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A. News Releases 1

B. Human Interest Stories 10

C. Letters to the Editor 13

D. Public Service Announcements 15

E. Classified Ads 18




A. The Planning Stage 25

B. Promoting the Job Fair 27

C. After the Fair is Over 31






Job seekers enrolled in the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) need visibility to help them in their efforts to find unsubsidized employment. The better the program and its participants are known in the community, the better the chances that local employers will take advantage of this labor pool of older workers.

How to Become Visible

Becoming visible takes time, know how, planning and sustained effort on the part of SCSEP managers. Visibility is not something that can be done once a year during "Hire the Older Worker Week." It requires building a network of media contacts and, whenever anything noteworthy happens that affects a project or enrollees in the project, taking the time to write it up and getting it to the media. It means periodically sending public service announcements to radio and TV stations, writing letters to the editor, preparing and distributing brochures and fliers. It also requires planning and implementing events like job fairs which bring employers and enrollees together and alert the community to the benefits of the program. In other words, visibility comes about through public relations activities. The private sector builds its marketing efforts around public relations activities. And so should older worker programs.

How This Manual Evolved

This manual was written to provide resource material to help SCSEP managers initiate or enrich their public relations activities. The 147 project directors in the National Senior Citizens Education & Resource Center's Senior AIDES Program chose public relations as one of the workshop topics for its 1997 project directors' training conference, which focused on how to make unsubsidized placements. The manual content in large part was provided by project directors who, in the public relations workshop, shared the ideas and materials which have proven successful in their unsubsidized placement efforts. The step-by-step actions, examples, and suggestions in the manual were taken from the pragmatic experiences of these workshop participants.


What to Expect From the Manual.

The public relations ideas and examples that are presented here are by no means conclusive, but we hope they are:

Practical Concise Inexpensive Suggestive Helpful

This resource manual is divided into six major sections:

Using the Media

Preparing Effective Brochures, Flyers and Posters

Planning and Publicizing Job Fairs

Planning and Publicizing "Hire the Older Worker Week."

Business Cards with a Message

Other Ways to Publicize Your Program.

The do's and don'ts and other suggestions here are intended to help more older Americans find unsubsidized jobs by increasing the visibility of older worker programs. One of the most difficult challenges for any organization is getting its message across to the public. We hope the material in this manual will help those who are just getting started in public relations activities and spark some new ideas in those who are old pros in publicizing their programs.




Promoting the hiring of older workers requires a multi-sided approach which includes using all the media (newspapers, radio, TV, the Internet), community resources and special events such as job fairs and "Hire the Older Worker Week." activities. SCSEP project managers need to take the time and make the effort to get to know the relevant local media people to be sure that they are aware of the program and its impact on the community.

Make a list of the names, addresses, phone and FAX numbers of all the radio and TV stations, the newspapers - including the smaller and weekly publications - the local magazines and Sunday supplements in your community. If you don't already know them, make appointments with the various city editors, news editors or community liaisons to present background on the program and upcoming events. Familiarize yourself with local radio and TV talk shows and other informational programs. Get to know their hosts and producers and the kinds of subjects they are likely to discuss on the air.

A. USING THE MEDIA - News Releases

Is It News?

News is something that is happening NOW.

News interests people OUTSIDE your organization.

News is something that is happening IN YOUR AREA.

Events Which Warrant a News Release

Your organization (or someone in it) has won an award, received recognition for something, is putting on a job fair, is celebrating "Hire the Older Worker Week" with a special event, is doing something unusual or something that involves a well-known person. For instance:









News Releases Answer These Questions:

Whois this news about?

should be interested in this news?

can elaborate on this news if editors have questions?

Whatis the news?

is the significance of the news?

Wherewill (or did) the news take place?

Whyis it newsworthy?


Telephone Number Fax Number Contact Person
Wire Services
Daily Newspapers
Weekly Newspapers
Other Newsletters:

(Civic, Church, Merchants, Neighborhood, Labor)

Television Stations
Radio Stations

Make Your Lead Attention Grabbing

If an editor isn't intrigued by your news release in the first sentence you can usually forget about seeing it published. Editors are likely to read the whole article if the first sentence tells them that something has happened that may be important to their readers. Some good examples are:

"Being poor and old are no excuses for being uneducated," stated Senior Aide __________ as she accepted her Bachelor of Arts degree yesterday.

