Tools for Communicating Local Impacts

— Written By

In order for Extension to remain relevant and successful for years to come, it’s important that our stakeholders recognize the value of our programming across the state. The coronavirus pandemic has only magnified this need, both locally and at the state level, as partners like county governments and granting agencies among others are faced with difficult decisions regarding the allocation of resources moving forward.

We may be more distant, but we still must be social. But where to begin? Every county center and department addresses unique needs with unique expertise, programming and relationships. How should you plan and prioritize your marketing during these uncertain times? What tools are available to assist you?

Extension Marketing and Communications offers a variety of resources to help you connect with your audiences and demonstrate impact. See below for a list of highlights, from strategic planning to digital tools and plug-and-chug resources. Visit our Extension Brand Site to finds these and other materials.

Strategic Planning

These resources provide valuable insight and guidance to help you identify local goals, target your audiences and tell stories that demonstrate meaningful impacts.

Building a Local Marketing Plan

  • This is a critical first step for all of your communications efforts. Marketing provides the opportunity to build awareness of Extension’s programs and services; it also helps you to understand your customers’ needs, how best to prioritize your time and resources, and how to communicate in a more impactful way. Our marketing planning process and workbook will help your county / program get started.
  • Extension Storytelling
    • How can you ensure that your outreach connects with the intended audience, while growing our collective brand? Discover a blueprint (including guidelines, tools and examples) for any scenario – campus and county, proactive and reactive – to create a consistent and impactful Extension narrative.

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Digital Tools on Demand

Given the situation in communities across the state and country, it’s imperative to adopt virtual learning resources and take a digital-first approach to programming when possible. Review a sampling of tools below that can help you leverage digital platforms and maintain a strong connection with your stakeholders.

Extension Information Technology – note that EIT provides tips and training on a wide range of topics, from website optimization and video development to university applications and general tech support. Simone Keith, EIT video education specialist, also offers a video training program for county centers – contact Simone to learn more.

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Ready-to-Roll Resources

Ideally your team will have drafted a marketing plan to guide your efforts (we can’t overstate how important this is to optimizing your resources and maximizing your marketing impact), at which point this sampling of resources can reinforce your local communications.

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We’re Here to Help!

We’re working on additional resources that will be shared with everyone as soon as they’re available. And of course you can contact our team with questions or ideas.