Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Developing a publicity plan: Mpowerment Best Practices

Don't let low levels of ineffective publicity plague your Mpowerment Project (MP). Creating a publicity plan can help to guide your long-term publicity planning. 

Projects typically use a combination of publicity strategies to let people know about the Project or a specific activity.

Essentially, the publicity plan summarizes important information about all the community venues or locations, media outlets (including deadline information), and organizations where you’ll want to post information about the Project and its Social Outreach Events and activities. 

Be wary of statements such as
 “everyone knows about the program.” 
First of all, is it true?

Additionally, the publicity plan provides a timeline for how often the Project mails information packets to distribution venues in the community, and when it sends out announcements to the e-mail distribution list and posts information on the Project’s Facebook Fan Page. 

It should also list the Project’s action steps to encourage word-of-mouth publicity, including when to send out text messages, tweets or instagram messages.

A publicity plan is not a static document, but rather changes constantly to reflect the Project’s needs and the current status of the community’s venues, media sources, organizations, and key individuals. 

A publicity plan is 
not a static document, 
but rather changes constantly. 

Download the above Publicity Plan form as a Word document here.
Find it under Module 10: Publicity.

Diversify your publicity strategies

We strongly recommend that you diversify publicity methods so that you reach every segment of your community, and so that young men hear the messages about the program multiple times from various sources. If a young man hears from a friend that a fun Social Outreach Event is coming up, and then he sees an announcement for the event on a flyer, and then he reads about it in a gay newspaper or on someone’s Facebook page, he is much more likely to believe that it is worth checking out.

Use diverse methods to publicize your Project: word-of-mouth, online methods, and publicity in written media. 

Spread the message that something fun and exciting is happening in your community! 

"Sponge Bob" = a Young adult Gay/Bi man living in your town/city.
M Society Mpowerment Houston TX / Q Austin Mpowerment TX
SOMOS Mpowerment Wilton Manors FL / U-BE Mpowerment Dallas TX
Read more in Module 10 Publicizing the Mpowerment Project a free download when you register at mpowerment.org 

Module 10: Publicizing the Mpowerment Project


To explain how to develop and implement a publicity plan that effectively reaches young adult Gay and Bisexual men and promotes the Project and its activities.

For the Mpowerment Project to be truly a community wide HIV prevention program, as many young gay/bisexual men as possible must learn about the Project and its activities. Thus, effective publicity is an important Core Element to help the Project achieve its mission of increasing condom use and HIV testing among young gay/bisexual men in the community.

The most effective publicity campaigns: 

1) use multiple strategies
2) have clear goals
3) reach all segments of the target audience

4) are timely and ongoing, and 
5) place a Publicity Coordinator or volunteer(s) in charge of implementation. 

In order to publicize the Project successfully, it is important to select the most appropriate messages to send out and decide how best to convey them. We encourage being as creative and thorough as possible in publicizing the Project. The best suggestions will likely come from the Core Group and other volunteers who are most familiar with their own community. 

Haven Mpowerment Springfield MO / SOMOS OC Mpowerment Orange County CA
Color in Common Mpowerment Los Angeles CA

RELATED: Up your Projects social media game:  The Art of Listening: Social Media Toolkit for NonProfits. via the Greenlining Institute.

Monday, March 9, 2015

How to create a Core Group Agenda: Mpowerment Vancouver best practices

Having productive and well functioning meetings is one of the keys to a successful Core Group, and preparing for good meetings is simple and doesn't take much time. Here are best practices from the coordinators of Mpowerment YVR, Vancouver BC

Mpowerment YVR is a Project of YouthCo

Agenda: Mpowerment YVR Core Group
via Mpowerment YVR Coordinator Handbook

Create the agenda on Friday and upload as a file on the Mpowerment Core Group Facebook group page. This way the core group members have the weekend to read the agenda and come prepared for the meeting. If something specific is asked of a core group member, make sure to contact them and see how they are coming along and if they need anything from you.

Check In
  • Everyone says their name, a brief description of their week/how they are, and everyone answers a question - you can create this question or offer it to the group Icebreaker / Team Builder
  • Have a few ready to go each meeting. If the group seem low energy then make sure to do an energizer, if the group seems unfocused then do an icebreaker to create focus, if there are a lot of new people in the group do a team building exercise to help get to know everyone.
  • Health Promotion / Discussion topic
  • Every couple of months, ask the group to write down topics they would like to discuss.
  • Each week choose a topic and have an open discussion about the topic for 20mins. This is also a good way to get members who are interested in facilitation to practice in a safe environment.
  • Upcoming Mpowerment Event Calendar information.
  • Upcoming event update. Have the team leaders present what they have created.
  • Restrictions with venue, time, cost, dates, budget etc. Group Planning/Reflection
  • Split into the teams: Safer Sex, Engagement (Outreach), Social Media, Design
  • Get each team to brainstorm and develop plan for the next week/s for this event Report back.
  • Each team shares the ideas that were brainstormed and creates roles and responsibilities specific for every core group member at the event.

The men of Mpowerment YVR

Open space
  • Always have open space. This is a chance for anyone in the group to share something they would like to share and wasn’t on the agenda. 
  • Ask the group if anyone has a check out question. Film YouTube channel episode. Check out the MPowerment YVR YouTube Channel: Click me. 

Follow the adventures of MpowermentYVR:  MpowermentYVR website | MpowermentYVR on Facebook MpowermentYVR on twitter

RELATED: More goodness from Mpowerment YVR : How to organize a Core Group

RELATED3 easy to remember motivators for joining your Mpowerment Core Group.

To familiarize yourself with the Core Group, the decision-making body of MP download Module 5: Core Group and Other Volunteers a free download at mpowerment.org