Outreach Coordinator's Handbook
Jeff E. Brooks-Harris, J. Judd Harbin, Laura W. Doto, Paulette M. Stronczek, & Bert H. Epstein
5. Identifying your Target Groups
- To whom would you like to reach out? Who needs the
information on a particular topic the most? What groups
on your campus are vulnerable to a particular problem?
- With whom has your center collaborated before on these issues?
- Are there key players in a particular group who can get an audience to attend? For example, if you are targeting sorority members for outreach on eating disorders, is there an interested sorority leader who could make the workshop mandatory?
- Review your past outreach requests to identify which individuals, courses, residence halls, fraternities, sororities, clubs, teams, and organizations use outreach services.
- Express your appreciation to regular users (e.g., thank you notes).
- Are any obvious potential users missing? (e.g., the college or university's Human Resource Development department, etc.)
- Identify under-represented groups by comparing the outreach requests and attendance data to clinical data and to university / college composition (e.g., race, ethnicity, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, relationship status, disability, other cultural identifiers).
- Start with a captive population; speak to other therapists, staff, etc. who might identify a subgroup of students sharing similar needs, e.g. procrastination, academic probation, writer's block.
- Is someone on staff a natural liaison to under-represented groups? If so, is she or he interested and available to reach out to that group? Otherwise, who would be most interested and available?
- Make personal contact with a leader or advisor associated with an under-represented or targeted group. Explain that this group appears under-represented (or why this group has been "targeted"). Ask for time to meet and talk so you can find out why the group is under-represented. Is it because: 1) The group has no need for counseling or outreach services; 2) The group has needs but these are met through other resources; 3) The group has needs and these are not met due to either real or perceived barriers.
- Once a group has been target and contact has been made with a leader or advisor, the next step is Assessing the Needs of Your Targets.
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