Making SCSEP Visible

By Tony Sarmiento

If you’re a subgrantee of Senior Service America, Inc., you are focused every day on delivering programs that are efficient and effective. But you won’t be able to accomplish your goals unless older people in your community come to your door.

Some of that happens already because more older Americans are looking for work today more than ever. But many more people could take advantage of SCSEP and your other programs if they only knew about them.

Here are some hints about how and where to generate publicity. These ideas are not foolproof; no media strategy ever is. But they are designed to reach the people who can benefit most from your programs.

NEWSPAPERS: They are still around, and they are particularly alert to local stories if they are small or small-ish. Don’t just mail in a press release. Call the primary local columnist (every paper has one). He or she will always be looking for stories about your community, which are exactly what you can provide.

TELEVISION: Local TV stations often are desperate for human-interest stories on weekends. You’ve got plenty of them. Call the assignment desk, or a reporter you might have seen on the screen.

RADIO: Three avenues are talk shows, all-news stations and public radio. Don’t scoff at the staying power of radio. Research shows that even a one-time “listen” to a radio story stays with a person longer than a TV story.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook or Twitter alone will accomplish very little, but using one or both can support your other visibility efforts. While you might reach more older adults on Facebook, you might reach more reporters on Twitter.

ETHNIC NEWS MEDIA. Over 57 million ethnic adults in the U.S. can be reached through 3000+ ethnic media outlets that include newspapers, radio/TV, and social media. For more information about this fastest growing sector of American journalism, go to New America Media.

We know that for every SCSEP participant, there are another 100 more older workers who are eligible for our program. Let’s do our best to make your program visible in your community.

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