outreach

Event Planning

VISTA Name: 
Michael Eagle
Program Start: 
9/2004
Project Description: 

- Increase attendance at CTOC events
- Help coordinate CTOC events
- Assist in the development of a training curriculum for Train the Trainer events
- Assist in evaluation of CTOC’s project activities
- Assist in fund raising efforts

CTC Program Building

Organization: 
Operation P.E.A.C.E. Boston
VISTA Name: 
Colette Mahoney
Program Start: 
8/2002
Project Description: 

Goals include rolling out a computer skills training program, designing a plan to utilize computers to improve the literacy of students attending our after school program, doing the same with an English as a second language program, and working on community outreach partnership building to raise awareness of our programs so as to attract community and corporate support.

Long Island City CTC Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Carmen Mitchell
Program Start: 
6/2002
Project Description: 

To strengthen the capacity of the Long Island City CTC by improving self help materials, supporting neighborhood volunteers use of technology, and conducting a needs assessment. The VISTAs will also help the extend the organizations reach to a more diverse constituency of new Americans living in New York.

- Support and organize a more robust outreach campaign targeted at local block, tenant, and neighborhood association members to encourage use of the CTC
- Schedule training sessions and develop self-help materials related to getting neighborhood and civic groups online
- Conduct an information needs assessment of the information and technology needs and interests of 60 neighborhood groups located in low-income, immigrant dense areas of New York City to determine which self-help materials are needed and how they are most likely to be used
- Develop and design five new top sheets based on the specific needs of immigrants

DISKovery Computer Learning Center Development

VISTA Name: 
Daniel Sheen
Program Start: 
6/2001
Project Description: 

- Support the development of a volunteer team of computer trainers and technicians
- Coordinate our program website and design print materials as a function of outreach activities
- Help establish curriculum models and evaluative procedures for improved lesson delivery, effective instruction, and replication
- Develop an afterschool program for at-risk, high-school aged youth designed to train participants in high-level computer-based skills
- Support small minority business efforts by providing pro-bono web development services to local shops and restaurants

Social Media Development

Organization: 
Portland Community Media
VISTA Name: 
Denise Cheng
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Access 2.0 is a three year project to expand access to and viewership of community media through new media channels. In this project, PCM will upgrade its technology and training to integrate new media channels with traditional public access channels to expand and enhance access to media as a communications tool for community members, community-based and non-profit organizations, government partners and other stakeholders. Through Access 2.0, PCM is upgrading equipment, improving technology, upgrading the PCM website, redeveloping the PCM database and reaching out to a number of groups and organizations in the community with an emphasis on underrepresented populations.

The Access 2.0/New Media Vista will work with PCM’s Media Educators and Media Facilitators to:

-Develop media education training projects, classes and curricula for expanding the skills of community producers, organizations and other stakeholders through in new media areas
-Develop skill building activities and materials to improve the competency and confidence of community members and other stakeholders in the use of new media
-Further develop PCM’s drupal-based website to strengthen user participation and better meet user needs
-Actively participate in and contribute to technical planning for PCM’s Access 2.0 project to develop new media opportunities and distribution channels for community members, community-based and non-profit organizations, government partners and other organizations.
-Build skills of community members and stakeholders in new media applications to increase distribution and sharing of community media including blogging, podcasting, cross posting and others
-Initiate and develop participation of PCM in PEGSpace project of the Alliance for Community Media and other collaborative development projects
-Develop new opportunities for volunteer participation, particularly related to new media

Project Outcome: 

Denise’s activities are focused around research and development of new media services and education. She has assisted with development of two new classes that focus on teaching participants how to prepare content for distribution via the Internet, and how to utilize online video and social networking tools to increase distribution of content, and to connect with target audiences. Denise also participates on the PR and Marketing committee, is helping to redesign our website with the goal of building capacity, is participating in grant research and writing, and helps with proofreading and layout in creation of new documents.

Denise researched and proposed a new project that was submitted for consideration to the Knight foundation. Denise’s proposal made it through the first round but has been dropped from consideration by the Knight foundation. PCM will continue to try to secure grant funding to realize this proposal. The proposal would create a new acquisition and distribution path for audio content via a new website portal. The focus of the project targeted increasing participation from immigrant, minority and youth groups using cell phone and Internet technology. Denise’s research identified very high cell phone and Internet penetration among immigrant populations in the Portland area. Denise’s project would also create a backbone for a large scale expansion of Internet based acquisition and distribution for PCM participants.

Denise revised our existing Media Education schedule to create a more polished document to promote Media Education classes and workshops. Denise has routinely been proofreading and editing public documents to maintain voice and consistency.

