How do you successfully get the word out about your program to fathers, families, local businesses and other stakeholders? The answer is a good communications strategy. Communications refers to the methods you use to spread the word about the kinds of services you offer fathers, how those services can help them improve in their role as a father, and possibly, testimonials from clients you have already served. Successful strategic communication strategies combine social media accounts, brochures, flyers, business cards, newsletters, and post cards. No matter the type of communication strategy you pursue, presentation matters. Taking the time to communicate with visually appealing, easily readable, relatable and organized products make your program memorable.
Tips & Best Practices
- Make information clear, concise, and easy to find. The program’s purpose and benefits should be clearly described. This text should be bold and easy to find. Keep the writing simple. Use short sentences. Do not clutter the page. Use words and images sparingly and leave enough blank space. Finally, include telephone numbers and emails where staff can be reached to answer general questions or direct fathers to specific programs.
- Create products to suit the audience. Potential funders, community partners, and participants have different information needs and require tailored messages. Create separate brochures, flyers, and post cards for each of these stakeholders. Make publications and other products available in both English and Spanish, or other languages spoken by large numbers of the target population. Make sure translations are accurate.
- Consider how to best use media. Use high quality photos and printing. Blurry images and streaky print are often seen as unprofessional. Be sure that people in the photos represent the target audience. Also make sure the program has permission to use images.
Where should I distribute my materials?
Go to where dads are, both physically in the community and online on the most used social media channels and on your Web site. Community places such as barbershops, churches, and other community-based organizations are also good places that may reach fathers in your community.
How can I increase fathers’ interest and engagement with my program?
Instead of leaving it up to fathers to call, you could ask a partner agency to ask, “Is it okay if I have the fatherhood program reach out to you?” at the time they hand brochures over. You can also schedule events or sessions that provide information to interested fathers.
Leaving brochures to hand out at partner agencies doesn’t seem to be attracting a lot of new dads. What else can I do?
One strategy could be to send staff to conduct weekly visits to offices where your products are located. This provides an opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with dads and nurtures your relationships with staff in that office. You can also try holding events or informational sessions in partnership with agencies.