Putting Together a Community Outreach Plan

Mason André

On November 18th, Lauren Land spoke with our class about putting together a community outreach plan. Lauren, who studied environmental science and policy in undergrad and oceanography in grad school, gave us how she implements community outreach plans for her work, and how she achieves the result she wants.

First, Lauren discussed project design and evaluation. It’s crucial to have a logic model and perform a needs assessment to generate a working plan. You have to take the organization you are making the plan for and see what exactly they are looking to gain. From there, you can organize their needs into categories and see how you’ll get them to where they want to be.

When it comes to developing the actual plan, Lauren broke down the fundamentals and extension into 5 steps:

  1. Designed Activities
  2. Behavior Change
  3. Programs
  4. Outcome based objectives
  5. Educational Products and Processes over timeaddie

For the project design, Lauren spoke about the ADDIE model, which is applicable to almost any project:

  • Assessment
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Implement
  •  Evaluate

The plan must address short, middle, and long term goals, and the smaller goals must build and work towards the middle term goals which must work towards the long term goals. Lauren mentioned how you have to be very patient, and somtimes long term goals are years ahead, which can be discouraging if you don’t constantly work towards smaller goals.

The smart model, which Lauren presented is a way to analyze the goals set for the project:

S- specific

What actions will the audience be able to accomplish after project?

M- measurable

What is the amount of change in the audiences ability to perform those action?

A-audience or issue-directed

It’s about THEM and IT – not what we are going to do to them

R-realistic and ambitious

What can really be accomplished, based on our audience?

smartT-time bound

For example,

Short term – port directors and engineers know which waterways and ports have the capacity to accommodate commercial fishing vessels

SMART objective – By 2041, each port director and engineer will have a map of the waterway denoting private and public land parcels.

Finally, to build the report Lauren talked about how important it was to know your audience, reach out to stakeholders, facilitate the conversation to build alliances, and be patient yet persistent. In every report there’s primary and secondary data:

  1. Secondary source research, papers book and data reports, agency reports
  2. Primary – had to create a data set, had to seek out whether it existed or not

Lauren’s talk was very helpful and she has had success with these steps in the past. She was determined, ambitious, and knows exactly what it takes to set up a successful outreach plan!

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