Included in your Speak Out & Make NOYS kit is a
Project Organizer. This chapter will help you learn how to use it effectively. Your first step is to get organized.
Use your month-at-a-glance calendar to record all significant events.
- project due dates
- special events
- tests, etc.
“Organization is the key to success.
Try to keep all your important information in one place. That way you’ll never miss an important deadline.”
Kelli Walker, NATI
Getting Organized – Daily Planner
|“This daily to do list can really save your life.
Write everything down in one place and carry it with you all the time. You’ll never wonder about what you should be doing next - you’ll know.”
Amy Willis, Florida NOYS
Preparation is the most important ingredient for a successful meeting.
- Decide the purpose of the meeting. Never hold a meeting without a clear purpose and specific plan. A purpose will help you decide what belongs on your meeting agenda.
- Decide who should attend. If you are dealing with a big planning issue, you probably want the entire project team. If you are only dealing with media issues, for example, you might just need the publicity committee.
- Decide where your meeting will be held, the time and length.
Follow the step-by-step guide in the project organizer. This guide is more informal than traditional agendas; it will help you think through the topics you need to include.
- Put together a meeting preparation “To Do” list to make sure you have taken care of all the details.
- Determine if you should send out a reminder notice. This can be an e-mail or a phone call you make just prior to the meeting to confirm that team members are planning to attend and that they are prepared to participate.
Effective Meetings - Running
Decide how the discussions and decisions in the meeting will be recorded. Meeting notes or minutes are a very important part of the meeting process. They are a record of the discussions, decisions, and action items that occurred at the meeting. At a more formal meeting you might request one person to keep the official minutes. The example and notes above show what information is important to record in the meeting notes.
At a more informal meeting, no official minutes will be taken, however meeting notes should be taken by each member. Many of the same details listed above can be covered.
Most important is a master “To Do” list that identifies what action steps will be done by specific dates and by whom. This list will help you follow up and make sure these tasks are completed on time.
Effective Meetings - Tips
- Be prepared. Make sure you have thought out every part of the meeting. What information or reports will you share with your team?
- Invite the right people and use their abilities once you get them there.
Team members will not want to miss your meetings when they know that they are an important part of the team and that they have a responsibility at the meeting.
- Start and finish on time. You want to encourage promptness and show respect for your team members time so, if you need more time, ask members if they can stay longer.
- Always begin on a positive note. A great way to start is to congratulate the team on an
accomplishment. Everybody loves
to be acknowledged and appreciated.
- State your meeting purpose early. Your team members should already know the purpose of the meeting but, if they are unclear, it’s a good place to start.
- Stick to your agenda. If important issues come up that require your attention, schedule a meeting to deal with them. Don’t let unexpected ideas get you off track. Stay focused.
- Always review action items from the last meeting.
- Encourage everyone to take meeting notes. They will then have a personal record of the important items discussed and agreed upon.
- Include everyone in the discussions. Some team members may be shy and not contribute without your encouragement. Others may dominate the discussions.
- Share the wealth. Try to get everyone involved. When team members have an assignment, they have more motivation and ownership.
- When dividing up tasks, first ask for volunteers. “Does anyone have a strong interest in heading up the publicity work group?” Or a more direct request might be, “ Jessie, since you’re such a good artist, would you be in charge of the publicity work group?”
- Get commitments. Never make assumptions; make
sure you get a verbal agreement. “Jessie, we will need a graphic design by next Friday at 3:00 for the newspaper, can you get that done?” Write these commitments in the section called Action Items.
- Follow up with each team member’s commitments. “Great. Call me by Tuesday to tell me if you need any help.” Then write it down so that you are keeping your commitments.
- Make decision by
instead of voting.
Voting always has winners and losers.
Your goal is to find
a way to allow everyone to WIN.
- Keep the meetings short and full of activity. Nothing is worse than boring meetings that drag on and on.
- Remind your team of the Rules of Brainstorming before each Brainstorming session. Discussing, evaluating, and prioritizing are important skills, but they don’t belong in the same session as brainstorming.
- Remember to have fun. You can keep team members coming back if your meetings are fun, positive, fast paced, and chuck full of action.
- Know your next step. Before you end the meeting, make sure everyone agrees on the next step (meeting date and purpose, activity, action items, etc.)