Which local employer hired the most older workers last year? At an award dinner last night ........

The city of __________ needs more home health aides to keep its citizens out of hospitals and nursing homes. A new training program to be offered by ........

"No one would hire me, so I went into business for myself," said former Senior Aide, now entrepreneur, __________. Mr. __________ is eighty-one years old.

Check List for Preparing a News Release

1.At the top of the page, left side, type the date for release. At the top of the page, right side, type the name and phone number of the contact person.

2.The headline should be centered and typed in capital letters. It should convey the basic message of the press release.

3.The lead paragraph should tell the reader "who, what, where and why." It should always mention the name of your organization and tell the editor you have a news story. If the reporter or editor likes the first paragraph he or she will read the second paragraph. If the first one is dead or does not say the story is important and interesting, the editor may not get to the second paragraph.

4.If you are publicizing a future event, be sure to include the exact date (e.g. Friday, June 22), time (e.g. 10:00 A.M.) and location.

5.Do not editorialize; any opinions expressed in your news release should be attributed to an individual.

6.At the close of the release, type a few number symbols (###) indicate the end.


Name, address, and phone number of organization

Release date Contact name and phone number


Subtitle or "tickler"

(Text, including if possible a quote summarizing the point of the news release)

### or -30-

Check with Newspapers for Release Dates

The amount of time needed to receive your release will vary, but all editors want some lead

time (usually two days minimum)to do needed checking or investigative work. When submitting news not tied to any specific date, type FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE in the release date slot of your heading. Use specific dates in the text to avoid confusion or the editor may assume incorrectly that he can publish the article months after receiving it. If the release date is extremely timely; specify the date and time for publication:


News Releases - DOs

Maintain up-to-date lists of newspaper contacts. Stay in touch, even when you don't have a story.

Find out the appropriate newsroom department or manager (city desk, state, features, employment, etc.) to send the news release to.

Save a copy of the release and make a note of where it was sent.

Personalize articles to meet needs of specific papers.

Use triangle method with most important news at the top. Editors cut from the bottom up.

Be brief.

Make stories interesting and "catchy."

Call papers and tell them what you have; send the release and ask when it will be run; follow up and, if possible, get a tare sheet. Thank the editor for using your release.

Identify the individual and organization submitting the information. List the address of the organization and the phone number of the contact person.

News Releases - DON'Ts

Use colored paper and ink. Release should always be on plain white paper with your letterhead and black type. Just add the word, "news," to your letterhead, and you have a news release.

Use single spacing; it's too hard to read.

Submit the release without double checking for typos and spelling and grammatical errors. Editors are turned off by these errors.

Forget the dateline. The date serves as a reference point.

Brighten Your Release with Photographs

A good photograph can sell a marginal story to an editor. Check with your newspaper for their requirements. Provide a caption for the photo. Don't expect to get the photo back unless your include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The photo will be evaluated by the city editor or the chief photographer. The more important the event, the better the chances for a photograph.

When including a photograph with a news release, indicate it at the bottom of the last page. Two lines below your end-of-story symbol and at the left-hand margin type: "Accompanying material," and list the photos you are sending.

Photographs - DOs

Use a camera that gives you negatives; don't use a Polaroid.

Use photos with strong contrast between light and dark - they reproduce best.

Use vertical shots. They can be reduced to fit into one newspaper column.

Use photos with a white border all around, large enough for an editor's cropping lines.

Use clean photos. Handle your photos by the edges to avoid fingerprints.

Provide, if possible, an 8" x 10" black and white glossy print. Papers will accept 5" x 7" or 4" x 5" prints for simple shots. Color prints are also accepted by some papers, although they generally do not reproduce as well as those in black and white.

What You Need to Compose Good Photographs

Action: The best photos usually portray action.

Close-ups: Close-up photos are best, especially for portraits. Keep hands away from face and get both shoulders in the shot.

Small number of subjects: Limit the number of subjects to no more than two or three people.

Complementary angles: Arrange subjects at an angle to make them seem more at ease and more slender. Don't ask subjects to face both body and head directly toward the camera. This makes the kind of unflattering photos that look like mug shots or passport photos. Keeping heads high avoids shadows and double chins.

