close contact to all of our producers and to contact various shows on a weekly basis. The Highlights also require her to send out a bulk mailing each month encouraging producers to contact her and let her know about their show, so that BNN can assist them in reaching as many people in the community as possible.

Not only is Alli reaching out to community members, but during the next six months a lot of her attention will go to reaching out to community organizations. BNN provides non-profit organizations in the Greater Boston area a chance to produce a PSA highlighting their organization’s cause. Alli will be responsible for the production and editing of these PSA’s, and she will assist BNN’s Education/Outreach department in contacting the organizations through phone calls, mailings and most importantly a “Get Your Message Out” seminar.

Over the last six months Alli has been a vital part in increasing BNN’s reach to the Boston community. She has kept daily communication with many of our producers and the productions that she has assisted on have gotten her out into the community and aided BNN in delivering community messages.

Transmission Project