“Running good meetings is easy if you are well prepared. If not, they can be a complete disaster.”
Traci Gurley, FCCLA
In order to get your message out, you must present your project ideas to others. Some form of presentation will be needed to recruit others to help you, or to request funding. No matter what the bottom line is, you must be able to communicate your needs and desires clearly if you expect to get the results you desire. The following tips can help you put your best foot forward and make a great impression. Read through the following tips and then check out the presentation worksheet on the next page.
- Script out for yourself your desired outcome. You need to know exactly what you want before you meet with people. Are you looking for funding? If so, how much and for what expenses? Do you need a respected community leader on your planning team? Are you looking for a business to donate an event site?
- Define what benefit there is for the listener. Remember that everyone participates in a project
for his or her own reasons. Ask yourself in advance
what their reasons might be and make sure you identify those benefits during your presentation.
- Be prepared. When you approach business and community leaders, it’s important to be well prepared. Not only should you know your presentation by heart, but you should also be ready to answer questions as well.
- Define your project goals. What will your project accomplish? How will this project benefit other youth? How will it benefit the community?
- Demonstrate your organization skills & commitment. Give examples of your accomplishments. People want to be a part of projects that are successful. It’s easier to commit their time and resources when they can see that you are well organized and completely committed to your project.
- Use visual aids. Most people are visual learners. It helps to show them what your project will accomplish. Use charts, graphs and pictures. You can really impress them by creating a picture board or a powerpoint presentation.
- Be passionate. If you believe in your project, it will come through in your presentation. You want these business and community leaders to
get involved, but they won’t be interested unless they feel your enthusiasm.
- Dress appropriately. You don’t have
to wear a business suit but you
should look the part of a young
person who is serious about your
project and your desire to partner
with business to reach your goals.
Ask yourself, will I be taken seriously
dressed like this?
- Keep eye contact, have a good time and Smile, Smile, Smile.
- Always follow up your presentation with a thank-you note or phone call.
Nikki Finch, BACCHUS & GAMMA
Have you hear the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, it’s true. You can add power to your presentation by using good visual aids. Here are some examples of aids that can be used to enhance your presentation.
PowerPoint presentations are great to use when –
- you need to present to business professionals
- you have a lot of information; statistics and hard data to present and you need to liven up your presentation
- you want to use charts, graphs, and bullet points in your presentation
The tools in PowerPoint can help your presentation come alive with motion, pictures, music, and even video to really impress your prospects. PowerPoint is a great tool for creating slides, but it works best when you are able to use a computer attached to a projector.
Two things to remember when you are using PowerPoint presentations.
- Make sure that there will be equipment available at the site so you can actually run the presentation.
- Give handouts of your presentation so your prospects can refer to it for questions and when relaying your message to others.
The concept behind a picture board is to tell a story with pictures. These can be as small as a poster or as large as a booth display board.
Picture Boards are great to use when –
- you have a lot of visual material to work with
- you are setting up an exhibit display
- you are giving a presentation where everyone can sit close enough to see the board
- when other presentation technology isn’t available
Conventions, health fairs, and special events are just a few examples of opportunities where displaying a picture board as part of an exhibit works really well.
Anthony DeCicco, Project Change
Things that go well on a picture board include:
- Prints of your PowerPoint
- Charts & Graphs
- Project Logo & Title
Using Visual Aids
The best way to promote your project is by personal contact. However, that isn’t always possible. You can only talk to so many people. Distributing flyers can be a great way to help ‘spread the word’ about your project.
Well-designed flyers accomplish several things for your project team.
- They are easy to mail.
- You can use them as handouts.
- Some flyers can be sent by fax.
- They give your project a professional appearance.
- Well-designed flyers give credibility to both your team and your cause.
How do you design the right kind of flyer? You can choose a 3-fold flyer that works great as a mailer, or a single-page flyer that is best for posting and faxing.
The most important key to creating a successful design for your flyer is to make sure you know exactly what your flyer will be used for before you design it.
Banners are a great way to attract people’s attention and interest. They can be homemade or professionally designed. You can use banners over and over again in many different ways.
- Carry them in a parade.
- Cover a table at a health fair, convention or some other special event.
- Tape them to the wall at a dance.