Getting Out Your Message

Unless you have a special rapport with the reporter or editor, don't call or mail the release. Keep your release short and fax it to the reporter or news assignment editor you have targeted. Reporters do not want to talk to people that are cold calling when they are working on a different assignment and are on tight deadlines. By making the initial communication through a fax, you assure that your story will get to the right reporter and that you have forced yourself to "boil down" your story to a clear message.



Mayor Cites Benefits to More Than 3,000 Older Citizens

The __________ Program celebrated 20 years of continuous service to the area's older citizens yesterday with a luncheon at the __________ in __________. Mayor __________ was the opening speaker at the city-sponsored event acknowledging the ___________ Program which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

The __________ provides work for low-income persons who are 55 and older. Program enrollees provide essential community services while gaining the confidence, skills and training needed to obtain unsubsidized jobs. Last year, the local program transitioned more than 30% of its participants into jobs in the community.

The mayor expressed the community's gratitude for the agency's dedication to older workers and for its contributions to the more than 75 local nonprofit agencies and government offices that have benefitted from the program. He was particularly grateful for "the large number of enrollees who were assigned to the city's schools as teacher's aides. These dedicated people have helped our schools achieve state-wide recognition."

The event was attended by other civic leaders and representatives of current host agencies being served by the program. Ms. __________ was presented with an award for her ten years of service as project director of this successful program.


__________ Named to Lead Older Worker Program

The City of __________ has just signed a contract to sponsor the __________Program which will provide experience and training to 100 senior citizens annually and will provide services to our overburdened nonprofit agencies and government offices. The program will be located at __________ and the office will be open from _____ to _____.

Men and women 55 and older who meet the income eligibility requirements will be assigned to work as teacher aides, office workers, computer operators, janitors, drivers, etc. They will work in hospitals, schools, offices, day care centers. They will have the opportunity to improve and learn new skills with on-the-job and classroom training. They will work part-time, 20-hour weeks. The program's goal is to find unsubsidized jobs for at least 25% of its enrollees.

__________, formerly director of the __________ agency has been named project director. He is a life long area resident and has had more than ten years experience work with senior citizens. When interviewed Mr. __________ said, "I am very excited by this opportunity to mainstream seniors back into the job market. This is a program that is good for the community and for our older population."

B. USING THE MEDIA - Human Interest Stories

In addition to hard news, newspapers are always looking for stories about people and events that would interest their audiences. You can use press releases of human interest stories to inform your community about the program and the services it provides to local citizens and institutions. These published human interest stories do more than aid in the recruitment of enrollees; they also alert possible employers to the existence of a local labor pool. They further promote the important community services performed by program participants. Community support for the program is vital to its success. Human interest story press releases are a necessary part of any public relations program.

Some Ideas for Human Interest Stories

1. Feature a different enrollee weekly, preferably in the Sunday edition of your local newspaper. Provide the editor with a photo of the featured enrollee. Start the series with your most interesting stories.

Provide the editor with a succinct description of the program to go with the lead article in the series. With later articles add further details about the program, such as training aspects of the program and the specific agencies that benefit from enrollee services. Provide a column on the numbers and kinds of jobs enrollees are getting and who are hiring them.

2. Submit a story on how the program gets jobs for older people, highlighting the experience of one or more enrollee and giving general details about the program.



As a youngster,_______ worked long hours planting, weeding and harvesting cotton to help her parents support the family. She put aside her education after the ninth grade to become a mother.

She raised 12 children while working in the cotton fields. She and her husband now parent two grandchildren.

During her tenure as a Senior Aide, her first job outside the home, ______ has worked in several City departments. Her supervisors always note her enthusiasm. She picks up new skills very quickly.

At the Department of Parks and Recreation, she displays her

willingness to learn new skills, such as typing. So eager is she to learn that she waits for clerks

in her office to leave their typewriters so she can practice.

To sharpen her skills. she purchased her own typewriter and enrolled in a typing class. She is also taking academic courses at the school to obtain her GED diploma.

The _________ Senior AIDES Program provides part-time work to persons at least 55 years old. The low-income persons work in government and human services agencies.

The program is funded from the U.S. Department of Labor through the National Senior Citizen Education and Research Center. The _____ administers the grant.

Each enrollee works 20 hours per week at an average of _____ per hour. Work opportunities exist for drivers, maintenance workers, secretaries and general office help, volunteer coordinators, and program assistants.

