Types of Media Outreach Campaigns

With our extensive experience in community engagement, Outreach Extensions has developed different types of media campaigns with varied levels of complexity and impact. For each of our primary campaign types, we’ve provided a brief description, characteristics, benefits, and campaign examples (below).

Our customized campaigns begin with your production (issues, themes, stories), build bridges to the community, and ultimately connect with the social community and interactive opportunities on the Web. We will work with you to determine what works best for your production, including consideration for time and budget available.

After reviewing our various types of campaigns, please see our list of services for additional ways to utilize our expertise. This includes strategic planning, proposal writing, and Web development.

Producers have also called upon us to troubleshoot - and fix - floundering outreach campaigns associated with their films or series. Our creativity and problem-solving abilities have turned around campaigns and produced needed results.

Contact us to find out how we can assist you.

Long Term, High Profile Initiatives

Outreach Extensions has successfully created major social issue initiatives. Examples include one built around the issue of prisoner reentry into their families and communities; another served a network of neighborhoods with the purpose of strengthening youth and families and forging effective communities. OE utilizes a comprehensive development process to create these initiatives, which continue to evolve over multiple years. Campaign characteristics are:

  • Multiple documentaries or series are linked together over a multi-year period to increase visibility, focus on specific issues, and build impact.
  • Core outreach plan, Web site, and resources that span the pipeline of multiple documentaries, expand knowledge about the issue, deepen conversations, and build public will.
  • Productions brought into the initiative represent a range of broadcast networks, e.g., PBS, MSNBC, NBC, and NPR.
  • Local stations and/or strategic partners bridge from one documentary/series to the next, building support structures to address an issue.
  • Stations partner with local stakeholders to garner solution-based community involvement.
  • Diverse target audiences participate.
  • Customized media tools and resources help stations and strategic partners effectively implement campaigns; materials can be tailored to serve local needs.
  • Cost efficiencies are achieved through shared use of materials and interweaving campaigns.
  • Benefit: This type of campaign benefits producers, funders, clients, and stations by making them part of a high profile, long-term initiative with the potential to create sustainable community change. The shelf-life of a documentary or series is extended beyond a single campaign. Greater awareness is achieved through multiple exposures to an issue from different perspectives.
  • Example: Reentry National Media Outreach Campaign, Making Connections Media Outreach Initiative

Multiplatform Media Outreach Campaigns

Through delivering outreach and production content across multiple platforms, ranging from video to Web and from on-the-ground community engagement to viral distribution, Outreach Extensions achieves high impact, solution based action. Activities expand the reach and extend the life of a national documentary beyond its broadcast into the community where it can effectively be used as a springboard for dialogue and action.

Campaign characteristics are:

  • A documentary or series that tells a compelling story about an important social issue; if a documentary, potential for broadcast as part of an acclaimed series.
  • Collaboration with the producer results in an array of media tools such as:
    • reversioning the documentary (clips and slides)
    • vignettes (short original videos) presenting promising practices and related model programs
    • executive video for policymakers (content from film, new footage, and viewpoints of policymakers
    • promo
    • outtakes
  • Customized downloadable print materials serve a range of audiences, e.g., policymakers, social workers, school principals.
  • Distribution of media assets across different platforms, e.g., Web sites of broadcaster, funders, partners, and local stations; DVD/CD; looped reel at booth/event.
  • National partners help the campaign define issues, develop and distribute materials, and mobilize community engagement.
  • Multiple screenings of various media tools targeted to specific audiences, e.g., executive video for policymakers presented at a governors’ conference, vignettes shown at a social issue workshop that results in an action plan, reversioned documentary screened in a prisoner reentry program to generate discussion/ action and ultimately lower recidivism.
  • Benefit: This type of campaign benefits producers, funders, clients, and stations by generating multiple impressions through on-air (television, radio), print, Web, and events through national campaign, local station, and strategic partner activities. Depending on project goals, the documentary’s themes, and leveraging opportunities through partners, these campaigns have the capacity to achieve social change through policy and federal legislation.
  • Examples: The Principal Story, Legacy, Foster Care Project

