Marketing the local extension program
There are many ways faculty, staff and council members can help people in their communities know that MU Extension improves people's lives.
Reach out to regional leaders and elected officials:
- Share information about impacts, programs and needs assessments with county commissioners, legislators and other decision makers and opinion leaders.
- Invite elected officials and other leaders to participate in programs.
- Participate in the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance Legislative Day in Jefferson City.
- Host events for local leaders. Invite program participants who can explain how your programs improved their life.
- Publish a newsletter for extension council members, county commissioners and community opinion-leaders highlighting upcoming programs, program results, and staff and council members.
- Hold an informational coffee and dessert session for county commissioners, local government officials and other stakeholders.
Improve your visibility throughout your community:
- Establish a county extension council marketing committee to provide leadership in making extension visible in the community. Ask council members to "serve" as local ambassadors for MU Extension.
- Develop working relationships with news media. Through personal visits, phone calls, media advisories and news releases, keep media informed of your activities, the impact of your programs and the mission of Extension.
- Make presentations to civic groups and community organizations.
- Use extension marketing and communication pieces, and use the logo consistently and appropriately. Consult graphic standards in the style guide.
- Plan activities for University of Missouri Extension Week, held annually during the third week of May.
- Prepare an attractive annual report focused on how people's lives were improved.
- Staff an MU Extension booth at local events — such as an azalea festival, a local flea market or an ag expo — and hand out extension publications and marketing items.
- Involve council members in a fundraising campaign for a new building or the local extension program. At least half of fundraising is public relations.
- Speak to local service clubs and organizations about MU Extension’s role in the community and benefits to citizens.
- Participate in a local parade with an MU Extension float.
- Hold a 4-H fair or other event at a local shopping mall.
- Publish a county brochure listing programs available plus staff who work in the county, including those headquartered elsewhere, and their areas of programming.
- Develop a traveling display to be used at banks, libraries, businesses, schools and government agency offices.
- Explore opportunities to be on radio talk shows and news shows.
- Keep MU Extension activities posted on bulletin boards in the county.
- Include information about MU Extension activities and council members in council election publicity.
There are many places to tell people about MU Extension. Consider distributing information at:
- Print extension business cards for council members.
- Local health fairs, screenings at schools, hospitals
- WIC/DFS offices
- Grocery store checkout counters, bulletin boards
- Local cable access channels
- Chambers of commerce, banks, city halls, utility offices