Details on the program are available from the _____________ by calling _____________________.


Program Helps Older Workers Find Jobs

A retired lab technician has found a new career and a 67-year-old man is pursuing his goal to become a published writer, both with the help of the __________ Program.

"I had retired from the medical profession after 30 plus years" said __________ of __________. She hadn't planned on returning to the workforce but financial circumstances made her reconsider her decision. Seeking a new career she contacted the project director of the ____________ Program who discussed her goal with her and presented work site options. Working with the elderly sparked her interests so she began working 20-hours a week as an activity aide at __________ Adult Day Care Center.

"The day is never the same," she said. "My previous career was pretty much the same, which I enjoyed all those years, but it was time for a change."

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be 55 years or older, meet the income eligibility requirements, and be county residents. Participants' skills and interests are matched with a community service assignment at a public or nonprofit agency, such as a school, hospital. human service agency or government office. The program is the only national employment and training program for low-income older adults and is operated by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The program is also helping __________, in his late sixties, achieve his goal to become a published writer. Mr. __________, who has arthritis in both knees and has had knee replacement surgery, was referred to the program by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. "My knees aren't good and I would have a hard time working at any job that would require standing," he said. The program has provided him with part-time jobs that accommodate his physical requirements. In his current job he sets up filing systems, updates service manuals and assists people in completing applications. He has also been a job placement assistant at the Jobs Center.

Mr. __________ takes courses to achieve his writing goals. One of his short stories has been accepted for publication in a New York magazine and he has begun submitting stories to publishers of childrens' literature.

C. USING THE MEDIA - Letters to the Editor

Most letters to the editor are written in response to items that appeared in earlier editions of the paper. They are written to clarify, further elaborate or correct what has been written before. When reading the daily papers, pay particular attention to any items that impact older workers. Be prepared to respond if you think it will be useful to your program. Letters to the editor can be a way of getting free publicity for your program.

Find Out the Specific Requirements of Your Local Newspaper

Letters to the editor should always be addressed to "Letters to the Editor," with the name and address of the newspaper. Most newspaper editorial pages include a small box or paragraph that provides the writer with information on where to send the letters. This information should include a fax number and, where pertinent, an e-mail address. Some papers provide specifics such as, "We prefer letters with fewer than 250 words, typed and double spaced." Some, including the Washington Post, require that the letter be exclusive to them.

For the purposes of verification, all letters must include the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number. Depending on the circumstances, you may or may not include the name of your organization. Letters are subject to abridgement and editing for clarity and length. It is the policy of most newspapers that unpublished letters to the editor can neither be acknowledged or returned.

Your Letter Should Have a Clear Point

It is vital that you reference the item to which you are responding. Cite the publication date, the section of the paper, and, if relevant, the name of the author and title of the article. Example:

In the June 10 financial section of your paper, Robert Cummings in "The Dearth of Employment Opportunities for the Elderly," said ............

Marian Murphy's letter to the editor in your April 1 issue concerning the March 28th senior job fair

In preparing your copy, it would be well to know the specific requirements of your local newspaper. In general, your letter to the editor should be clean and concise , following the principles for news releases. The point of your letter should be clear. You are clarifying a fuzzy statement, correcting misstatements or adding factual information to articles that previously appeared in the paper. Your tone should be reasonable and non-contentious. Get your message across in as few words as possible, leaving the reader with a favorable impression of you and your organization.

Letters to the Editor - DOs

Be brief, the usual length is 200 to 250 words. Count the number of letters in the average letter in your paper and keep your letter to approximately the same length.

Stay with one subject.

Do not send letter to more than one editor.

Be logical. Only use well documented facts and figures.

Letter to the Editor of a Local Newspaper


In Robert Cummings' June 10 Outlook article, "The Dearth of Employment Opportunities for the Elderly," he stated that there is nothing for ________'s unemployed, low-income senior citizens to do but throw themselves on the mercy of their relatives or local charitable institutions. Mr. Cummings obviously has not heard of the national Senior Community Service Employment Program, locally administered by the City of ________ as the Senior AIDES Program.

The Senior AIDES Program provides part-time, paid work for people 55 years of age and older who meet certain eligibility requirements. Program enrollees work in non-profit agencies, government offices and schools where their skills and interests are matched to local needs. Senior Aides work as secretaries, clerks, teacher or library assistants, custodians, drivers, etc. They improve or learn new skills with training opportunities and work experience which helps them transition into unsubsidized jobs. Last year more than 30% of the enrollees found jobs outside the program.

