>>Are you or your organization looking for
ways to extend your reach?>>You can by creating dynamic content using
blogs, videos and social media.>>These short courses will introduce you to
the basics of multimedia communications, and show you just how important they can be to
the success of your work.>>Using multimedia can help you achieve a
few important things: First, they can help you reach a greater audience than print products.
Second, they can give the technology-minded youth in your program an outlet to put their
knowledge to work. Multimedia can be a terrific method of youth engagement.
>>And not least, multimedia can help you illustrate your program’s effectiveness in ways that
mere numbers and statistics can’t convey. Multimedia is about storytelling, so you should
consider these platforms as venues for telling your greatest success stories.
>>It’s important to remember that social and multimedia are only a couple components
of a larger communications strategy, and you can figure out where they fit by developing
a communications plan.>>A communication plan gives your organization
a structure to determine who you need to reach and how to reach them. Your communication
will make more of an impact because you will always know your goals and every step toward
reaching them.>>So first, identify your goals. Where is
your organization now, and where would you like it to be? Are you simply trying to raise
awareness of your work and the need for it? Are you trying to attract more volunteers?
Maybe you want to make a pitch to big funders, or appeal to the larger community for donations.
Maybe you’re trying to reach young people or potential clients who might need your services.
>>Whether you’re looking to expand, announcing a big gift, opening a new building, or just
calling attention to the need for your work, there’s a specific audience you’re trying
to reach. Once you figure out your goal, you’ll know who that audience is. And once you know
your audience, you can tailor your communications to them. That’s a communications plan.
>>It used to be that communications were limited to radio, TV, and print media. And while those
can still be part of your plan, everyone knows that you have to reach further than just those.
>>How do you get the information for your work? Where do you learn about funding opportunities,
new stories, best practices? Most likely, you encounter a lot of these things online,
whether through email, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Quite simply, this is how information
is shared now.>>Particularly among youth. A recent survey
by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that multimedia is simply a given for young people
now. It’s how they communicate, how they find information, and often how they search
for services when they need them. Multimedia can help you reach new young people. And these
projects can also offer your current youth some opportunities to take pictures, blog,
shoot video, or use social media. It can teach them that their normal everyday habits are
potential job skills.>>Additionally, I don’t need to tell you
how much more competitive funding is becoming. Funders want to see, as clearly as possible,
what impact your work has.>>But any youth worker knows, this field can
be hard to quantify. Have you ever winced because you felt statistics didn’t tell
the whole story of your work? And can you think of a time when you watched a youth learn
a skill, quit drugs, pass the GED, reconnect with family, find housing, get a job, or help
their child?>>These stories explain your work. They speak
to the impact you have in people’s lives. Multimedia can help you share them.