Using Person-to-Person Outreach Strategies for Quality Reports
Many people prefer interacting with other people to reading, surfing the Web, watching television, or listening to the radio. To reach those people in your audience, you may want to add a personal dimension to your promotional efforts.
Examples of personal outreach include:
- Making formal and/or informal presentations about the report to groups of audience members or to groups of people who are highly trusted by audience members and can “spread the word.”
- Hosting a booth at a health fair or other event.
- Visiting a senior center during the lunch hour and giving a 5-minute talk about the report and how to access it. (If you have a print report, this can be a distribution method as well).
Conducting Outreach Through Information Intermediaries
Most sponsors don’t have enough staff to reach a large number of audience members in this personal way. But you can supplement staff by working with “information intermediaries,” i.e., organizations that are willing and able to spread your key messages to your audience.
Who Could Be Information Intermediaries?
Dozens, even hundreds, of organizations in your area are potential information intermediaries. They interact with your audience frequently, are trusted by your audience, and perhaps most important, care about your audience. Intermediaries include organizations that:
- Provide services (such as libraries, retirement residences, and community centers).
- Advocate for the needs of a specific population.
- Support the practice of a faith.
- Support the needs or interests of a specific cultural or demographic group.
In addition to groups like this, who may not have a particular health or health care mission, health care organizations, including those you rate, may also serve as intermediaries. However, take special care to make sure they convey your message rather than a message that undermines the accuracy, fairness, and utility of your report. Providing information in advance of the report release and spending time discussing it with them can help you both determine whether they will be constructive intermediaries or not.
What Can Information Intermediaries Do?
While information intermediaries may support the project in different ways, a key role for them is to provide personal outreach. For example, intermediaries can spread the word about:
- The existence of your report.
- Where to find it.
- Why consumers can trust the content.
- How consumers can benefit from the information.
They can do this through communications to their entire constituency, such as e-mails, posters, newsletters, pamphlets, and announcements at meetings. In addition, they can pinpoint and reach out to the specific individuals who are most likely to make good use of the report.
Another important role of information intermediaries is to help people use the information in your report. Learn more in Supporting Consumers in Using the Information.
In some cases, information intermediaries may also help provide your audience with access to a Web-based report if the intermediary makes computers available in an organizational setting for community members. This is one reason to cultivate relationships with libraries, but it may be true of other groups as well, including retirement residences, senior centers, and other community centers.
Tips on Working With Partners To Conduct Outreach
EXAMPLE: Equipping Employer Partners With Promotional Materials
Sponsor: Minnesota Community Measurement
- An article on asthma and asthma quality ratings.
- An article on diabetes and diabetes quality ratings.
- An article on health care consumerism.
- Text and graphics for a brochure, e-mail message, newsletter, or Web site informing employees about the availability of quality ratings.
- A fact sheet about MN Community Measurement.
- A "Frequently Asked Questions" sheet about MN Community Measurement quality ratings.
- A deck of PowerPoint® slides about MN Community Measurement quality ratings, tailored to the information needs of consumers.