The Senior AIDES Program is located at _______________. The offices are open weekdays from 9:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M. We invite interested seniors or local citizens to call ________ or come in to our office to find out more about the program.

Signed, ______________________________ Program, ____________________________

Letter to the Editor of a Newspaper for Seniors

We would like to thank the ______________ for placing our "Senior Aide Employment" announcement in your last edition.

This federally-funded program is highly successful in training seniors to get jobs. But success means people leave the program, so we frequently have openings that must be filled.

That's why your announcement was so helpful to us. To date, more than 100 seniors have called to apply for openings on the program, and we are now in the process of interviewing them.

Your excellent newspaper has done a great service for the community we serve. Thanks again.

Letters to the Editor Via E-Mail

Many daily newspapers have encouraged readers to send letters to the editor through electronic mail systems (e-mail). E-mail access provides newspapers with additional public contact and valuable news tips. Approximately 36 newspapers have e-mail systems which can be accessed by the 31.5 million e-mail users. E-mail letters are treated the same as mailed letters to the editors so include your name, address, and telephone number for verification.

D. USING THE MEDIA - Public Service Announcements

Most radio and TV stations provide air time for messages from nonprofit organizations serving community interests. They are called "public service announcements" (PSAs). PSAs are free tools to use to help with recruiting, promoting unsubsidized placements, publicizing special events, or just keeping the community aware of your program.

How to Contact the Radio or TV Station

Contact the program director of each radio and TV station in your area. Ask the PSA length the station requires and how, and to whom, the PSA should be submitted. Keep this information on file for reference.

Types of PSAs

Tailor each of your PSAs to the station's individual requirements. Policies, lengths and technical requirements vary from station to station. PSAs fall into four format categories:

1. Live radio - least expensive to produce. It is read on the air by station staff.

2. Recorded radio - produced in a sound studio by a professional announcer.

3. Live TV - read on air by an announcer, accompanied by slides. Most stations request a dozen slides or more from which they choose two or three.

4. Recorded TV - highest production costs. Videotaped or filmed in a studio, sometimes with actors, props, etc.

Before undertaking a recorded PSA, be sure the program director is interested in airing it. Ask for a recommendation to a local production studio where you can have the work done.

Writing a PSA

PSAs should be short, usually between 10 and 60 seconds long. Allow about one second of reading time for every two words. Think about what you want listeners to hear and then write only the words necessary to get your message across.

Use the following as guides to PSA lengths: 10 second spot 25 words

20 second spot 40 words

30 second spot 80 words

60 second spot 160 words


FROM: Name and address of organization

CONTACT: Your staff contact person"s telephone/fax numbers

DATE: Date when you submitted the PSA

USE UNTIL: Last date the PSA can run

READING TIME: Number of seconds it takes to read

WORD COUNT: Number of words

Type your copy in a narrow column that is only thirty-five characters long.

Sample Public Service Announcements

The __________ Program reminds you that "National Employ the Older Worker Week" begins March _____. (5 Seconds)

March _____ begins "National Employ the Older Worker Week." Get the facts. Call the __________ Program today at __________ (phone). (10 Seconds)

This is "National Employ the Older Worker Week", a good time to remember that capability, not chronological age, is the true measure of a worker's worth. Profit by experience. Call the __________ Program at __________ (phone). (20 Seconds)

Employers, let the __________ Program show you how older workers help you increase profits. Older workers have skills, experience, fewer accidents and low absentee records. That means dollars in your pocket. Call the __________ Program today at __________(phone). Get the facts on hiring older workers and start those savings today. (30 Seconds)

PSAs must be written carefully and economically. You have only a few seconds to present your message.

If you are publicizing an event you must express the purpose of the event, its sponsor, and where and when it will take place in those few seconds. Every word counts.

If you are in your fifties or older, interested in re-entering the work force, you will want to stop by the free older worker's job fair on name of day, date at the _________ in __________, from _____ until _____. More than 50 companies will be there accepting resumes, applications and conducting on-the-spot interviews for jobs in a variety of fields. That's the older worker's job fair on __________ at the __________ in __________ sponsored by __________ ,__________ and __________.

