Marketing and Visibility with WSU Jefferson County Extension
2015 marks the second year of the gleaning project, but the first year for WSU Extension Jefferson County sponsorship (the previous year the gleaning project went by a different name). Therefore, a great deal of marketing was employed to promote both the concept of gleaning and to boost participation in the project. To get the word out about your gleaning project, try the following strategies:
- Piggyback on the email lists of other established groups. For example, Jefferson County Gleaning project sent gleaning opportunities and updates to a local sustainability group, which sends weekly email announcements to a large email group. Another source of volunteer crossover was found through local Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) members. This source proved to be an amazing contribution to the gleaning program.
- Table at various establishments and events to increase general visibility. Jefferson County Gleaning tabled at food banks, a volunteer fair, a county picnic, and a small town fair. Other ideas of places to table your project are farmer’s markets, school fairs, farm tour headquarters, on a donor farm during a farm tour, outside grocery stores, or any community event.
- Find a local radio or TV program in your town that might be interested in having a representative on to talk about gleaning – this is a fun and old-fashioned way to spread the word! The gleaning coordinator had the opportunity to talk on a radio show about Jefferson County Gleaning, and what gleaning is all about, and let people know that community involvement is integral to the success of the project.
- Self-promotion in the local newspaper is another good way to let folks know what gleaning is and how to get involved. It is also a good way to help promote the donor farms where gleaning occurs. Contribute articles and photographs.
- Post fliers and handouts about your program.
In all of your marketing strategies, be clear about what gleaning is and the ways your community can be involved. Offer a number of options of how to get involved, as this is more inclusive of a larger audience and will hopefully interest more folks.