How to Write a Press Release

WERU-FM Community Radio

A guide to writing Press Releases for community radio station WERU-FM by corps member Meaghan LaSala.

Brookline Reads Video Access Promo Script & Voice Over

Brookline Access TV

A promotional video for Brookline Access TV’s “Brookline Reads Video Contest”. Corps member Jessica Wholey wrote the script and did the voice over for the project.

See the video here:

Graphic Designer

Mobile Film School
VISTA Name: 
Amy Simon
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

Graphic and layout design for all MFS website, print and media materials to increase professional look and branding of MFS name.

- Liaison between MFS and AIR interactive web designers and developers to enhance the accessibility of our current website
- Propose and implement a new, more user-friendly design for the website
- Develop methods for increasing user-interaction with our website and online resources
- Research and develop affordable streaming videos technologies to implement on website
- Research and implement a more efficient transaction processing system for online donations
- Assist in the development, beta-testing, and implementation of a customized database and business management software
- Regularly update and maintain all content on website
- Monitor our online social networking participation
- Help improve and develop our internet presence

Project Outcome: 

Amy was the photographer and photo design editor for the Bowl-A-Roma fundraising event, the Bob Bullock Video project, and the Luling documentary workshop

Amy did the graphic layout and design for all business materials, workshops and events, including flyers, postcards, promo packets, program materials, business cards, manuals, proposals, signs, newsletters, and brochures.

Amy also did website design and development; she created page layouts and templates, icons, titles, drop down menus, picture galleries, and content.

Youth Program Development

VISTA Name: 
John Van Houdt
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

John will be helping with outreach for our teen programs. He will be building a base of volunteers and mentors within the community who can work with our teen programs. He will also help to develop new teen activities utilizing information technology and interactive media.

- Develop an active volunteer program for TINCAN’s teen programs
- Recruit business and community members as mentors in TINCAN’s technology and media programs
- Develop internships and activities in web development, e-commerce, video and game development for at risk 13-18 year olds
- Develop and help to implement a program that allows teens who master media skills to work as paid interns at TINCAN
- Help to publicize TINCAN’s teen programs in the community

CTC Afterschool Fundraising and Development

VISTA Name: 
Lashanda Wooden
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

- Develop and implement an afterschool arts, media and technology program, with academic support
- product outreach material for volunteer and student recruitment
- identify hardware and software needs for the project
- recruit volunteers for the project
- Develop and implement partnerships, program material for marketing and fundraising
- Obtain donations of equipment and software and locate sources of funding
- Research funding resources to ensure project sustainability
- Recruit volunteers to help raise money

Youth Media Coordinator

Boston Neighborhood Network
VISTA Name: 
Julie Bohnlein
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

Julie will be working with youth to build a youth-lead media production club. Her role will be to help the youth members to establish a program structure, volunteer mentoring and instructional, and production guidelines for youth lead video projects. She will be working closely on these activities with our Multimedia Coordinator. Part of the position requires that she assist in the development of new media/technology curriculum based on past participant evaluations. A major goal is to increase youth participation and leadership to the point that the club is able to produce a once a week program made by teens for cablecast on our channels.

- Assist in further development of BNN’s youth media arts and technology services and training, including assessment, curriculum development and coordination of instructional offerings.
- Outreach to Boston teens, especially at-risk youth, to recruit interest in media-making at BNN. Work with other youth-serving organizations, develop promotional materials (print and video), survey past participants, and assist with planning improvements.
- Develop youth media club to provide regular opportunity for sustainable involvement of youth participants beyond duration of workshops.
- Help identify potential funding sources for club, mentors and training scholarships
- Provide individual assistance to youth and other BNN members as they develop the technical and creative skills necessary to assume leadership roles within the program
- Collaborate with and support youth-based initiatives with community partners and organizations

Marketing and Outreach Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
James Lofton
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

- Lead community outreach and marketing efforts
- Hold information sessions about NTRC Programs and Services
- Develop our database, track client information
- Create surveys and evaluations for users to evaluate NTRC programs
- Coordinate community groups and leaders and hold meetings including users, stakeholders, and other community members on issues related to the NTRC projects
- Market NTRC programs and services to partner organizations, Service Connectors and Housing Developments
- Create publications, press releases and newspaper articles

CTC Outreach and Development

VISTA Name: 
Anthony Williams
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

- Reach out to community based organizations, faith based organizations, social service organizations and educational organizations to drive attendance and volunteerism at the WTA center
- Bring WTA programs to Baltimore-area organizations. This involves marketing programs to these centers, increasing volunteerism to deliver the services and managing the logistics
- Bring the WTA’s “WildTech” program to Baltimore area schools. This task involves marketing the program to schools, training teachers in the service-learning tasks that will be performed by the students, an providing raw surplus technology that students in WildTech programs can process.
- Build an empowerment center at the WTA center by running technology service-learning as a high-technology company. Facilitate the acquisition of technology work for non-profit and government agencies for students and community members to execute. Facilitate students and volunteers to: repair computers, provide network services, design web sites for non-profit organizations, generate eCommerce transactions, host a community technology access lab, and provide a community technology help desk.
- Recruit and train teachers and community center leaders to implement

Internship Flyer

Access Humboldt

A flyer to help recruit for a Digital Media Production Internship by Corps member Sam Kaplan.

Program Development and Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Julia Taylor
Program Start: 
Program End: 
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.

Transmission Project