Outreach Kit, Section 2: Outreach Inventory
Overview | Outreach Inventory | Branding & Messaging | Outreach Planning | Further Reading & Final Thoughts
Download Outreach Template & Planning Table
In this section, you will pull together information that will help form the basis of your outreach plan.
It’s always good to start with the big picture – to begin, list the overarching goals of your ATE project or center (or if you’re not grant-funded, then the goals of your program or organization) in the first section of the template. Starting your outreach planning by listing your overarching goals is a helpful reminder that the work we are doing in outreach should always be serving those original goals. You may also want to consider adding other goals along with the ones from your proposal, including those of your organization or institution, or the goals of your program or department.
Most likely you will have multiple audiences you want to connect with in order to get the work of your grant accomplished. To make things a bit easier we’ve listed some of the common audiences for the ATE community below so you can cut and paste some of these into your template and then edit to make them your own. It’s helpful to add specifics and description – so rather than just having “students” as an audience – perhaps “female students from our campus” as one entry and “female students from regional high schools” as a second entry as you may need to consider different strategies for reaching each type of audience.
- Students (college, high school, returning, female)
- Faculty/Teachers (from your own campus, from the region, from K-12 sector, across the nation, from a specific field)
- Administrators on your own campus or partner campuses
- Industry partners (local, regional, nation, small businesses, national corporations, specific fields – manufacturing, nano, bio)
- Professional associations (local, regional, national, specific fields)
- High school guidance counselors (local, regional)
- NSF (your program officer)
- Other – refer to your grant and talk with collaborators and other team members about including other audiences not listed above.
As you consider the audiences you listed, it’s important to also consider how you’re going to reach them. To aid in that process we’ve listed some pathways below – add those that are appropriate to your template and then do some editing to get specific about which of these you might want to incorporate into your outreach efforts. It can be helpful to consider which audiences you will reach through each pathway too.
- Website (who’s creating, maintaining, hosting it)
- Social media (which platforms, how often are you posting, who’s doing the posting)
- Email blasts/list (tools, topics, how often, who is taking the lead)
- Newsletter (publication schedule, staff lead, what kinds of info or sections, technology to help with creating)
- Specific events (conferences, recruitment events, industry tours, webinars)
- Online or in-person meetings (for which audiences, how often, tools for online meetings)
- Other – brainstorm with your team – are there other pathways not listed above you should be considering?
TIP: Websites can be a key tool in your outreach toolbox, but they can be expensive and time consuming to create. If you don’t have a lot of support on your campus for website development, consider ATE Central’s Microsite service. It’s free for ATE grantees and a great way to get a basic website online.
Many potential partners may be able to support your outreach efforts both on your own campus, in your community, and in your field. Some ideas are listed below – get creative and try to think about anyone who might be able to help you get the word out about what you’re doing. Then add your list of partners to your template – note whether these are partners you already have or need to cultivate.
- Campus marketing/design (help with designs for posters, handouts, websites; connections to local and regional promotional events; co-branding opportunities)
- Campus recruiting (support for student recruiting efforts, possible partner for events)
- ATE Central (will disseminate your impacts, activities, events within and beyond ATE, microsite service, newsletter coverage, blog posts, events calendar)
- ATE community members
- Industry partners
- Professional associations
- Staff, Co-PIs, external evaluators
TIP: If working directly with media is something that would serve your project or center, make sure to first check with your institution’s marketing department. For more information on working with media see the Section 5.
You may already have a variety of resources that can support your outreach efforts, or if you are a new grantee, you may be just getting started creating and collecting these sorts of items. Either way, it’s a productive exercise to list out what you think you will need as you engage with your audiences. As you add any appropriate items from below to your template, make a note of whether each resource exists or whether you need to create/purchase it. There may be overlap between the pathways you’ve identified and the resources you list – that’s fine. You can choose to have some items on both lists or choose to not have any overlap. Remember that the list below is just a sample of the types of resources that many grantees use – so carefully consider your needs. You may decide to keep your outreach resources to a minimum depending on your goals, budget, and the types of outreach activities you are planning - and remember that you will probably add to, and edit, your collection of items over time.
- Social media accounts
- One-page overview of project/center
- Pop up banner
- Other – consider the goals of your project and the types of activities you have planned in your grant as you think about resources you may need, or already have.