- Hang it in an exhibit space such as a display case.
- Use smaller banners as posters.
If you have a distinctive project name or logo, a banner can be a great addition to your visual aids.
Keep Eye Contact
“When presenting to adults, be prepared,
know your stuff and be self-confident.”
Amy Willis, Florida NOYS
Contact your local newspapers, radio and TV stations to learn their requirements for press releases, article submission, recording times, and PSAs. Once you know these requirements, make sure you follow them exactly. Put someone on your team in charge of publicity to follow through on dates and data.
A news or press release is the primary communication tool with the media. Press releases are short articles packed with facts about your project/event. Contact your local newspapers and find out who covers community events, education and youth projects. Be sure to contact a wide range of media people: editors, reporters, columnists, public service directors, public relations directors, community service directors. Call them directly to tell them about your project and follow up with an informational press release.
Tips for Developing a Great Press Release
- Type the release time and date or “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” in the upper right-hand corner with the name and telephone number of a contact person and the name of your organization.
- Release must be typed, double-spaced, and limited to one page.
- Your lead paragraph is a description of your project/event summarizing the who, what, when, where why and how.
- Get to the main point quickly, and then add the details. The entire release should be no more than 2-3 paragraphs.
- Make sure you send out your press release at least 3 weeks prior to any event you have scheduled.
Sample Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 6, 2000
CONTACT: Suzzanne Sellman (301) 650-8143
25 National and Medical Organizations
Launch Nationwide Effort to Teach Emergency Lifesaving Skills
to Children and Adolescent in the School Setting
Who: Stephanie Bryn, MPH Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau
What: The Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program announces a nationwide program – developed by more than 25 national organizations and medical institutions – to encourage schools to incorporate basic emergency lifesaving skills training into their current health education curricula.
When: Monday, March 27, 2000, 3:00 pm
Where: The D’Alesandro Room, Omni Inner Harbor Hotel
101 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD
Why: Each year, more than 31 million individuals ages 1-17 years visit the emergency department due to an illness or injury. Many of the incidents are likely to occur in the home while a parent is at work, in a school where a nurse in not available, or on the playground when an adult is not present. It is also likely that other children or adolescents will be the first person available to render assistance prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.
The introduction, acquisition, and reinforcement of basic emergency lifesaving skills – such as CPR and first aid during the school years, K-12, instills in students a sense of social responsibility, allows them to gain confidence in responding to sudden and perhaps frightening events, and teaches them to recognize the need for and how to call for emergency assistance.
Public Service Announcements are the easiest form of publicity. Radio stations must offer this free service for community focused projects like Speak Out and Make NOYS. PSAs can be written for a radio announcer to read or they can be recorded using your own voice. When using written PSAs be sure to include several different time formats so stations have more options in using your material.
Rose A. McMurray
Public Service Announcement
You say the seat belt makes your clothes wrinkled? That it feels tight? That it’s a pain to wear? So how do you feel about windshild glass cutting your face? Now THAT is a pain. Buckle up.
This message brought to you by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the US Department of Transportation.
Tips for Developing a PSA
- Target stations that have the type of audience that matches the group you are trying to reach.
- Call the station and ask for the person who schedules public service announcements.
- Identify yourself, your organization and your project. Ask if they prefer prerecorded or typed
- Give them the exact format they require.
- Write several different lengths PSAs 10, 15 or 30 seconds long.
- Start out with a statement that will catch your target audience’s attention.
- Answer the question, “Why should I care?”
- Get to the point.
- Include all the details, who, what, when, where, why and how.
- Create a strong ending and call to action.
Rose A. McMurray
Public Service Announcement
:30 Version (Prom Season)
You and your friends are finally on your way to the prom. You’ve found the perfect outfit, and you want to show up looking great. So, you decide not to buckle up. But, what about not showing up at all? Riding unbuckled could mess up more than just your clothes. It could mess up your future. Get you and your friends there safely. Enjoy the prom. Buckle up.
This message brought to you by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the US Department of Transportation.
A press kit simply includes more information than a one-page press release. Include the following materials in a packet or folder.
- Fact Sheets
- Your organization’s data or information page
- Letters of support
Endorsements from government officials,
community leaders, business people, school administrators, law enforcement officers, and local celebrities are a powerful way to encourage greater media coverage. Your city, county, or state can declare a proclamation. These
also add power to your media campaign.