Denise was asked to submit a design mock-up for our upcoming website redevelopment. Her mock-up showed an advanced understanding of the kind of content rich site that many Internet viewers would appreciate. Denise’s research on social networking and how different groups consume information via the Internet comes through in her clean and rich design concept. Denise is currently assisting with implementation of our new open source database project being developed in partnership with Denver Open Media.

Impact Quote: 

Denise participation in brainstorming and discussion has provided me with a new perspective on a variety of topics including community media, who we serve, immigrant issues, community engagement and a millenial perspective on technology. Denise has reshaped my views on my career field because she asks questions I’m not often asked, and she brings a different perspective and set of experiences to the organization. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her.”
- Bea Coulter, supervisor

Program Development and Outreach

Organization: 
Appalshop
VISTA Name: 
Julia Taylor
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Julia works in various capacities at Appalshop/Thousand Kites Project. She manages “StoryLine,” our online story-gathering project, for which she uploads audio to the content management system, and writes the copy for the website. She also responds to communication via our social networking sites and writes emailblasts. She works with community members (locally and nationally) to gather their stories about the criminal justice system and post them to the website. She also is currently creating a plan for a google map to document these stories using new technology. She also co-produces our campaigns. For our most recent campaign, Calls From Home, Julia coordinated the targeted outreach to radio station managers, prison chaplains, and prisoners and their families. She does the background research for the campaigns and organizes content. Including partnerships with other non-profits for viral marketing support. Julia works with community members (stakeholders) to identify community needs to inform future campaigns and communication strategies. Julia also produces our weekly radio show, Holler to the Hood, which broadcast online, as well supporting workshops that train community members and stake-holders in radio/online production.

Project Outcome: 

When Julia arrived at Appalshop, she spent the first couple of months working with staff to revamp the project’s website, making it media rich, clean, and efficient. We now have an direct model for people to call in their stories and a way to share them on the web. At the same time, Julia aided in the creation of a Facilition Guide, which helps Thousand Kites be a model for communities to take action. This document makes our work process more efficient because we can now direct people to the guide, instead of having to talk through all the details with each individual community. It is available in print and online and has greatly increased our capacity to train and garner participants. Julia has taken the lead on developing our database, updating contacts, and training staff on a system for long-term use. Overall Julia has worked at all levels of the organization to build our communication, online, and digital capacity.

Julia is able to identify key opportunities, and run with them. While looking through old email to learn more about the project’s correspondence, she found an unanswered email from a poet who was willing to volunteer his time to the project. Julia contacted him about possible connections, and now his network of poets has become a tremendous source of capacity in our project. His online community of writers has generated hundreds of audio samples for our website. Another example of this was when we received an email from a woman in the Virgin Islands who is dealing with the prisoners from her community being shipped up to prisons in our region. Julia saw this as an opportunity to really immerse in a community’s issue and help them find ways they could take action locally. The group has since produced their own radio program and hosted multiple film screenings using the Kites tools.

Impact Quote: 

Without our VISTA we would not have gotten several projects off the ground or reached the level of capacity that we have. Julia greatly expanded outreach and participation in our program by local, regional, and national communitiy members through building our communication backbone, developing a model for web-site content production, and building tools to lower the threshold of working with our program. It has simply impacted the entire organization to have someone focused on capacity building and research.

Fundraising and Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Loveta Wynn
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
4/2009
Project Description: 

Vista description is to manage the volunteer committee, coordinate community technology events such as graduations, parties, and meetings. Also do a quarterly press release, a monthly community technology newsletter, create flyers and brochures and a community resource guide.

Project Outcome: 

Loveta coordinated the summer CTC graduation and the winter CTC graduation. Gathered volunteers to get the place and stage ready. Loveta organized and managed the fall Thanksgiving raffle to get internet reconnected at YETEC. Vista has recreated the infrastructure by teaching us how to use resources our organization already has. By making the average printer into a two sided copy machine. Creating brochures and making flyer and necessary forms for on-goin tech support. Loveta also created a community needs assesment check list from scratch and has done 5 site visits with hopes of finding grant related solutions. Loveta started a grassroots community technology newsletter thats is issued monthly with updated resources and digtal media news, manage volunteers, and bring a since of hope and committment to the Little Haiti community. January 2009 the internet was restored and students from the tech school helped with the fundraiser.

Loveta is dedicated determined to help those in need. Loveta organizes our center and takes the initiative to get project started and completed. Loveta also has brought many volunteers to our center who participate in our discounted tech support program.

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.