For information call __________ at __________ (phone). (30 Seconds)

If possible, repeat the time and place of the event.

Public Service Announcement





Please air the following public service announcement for three weeks beginning immediately:

The __________ Program is accepting applications for part-time employment for persons 55 years and older. Interested applicants must be: residents of__________ county, able and willing to work 20 hours weekly and eligible in accordance with Title V of the Older Americans Act. The __________ Program is located at ___________ and is open Monday through Friday, _____ to _____. Additional information may be obtained by calling __________ at __________ (Phone).

Control the PSA

It is best to hand deliver the PSA to the station two weeks before your event. If not, mail or FAX it and follow up with a phone call, making sure the PSA was received.

E. USING THE MEDIA - Classified Ads

People out of work turn to the classified ad section of their newspapers to see what's available in their communities. Employers use the ads to attract people to fill their job openings. From time-to-time almost everyone turns to the classified section. Along with the daily newspaper, every community has other publications, usually weeklies, that can be found at malls, in grocery stores and in libraries. These, too, are widely read and are a good place to periodically advertise the program.

Placing Classified Ads in the Newspaper

The classified section of the newspaper provides a telephone number for placing, correcting or canceling advertisements. Some of the other information you might find on the front page of the section is:

A schedule of deadlines for each day of the week

The paper's policy for canceling or correcting ads

Payment policies

Per line ad rates

3-day special rates

Charges for box numbers

Office hours for placing ads

Ads can easily be placed over the telephone and paid for with a credit card.

Writing Classified Ads

Every word in an ad costs money. The newspaper classified section is not the place for white space. It is the place for using as few words as possible to advertise your needs:

Office workers, drivers, other people over 55. PT paid work and training in older worker program. Call ___________ at 330-3300.

Display Advertising Brings Results

Display ads are usually found in the last section of the help wanted ads. Sometimes the ads can be found in a separate section. These ads are more expensive than conventional help wanted ads, but they are more effective because of their size and layouts. These ads can alert local employers to the availability of a pool of workers with diversified skills.

In some fortunate areas local ad clubs show their support to their communities with prominent ads in local newspapers and radio and TV spots. Ad club members design the ads from program information provided by project directors. These ads are generous in white space and have proved very successful in recruiting enrollees.



has a job for you!

Positions available in:

office work child care

health care nutrition aides

computer teaching

operations assistants

Classroom and On-the-Job Training Available

Sponsored by __________


Utilize Other Publications

Almost every locality has small community newspapers and weekly classified and bargain shopper publications. These publications develop classified sections to respond to the growing interest among employers looking for low-cost alternatives to conventional newspaper advertisements. Papers directed to senior citizens and ethnic newspapers should also be explored. Advertising rates in ethnic and community newspapers are often very reasonable or are free.



Do some research before developing or updating your promotional materials. Look at the racks in job centers, libraries and other agencies in your community. Note which ones get your attention and borrow some of the better ideas.

Define Your Purpose and Identify Your Audience - Will you use the brochure/pamphlet for recruiting or for marketing workers to employers? Is your audience going to be employers or potential enrollees? What works in rural areas may not appeal in urban areas.

Identify Your Organization - Put your organization's logo, name, address and telephone number in a prominent place for user reference.

Keep Your Message Clear

If enrollees are your primary target - make sure your copy answers the kind of questions prospective enrollees might have:

What exactly is the purpose and function of the program?

What are the qualifications for enrollment?

What kinds of public service work will enrollees do?

In what kinds of places will they do this work?

What are the wages, hours and fringe benefits?

What kinds of training are available?

Where and when do people go to enroll in the program?

If employers are your primary target - provide a brochure or pamphlet that tells employers why hiring older workers is a good idea and how you can help employers satisfy their recruitment needs. Some elements of an effective brochure for employers may be:

A brief description of the program

Statistics showing how the program is supplying today's employment needs

Quotes from satisfied employers who have hired program participants

Sample job titles of program enrollees

Specific information on ways to contact local and national program providers.

Make the Brochure/Pamphlet Attractive and Readable - Follow some simple steps to produce the brochure that will achieve your purpose:

Use easy to read fonts.

Keep it simple, yet informative.

Maintain enough white space.

Use at least two colors.

If possible, use matte-finished paper; it's easiest to read.

Use quality paper 50# or greater; it holds well.