Localization of a National Documentary or Series

Outreach Extensions pioneered the leveraging of local public television stations’ media assets as part of outreach campaigns in association with the broadcast of a national television documentary or series. Media assets include locally produced and broadcast town halls, production/broadcast of local news and information segments or programs, radio news features, Web sites and related activity (e.g., Webcasts, podcasts, blogs, social networking), print materials and resources, and outreach videos and DVDs. The process includes collaborating with the national broadcast series as well as helping local stations to secure and leverage strategic partnerships to meet campaign goals.

Campaign characteristics are:

  • Participating communities and stations are selected based on a strategic local engagement plan; clients may recommend key markets.
  • Local stations are given grants to participate in the national outreach campaign; their plans designate local community partners with the goal of community empowerment.
  • Stations agree to produce a documentary, televised town hall, news segments on a public affairs show, and/or radio news segments that will present local challenges and viewpoints or model community programs/solutions related to the issues in the national film; the local program is broadcast immediately before or after the national documentary or as part of a program strand on the issue.
  • Partners and community networks participate in decision making about the content of the local production and spokespeople presented; content includes context for and analysis about the local perspective on the issue; local stories are told through professional execution by stations.
  • Collaboration with the broadcast series stimulates discussion about social issue reform across the political spectrum; Outreach Extensions and broadcast series use diverse and complementary strategies to engage various audiences.
  • Stations, local partners, and the broadcast series build campaigns that utilize multiple media – on-air (television, radio), print, Web, and on-the-ground events – to deliver high impact campaigns. Provisions are made for consumer generated content related to issues and solutions (through Web and video).
  • Benefit: This type of campaign benefits producers, funders, clients, and stations through generating multiple impressions through on–air (television, radio), print, Web, and events. Viewership is in the tens of thousands versus an event with several hundred attendees. Station productions provide local perspectives on issues and actionable solutions that benefit communities – with the goal of sustainability through neighborhood empowerment. Local stories make the issues more personally compelling and motivate community engagement.
  • Examples: Aging Out, Critical Condition, Waging A Living

Building a Brand (New Series)

Outreach Extensions is often called upon to help build the brand of a new series such as a children’s series – for which branding may be especially important due to licensure agreements and ancillary products. High impact, innovative outreach activities build awareness and draw audiences to the series.

Campaign characteristics are:

  • Need to create awareness for the brand, television series, and outreach campaign and to position the series as unique in some way, e.g., ambassador for reading education/literacy.
  • Developing partnerships with strategic organizations that directly engage children, families, and communities in activities related to the series’ key themes; partners may be national organizations with local affiliates that can work with television stations. Partner endorsements enhance the new series’ legitimacy.
  • Developing learning materials and resources that help children and/or parents gain skills, with a special emphasis on those in low-income neighborhoods; parents and caregivers may be empowered to support children’s learning.
  • Capacity to extend the series’ entertainment value and educational content through an innovative delivery system such as summer camps, zoo overnights, or play/drama scripts for kids, which increase utilization and enhance learning.
  • Local station grants program supports the series’ launch and secures guaranteed community engagement through on-the-ground events and Web interactivity; accountability through station adherence to grant requirements.
  • Building station buy-in to support the new series on multiple station levels – programming, outreach, promotion, marketing, and new media.
  • Outreach evaluation can be achieved through reports on local station grant-funded projects, pre-/post-assessments of children, and external evaluations.
  • Strategy to tie into larger broadcast/network initiatives.
  • Creative designs appeal to children and families and increase utilization of educational materials.
  • Benefit: This type of campaign builds a new series as a trusted brand with children, parents, teachers, partners, and the community. Kids gain new skills and parents gain new understanding about the value of the educational content presented to their children. Evaluations document measured outcomes. Tying into national public television initiatives also builds their brand value – and that of the local broadcast station.
  • Examples: Super Why, Kratts’ Creatures, Tots TV, Noddy, Liberty’s Kids