Marketing and UI Design

Organization: 
MicroMentor
VISTA Name: 
Mary Chant
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Mary Chant has been working with us across three primary areas:

1) Marketing Strategy and Capacity Building: Mary’s primary duty has been to establish MicroMentor’s marketing operations from the ground up. She has produced an extensive Marketing Plan, helped us establish our core value proposition and messaging, identified mechanism for distributing our message and compelling participants to join MicroMentor, and she is setting up key systems and processes for planning, managing, and evaluating our marketing efforts. These systems include Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Salesforce.com (including the integration of third-party applications such as AdWords for Salesforce, Vertical Response, and DreamTeam). She also leads our weekly Marketing Meeting and manages our Marketing Calendar.

2. Developing and Executing Marketing Campaigns: In addition to leading our marketing strategy and planning, Mary also leads the execution of this strategy. This primarily involves producing and rolling-out individual marketing campaigns, aligned with either specific events (e.g., National Mentoring Month, National Entrepreneurship Week, etc.), or a specific target population (e.g., women entrepreneurs, skilled business volunteers, etc.). Each campaign is multi-faceted, usually included a mix of web content development, Google Adwords, posts on relevant external sites (e.g., usaservice.org), outreach to relevant organizations (e.g., Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education/National Entrepreneurship Week), and social media outlets (e.g., Facebook, Digg, etc.). Mary also coordinates ad hoc marketing opportunities, ensuring that we are disseminating a consistent message across a variety of web sites and media outlets.

3. Product Development: Mary has lent her deep experience in usability and interaction design to our major web application development project: MicroMentor 2.0. She has advised MicroMentor management on best practice and has analyzed and made recommendation at key decision points during the process. She has helped us conduct usability testing and analyze the results. All of this has greatly enhanced our product development process and has substantially improved the quality and usability of MicroMentor 2.0, which we will be releasing in late March 2009.

Project Outcome: 

Mary has made many valuable contributions over the first half of her VISTA term. A few of her more major accomplishments during this period include: a) Developing a Marketing Plan: Mary surveyed our existing (and admittedly disorganized) market research, marketing materials, web content, etc. and performed research and analysis (including interviewing key staff and partners) to produce a comprehensive Marketing Plan, This plan includes market research, competitive analysis, positioning/branding, internet marketing strategies, offline/traditional advertising strategies, marketing goals, and evaluation mechanisms. The Marketing Plan is key piece of our strategic planning work, and has guided the development of our marketing efforts. b) Overhauling the MicroMentor Website: Mary gave the MicroMentor website a badly needed makeover, re-arranging the navigation and content to make key sections easier to find, changing the layout of our homepage to increase the conversation rate of first time visitors, and adding keywords to improve our search engine optimization (SEO), and adding content to improve our SEO and better support our participants. She has continued to improve the website throughout her tenure, and we will be migrating many of these changes to our new website when it launches in late March. c) Implementing Key Systems and Processes: Mary has set up key systems for the MicroMentor team, including Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Salesforce.com, and several Salesforce applications, such as Vertical Response, and DreamTeam (a project management application). She has also established a marketing campaign planning process and a website and marketing material change control process for us. These key systems and processes have greatly increased our program capacity and will remain in use long after the end of Mary’s VISTA term. d) Leading Usability Testing and Analysis for MicroMentor 2.0: Mary helped us significantly enhance the usability of our new mentoring platform–MicroMentor 2.0–by leading a user testing and analysis project. She provided usability training to our staff, planned our user testing process, oversaw the tests, reviewed the results, and made recommendations for modifications to our application design. This project was particularly challenging as we had to perform the tests and deliver the results in a very short timeframe, and Mary worked long hours and significant overtime to help us meet our goals.

The impact of Mary’s contributions is readily apparent in our quantitative and qualitative program feedback. First off, her marketing efforts have spurred tremendous growth in our program. Our participant enrollment during the first half of her VISTA period (7/1/08 - 12/31/08) jumped from 236 to 684, a 190% increase, compared to the same period a year ago. Additionally, when comparing the first half of Mary’s VISTA period to the same period a year ago, visits to the MicroMentor website have increased 180%, the average time spent on the site has increased 39%, and our bounce rate (the number of people visiting the site and immediately leaving) has decreased by 11%. All of this indicates that more people are learning about the MicroMentor program and that our website is more compelling and useful to visitors.

Marketing and Design

VISTA Name: 
Derek Maxwell
Program Start: 
1/2007
Program End: 
1/2008
Project Description: 

The VISTA member provided and assited with an array of services and programs, including direct training to youth participants, development of training manuals and materials, website design and development, community outreach and recruitment, development of program materials including brochures, posters, and mailers, as well as other administrative duties.

Project Outcome: 

Our VISTA member compiled a catalogue of past and present programs and descriptions, helped move our website to a new design based on open source Drupal software, helped set up web hosting with other non-profits, developed training manuals and materials, and taught a graphic design course to youth, which we had never done before here at PCTV.

Transmission Project