Use graphic art or photographs (black and white, if possible) If using photos, obtain written permission before using. Utilize computer graphics or obtain "clip art" from your local newspaper office or print shops. You can use the reduce/enlarge feature on your copier to change the size of clip art.

Use one side for mailer address.

Three Common Brochure Formats

Format 1: One Fold - Four Panels

For brochure manuscripts of about two typed, double-spaced pages. It is printed on 8 ½" x 7" paper folded in half like a greeting card.

Format 2: Two Folds - Six Panels

For brochure manuscripts of about three or four typed, double-spaced pages. It is printed on 8 ½" x 11" paper folded in thirds.

Format 3: Three Folds - Eight Panels

For brochure manuscripts about five or six typed, double-spaced pages. It is printed on 8 ½" x 14" paper folded three times into four equal sections.

Do-It-Yourself Brochures, Flyers and Posters

It is perfectly possible to produce attractive, low-cost, advertising pieces in-house. You will need: Specialty paper and A computer and laser printer and A copier

Companies such as Paper Direct in Secaucus, New Jersey publish catalogs of papers specifically designed for use in promotional materials. These papers are predesigned in a wide variety of colors and formats and can make your material look as if it were color-printed. The catalogs also provide instructions on how you can produce these promotional pieces in your own office.

Put the Promotional Materials Where They Will Be Seen - Whether your purpose is to recruit enrollees, familiarize employers with the program or to publicize the program within your community, you will need to distribute the material to a range of places in your area. Place them where your target market congregates and where people are bored or have waiting time. Some examples are:

County courthouses

County health departments

Fast food restaurants

Job Services

Social security offices

One-stop centers

Housing complexes

Medical facilities


Beauty and barber shops


Community colleges

Community bulletin boards

Senior citizen centers

Private sector employment agencies

Veterans' offices

Food pantries

Area Agencies of Aging



Grocery stores


Job fairs

Host agencies

Some transit companies may give reduced rates (or charge nothing) to nonprofits who want to place messages in buses.


Project directors who put on successful job fairs say they require a huge expense of time and energy and they plan to put on another one next year. Why? Because a job fair provides a non-threatening atmosphere for face-to-face meetings between enrollees and prospective employers; it results in unsubsidized placements; and it is an excellent way to increase the visibility of the program in the community. Everyone wins in a well-planned and implemented job fair.


Determine What Kind of Job Fair is Right for Your Program and Your Community

Some projects may be better served by a mini job fair targeted to the needs and aspirations of the enrollees. This could start out as a quarterly meeting with several employers making presentations and conducting on-site interviews.

Community-based job fairs will need to attract companies of interest to a diverse cross section of the mature worker population. You can identify a narrower range by the type of positions you advertise as available at the event.

Community-wide job fairs take more planning, but also offer more rewards to the organizer in the form of greater name recognition. They can also be a source of revenue for the project. In one project, the annual job fair has become a signature event bringing in about $6,000 annually.

Decide on the Time and Place of the Job Fair

Consider other similar events or local weather considerations in choosing a time. You will want to have at least two months separating your job fair with any other similar event, so the employers don't have trouble covering the event.

Schedule the job fair in "Hire the Older Worker Week."

The event should be centralized and accessible by public transportation. Look for free parking. Look for the kinds of places that are used to handling similar events and have the facilities to serve the needs of older people. When negotiating price, stress the public service aspects of the job fair and the contingent publicity and good will.

Avoid shopping malls. They have a lot of foot traffic, but you can't guarantee your employers that the attendees are serious job seekers.

Look for Local Sponsors

Try to get sponsorship from a hotel or large well-known restaurant with banquet facilities. This may save costs of set up and facilities rental.

Corporate or community sponsors can provide cash and/or in-kind services. Make the role of each sponsor clear to avoid turf battles and to keep ownership.

Consider newspapers, TV stations or even one-stops as sponsors.

Note the co-sponsorship or support in your news release and send thank you notes.

Find Employers for the Event

Announce the event four to six months early in business newspapers and publications, human resource association newsletters, etc.

Prepare a good mailing list. If you don't have one, go to the Chamber of Commerce or get names from industrial directories. Any company that has hired from you in the past should be on your list.

At least two months before the event, mail a letter and brochure to companies on your list. Be prepared to call each company. One project that has been running job fairs for seven years still has to call most companies. It's an easy sell, but it takes persistence.

