Community awareness is a very important element in any community activity or project. Everybody hears the excuses: I didn’t know about it, I work so much, nobody told me, and I don’t keep up with what is going on around me. That is why it is so important to try multiple avenues to try to get the word out.
In every community it is important to know it well, including demographics, age brackets, income, history, and surrounding industries. In every neighborhood it is important to work closely with local community leaders to get the best approach in reaching out to their neighbors. Passing out flyers throughout the neighborhood is a good start as some people will get the flyers and read them and get an idea about the project, but of course some will not read it. Working with local civic clubs is good opportunity to make those member residents aware of the project, and in return some of them will go back to their neighbors and pass the word out. Another good local tool is to work with local schools, and work with parent leaders to get the word out. Also, sending out flyers through the students’ folders will ensure a big number of flyers will get out to all the parents in the area. In some areas churches are a big tool to use to get the word out. When you get the pastors to buy into the project they will get the word out to their parishioners, and send flyers through their bulletins. Community boards, local newspapers, stores, and local parks are a good location to pass out flyers and post information. Senior centers is a good avenue to get the older demographic informed as sporting events are get to get the younger demographic informed. In many cases every unique community has special events, or festivals that can serve as a tool to get information out via flyers, word of mouth, or presentations. Creativity is always an asset in finding new ways, as is ideas from the neighborhood itself.
Here at Air Alliance Houston, we use all these tools and more in informing and getting communities to participate in our projects, or information campaigns. Being a community outreach coordinator, these tools are very important. We continue to learn, and evolve in helping secure our future cleaner air, and healthier people.