Traditional media – still a great way to create community awareness!

UCT councils throughout North America are constantly working at making a difference in their local communities by volunteering and supporting causes and charities that help others. Countless individuals with intellectual disabilities, children, hungry families, the homeless, cancer patients, veterans, seniors and others have all been and are still being helped by UCT.

That’s great news! The even better news is that an increasing number of members and councils are getting on board with social media – particularly Facebook – as a way to let others other know about projects and events and to exchange information and ideas. We at the UCT home office encourage members and councils to keep up and step up your social media efforts – and we urge you to combine those endeavors with some traditional media.

That’s right, traditional media. As in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. In a 24/7 social media world, it might surprise you to learn that traditional media is still alive and succeeding as a tool for getting the word out about UCT local councils. Just ask the members who are using it to make Council 452 a household name in Coldwater, Michigan. Or the folks in Sydney, Nova Scotia, who get so much print and air time for Cape Breton Council 883 that you’d think they own the area. This is good stuff that all UCT local councils should try!

As members of the above councils could tell you, getting the word out about your council and what you do locally can help generate community interest in your council – and might even help jumpstart membership. If you’re still hesitant, keep this in mind: according to recent findings, 72 percent of people still trust the things they read in the paper or see/hear on TV and radio first and foremost. And this is especially true in smaller communities. Given that kind of percentage, doesn’t it make sense to take a stab at promoting your local council’s events and projects in area newspapers, on local radio and maybe even on TV?

Using traditional media to create community awareness about your local council is easier than you might think. A great place to start is with the UCT Media Guide, which has just been updated and is available on the Members’ Area/Member Resource Center page of UCT’s website. It will also be mailed/emailed to local secretaries next week. The guide is designed to provide you with tips to create council awareness in your community through press releases, media alerts, public service announcements and more. You can use as much – or as little – of the information provided as it applies to your council and community. Start out small and grow your efforts from there. You’ll be surprised and pleased with the results of even the simplest endeavors!

If, after reading the guide, you still have questions about how to get started, contact me at lfisher@uct.org or at 800.848.0123 x1130. I’m happy to walk you through the process of whatever you want to tackle – and I don’t mind being hands-on, if that’s what it takes. Together we can make this happen!

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