“Planning.” “Processes.” “Monitoring.” “Evaluation.” When said out loud, these terms may be overwhelming, but they are important and will help you achieve your goals. The good news is that these “big words”, are only words, and integrating them into your existing work may not be as hard as you may think.
Enroll America is here to help! This week we released two new resources that can help you take your outreach strategy to the next level: “Outreach Planning 2.0” and “How to Create an Outreach Work Plan.” These resources will help you organize your thoughts and develop concrete strategies to achieve your objectives.
Are you fully aware of what are you trying to achieve and how are you going to get there? Developing a long-term outreach plan before you begin to conduct your outreach activities will help you remain focused on your goal and ensure you are using your resources in the most effective way.
Developing your plan
When developing your plan, start by writing out the things you are already doing or thinking about doing to reach consumers.
This way you can identify and prioritize your needs while assessing current resources. You can tap into existing resources from your organization or partners in your community to combine your efforts with others and avoid reinventing the wheel.
Do not miss out on the opportunity to engage others. Colleagues may help you to brainstorm ideas. Staff conducting the outreach may offer a different perspective, and by involving them in the process you can ensure the project has “buy-in,” which is critical to successful implementation.
During this process, you can refine your goal, identify hiring needs, and develop a deeper understanding of your community, therefore assisting you in developing a plan that better suits your target audience. You may also reach a better understanding of the types of systems your organization already has in place that you can use to reach your outreach goals.
What is the next step?
Continue to engage others in the process and place your outreach strategy into a formal document! “How to Create an Outreach Work Plan” has tips on how to make that happen — and samples from different organizations.
Having an organizational outreach work plan (master plan) and an individual work plan for each staff member is ideal. You can use any format you would like: tables, boxes, excel spreadsheets, anything that will help you and others see the plan while also helping you to monitor progress.
Create a work plan that is realistic for you and meets your community needs. You can’t do it all, so plan to do what you can, and plan to do it well.
Examining your progress and trends will better prepare you for the future. Your outreach work plan will help you to capture and document your activities.
How do you know your outreach and in-reach efforts are successful?
There will be a lot of effort in designing and implementing any of your strategies and activities, so you want to make sure they yield the results you want! An easier way for you to monitor and evaluate your activities is to include them as part of your outreach work plan.
Do you have a successful strategy you used to set up your overall outreach plan and/or a successful story about how you were able to engage and achieve buy-in from your staff? Do you want to tell us how did you measure success? Please share with us by sending an email to email@example.com.