Boomers Power the Community - April

New BPTC Project Officer

Mariann McNamara commenced on 14 April and is working 2 days per week – Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9.30am-5.30pm.  Mariann met with TACSI on 22 April to ensure relationship building between both agencies continued and the clarity re the project aims and objectives was better understood. 

We discussed aspects of the sustainability framework that is also intended to be delivered as part of this project and discussed potential other funding sources and or additional TACSI assistance, (without prejudice).  It’s important for CC SA Inc. that we gain the benefit of what specialisation/ expertise TACSI can offer in their support so we develop and deliver a very successful project.

BPTC Engagement and Communication campaign strategy

BPTC is very fortunate to also have the professional support of the Sydney based agency Universal Favourite (UF), who specialise in engagement, comms strategy and campaigning, project management and specialist project branding and messaging. 

This is a first for UF who were keen to lend their professional expertise to a worthy community based project associated with TACSI.  BPTC are the lucky recipient of up to 16 hours of their dedicated support and they will focus on the boomer engagement messaging and communication campaign and design.  Mariann had the opportunity while in Sydney on 10 April, to visit the UF team.

UF and BPTC are advancing the development, based on the available research and also the local environment where we are trialling the BPTC, of a first cut engagement messaging look and feel , which will be tested with a focus group to be recruited, representing the relevant ‘educator’ boomer demographic. 

This will be through a broad based recruitment strategy using existing communication options within Community Centres SA, radio spots and strategically linked partners and stakeholder and local ‘ambassadors etc. 

Inaugural Steering Group meeting 28 April

The inaugural meeting of the Steering Group was on 28 April, with representatives from 4 community centres and the Dep. CEO CC SA Inc.  We discussed the confirmation of the potential trial sites. The aim is to have BPTC trialled/piloted in up to 4 community centres across the metro area: northeast, south and central plus a close regional setting. 

This will provide for quite a diverse spread of demographic participants both in ‘boomers’ and those in the community who are to be targeted for lit/num assistance.

We spent considerable time discussing how we might engage 'boomers' and then consequently target the participants.  Trial centres were keenly interested in having a high degree of involvement and for it to be a project delivered within a wholly ‘community context’ not necessarily within the actual centres but using the values and ethos as proscribed by CC SA Inc. and its members. 

We agreed that we needed a high level of flexibility in what ultimately would be the 'education/training' methodology/delivery options being offered to both the potential ‘educators to meet the needs as agreed between he educator and the participant to be assisted.  Our overall aim therefore is to be very focused on individual needs which might include one-to-one, small groups, vocational settings eg woodwork, IT, history, drama and so on.  Or even larger groups within a ‘classroom/lecture room’ setting.  

It has been articulated in previous blogs that BPTC is not around developing a one size fits all outcome.

Boomer demographic

BPTC is aimed at engaging boomers who are planning retirement and or are retired, who are/were ‘educators’.  So this may include school teachers, TAFE/Uni lecturers/tutors, vocational educators/trainers plus potentially others who may have TAA/Tesol quals.  If we focus on a broader category of ‘educators’ then we are more likely to reach a more flexible group who can better meet the needs of potentially a very diverse  participant group and also more chance of the boomers ‘gaining’ expertise and skills from each other too.

It means the engagement and communications strategy is being designed with this aspect in mind.  

Building partnerships and stakeholder interest

BPTC is embarked on an active campaign to entice partners who would be prepared to be part of our promotional/communications campaign – incl: U3A Alliance, Education Unions, Retired Persons Assn, various retired teacher/lecturers/trainers Alumni/Professional Assn., the 3 Educational Sectors and many more. 

We are also involved in discussions with Credit Unions SA who has expressed an interest in potentially including this project within some of their community support marketing campaigns.

Collaborative options may include with COTA, OARS, Sole Parents Groups, Family by Family Project, Smith Family Education program for children and so on.

We are keen to be able to provide a very clear and we hope unambiguous opportunity for the collaborative process to be of benefit to all parties involved without competing and or duplicating effort so we can plug into existing and or specific demographic groups without requiring heavy reliance on additional resource use from within CC SA Inc. or the partners/stakeholders/sponsors etc.   

BPTC timeline priorities

Focus of BPTC over the next 2-3 months will be on the engagement/communication campaign strategy and launch, working closely with Universal Favourite and our partners and also using tried and achievable testing samples across a targeted focus group of the boomers we are working to engage. 

We need to be confident of developing really robust and contemporary marketing and communication materials/devices and messaging to be as effective as possible in engaging and ultimately delivering a very sustainable model for enticing the interest of this specific boomer demographic.  

Alongside this is also the need to consider the future sustainability framework that may well be potentially a web-based portal process for ease of 'self-engagement’, or ‘self-directing’ or even ‘self-registration’ within the context of what various options are available through community centre operations/hosting etc.   

With our overall aim of assisting individuals, we are thereby fulfilling the ‘boomer’ desire for adding value and leaving an enduring legacy by offering highly valued skills to those who need and desire to improve their lives because of gaining access to the variety of ‘educator skills’ being offered.

Future funding and resources

Part of our discussion re the roll out of the BPTC project has also centred on what specific resources and materials we may require over and above the current funding available.  This is important as we have identified that we need to be highly contemporary in future communication processes and they will almost certainly be in a web based environment.   Social media offers the type of models that inspire most people to become involved and or find information about things they may be interested in. 

We’re also be keen to investigate options to 'visualise' parts of our messaging through use of graphic and or illustrated processes, is important too. 

CC SA Inc. and will look to TACSI for some leadership on options available re these funding sources etc. for these issues as we progress the BPTC project.

 

Mariann R McNamara

Project Officer – Boomers Power in the Community (BPTC)

April 2015