- Contact your local officials (Mayor, Governor, Education and Health
- Confirm the correct name and address of where to send your proclamation
- Send your letter requesting a proclamation or their support for your
- Make a follow-up phone call in one week to find out if any additional
information is required.
- Always send a thank-you note, regardless of their decision.
The Cover Letter
The Press Kit and Proclamation need a cover letter. This is a simple letter that is addressed directly to the media personnel, government official, community leader, or business owner you are approaching. The letter describes who you are and describes your project/event. In addition, the letter includes a personal appeal to participate in your project in some way. You may be asking for funding or requesting TV or radio coverage for your event. Any contact by mail should include a cover letter.
Tips for Developing the Cover Letter
- Include the date, name, and address of the recipient.
- Write short paragraphs – summarizing the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the project/event.
- Make your request and include a statement that answers the question “What’s in it for the reader?”
- Let them know how to contact you.
- Tell them you will telephone their office in a week to answer any questions they may have.
- Thank them for their time
- Close with “Sincerely,” your name, organization, and title.
Sample Cover Letter for PSAs
March 1, 2000
Mr. Wright, Public Service Director
1 Main St.
Anytown, Anystate 44444
Dear Mr. Wright:
My name is John Doe. I am part of Project Buckle-Up - a campaign by teens in Any High School to improve driving safety. The goal of our project is to increase safety belt use in our teen community by 75%.
Your radio station can help us reach our goal by broadcasting the enclosed PSA. Motor vehicle crashes kill and cripple more 15- to 20-year-olds than any other cause. What’s worse, people our age, especially guys, wear their safety belts less than any other group – yet safety belts are the best way to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes.
The enclosed Youth Safety Belt PSAs have been tested with young drivers in cities and small towns across the country by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These PSAs have received overwhelming approval from teens and young people.
If you have further questions about our project and what activities we are doing, please call me at 1-555-555-4444. I will be contacting your office next week to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you for your time and support.
Public Relations Team, Project Buckle-Up
Any High School
Most projects/events will have expenses. Some will require substantial financial help while others may only require small donations or fund-raising efforts. You have already calculated exactly what your project will cost; now it’s time to make some decisions about how you will raise the money. You will want to consider the following:
- Cost estimates for products or services required for the event.
- Businesses willing to donate products and/or services.
- A well-designed plan to raise the necessary funds for products and services that are not being donated.
- Prepare a flyer that describes your project and its goals.
- Include estimates for all costs. Be very specific with your needs when you approach business leaders with your requests. Even if they can’t make a cash donation, they may have resources and connections to help you.
- Be sure to include what benefits your potential sponsors will receive from their participation, (tax deduction, free advertising, good PR).
- Remember to thank everyone you present your proposal to no matter what his or her final decision.
You are building relationships with community leaders. Your polite, professional approach will influence others to support your project.
“It’s great to do something worthwhile at the same time you’re having fun and raising money.”
Jereme McBride, Arizona SADD
These organizations often have grants and other types of funding available. For a list of national agencies and organizations, see the resource section of this manual.
Remember that fundraisers themselves often require lots of time, energy, and money to organize. Be careful to choose an event that complements your project and doesn’t use up the majority of your resources.
- Chinese Fortune Cookies
- Baked goods
- Pizza kits
- Lunch box auction
- Celebrity basketball
- Softball game
- Karate demonstration
- Powder puff game
- All-night bowling
- Donkey basketball
- Fun run
- Spaghetti dinner
- Potluck dinner
- Pizza night
- Ice cream social
- Progressive dinner
- A-thons (bowl, skate, think, etc.)
- Car raffle
- Jellybean jar guess
- Frisbee contest
- Dance contest
- Chess tournament
- Dance marathon
- Used books
- Stuffed animals
- Coupon books
- Bumper stickers
- Flea market
- Class t-shirts
- Teacher auction
- Treasure hunt
- Faculty talent show
- Bingo night
- Dunk tank
- Greased pig catch
- Singing grams
- Recycling drive
- Fashion show
- Pie throw
- Face painting
- Car wash
- Casino night
- Care packages for finals week
- Pool party