Be specific about costs and details. Ex. Booths are 10' by 10'. The fee of one hundred dollars includes all drapes, table, chair, etc.

Indicate the number of attendees expected and, if relevant, the number of attendees at the previous job fair.

Expect last minute sign ups. It's worth the extra effort to adjust your system to meet your customer's needs. One of the most common reasons for not attending a job fair is that employers do not always have enough staff to cover the event. Be prepared to do most of the business by FAX.

Offer Incentives to Older Workers to Attend

Provide workshops on resume preparation, job search techniques, interviewing skills, etc.

Set aside a section of the job fair space for tables and chairs to allow participants to fill out applications on the premises.

Provide free bus rides to seniors attending the job fair. One project works with the transit company to provide free rides on specially marked buses on the day of the fair. Fliers are distributed with instructions on how to ride free and a schedule of times and bus stops to and from the fair site. The transit company has a booth at the fair where seniors can find out the companies various programs and services.


Use a mix of media - TV, radio, newspapers, flyers, weekly or monthly circular and banners. Local daily papers are usually the most effective media for promoting the event. Some papers will devote a special advertising feature section to older worker activities and solicit ads from local businesses catering to older persons.

Have news releases and PSAs prepared and ready as soon as you have finalized your arrangements.

Blitz the area with posters, flyers and pamphlets describing the job fair.

Share a press conference with public officials. They can bring the press, endorse the job fair, then turn the mike over to you for details.

Put announcements in utility bills for broad coverage. You may have to pay printing costs.

In the last three days, call radio shows and offer to give them samples of specific companies and jobs that will be available.

Work closely with the media to arrange for coverage of the event. Try to get them to cover in the morning hours; this is where most of the activity will be.


Do a mailing to employers combining the Job Fair with "Hire the Older Worker Week."

Put Experience to Work for You ... Employ the Older Worker

Dear Employer:

Do You know there's a new trend in the business world?

Older workers are becoming an increasingly important supply of labor with the graying of the workforce and the appearance of shortages of skilled workers. Companies, large and small, have recognized that hiring and keeping a trained older workforce is good business. One in five mature workers stay in the labor force either because they need the additional income or because they like to work. More and more businesses today recognize that older workers are reliable, bring life-long experience and a strong work ethic to the workplace.

In California, there are about 16 million people 55 and over and the pool of older workers is increasing as the baby boomers age. As the number of mature workers grows, the opportunity to tap their experience becomes increasingly viable and an effective option for employers.

In response to this trend and "Hire the Older Worker Week, the __________ is happy to announce the coming of the first annual Job/Resource Fair for Older Workers.

The fair will be held:__________

As a business exhibitor you will get:

Access to a large pool of mature, motivated workers with a wide variety of experience and talent;

An economical means of recruiting for full-time and part-time employees;

Networking opportunities with other businesses.

Plan on attending and taking full advantage of this opportunity to recruit responsible, experience personnel and increase your company's visibility in our community.

If you have any questions, please call __________.

Message from Job Fair Co-Sponsor

The___________TV station is pleased to again co-sponsor the ___________Older Worker Job Fair. It will be held on ____________ at ___________ from 9:A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

This job fair offers you, the employer, an excellent opportunity to recruit experienced, dependable workers. Each year between 800 - 1000 individuals, age 50 or older, attend the Older Worker Job Fair.

You may find a person with just the skills you need as many other employers have in the past.

Space is limited. Reserve your booth now. A registration form is enclosed. For further information call __________.



Station Manager

20-Second Public Service Announcement

Are you 50 or older and looking for work? Mark ___________ on your calendar and come to the Older Worker Job Fair at the ___________ between 9:00 and 1:00. Bring your resume. 60 local employers will be there to talk to you. Remember that's ___________ at the __________.

News Releases


Officials at the ___________ of ___________ have announced plans for the organization's seventh annual Older Worker Job Fair. The event will take place ___________ at the ___________ from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at the ___________. The job fair is designed to offer features to benefit people over 50 looking for jobs or wanting to change career direction. Topics will include resumes and interviewing skills. There also will be a computer display and assistance provided for hands-on information. Over 50 companies will have representatives booths to offer information on hiring practices, current openings and job requirements. For more information you may call ___________.



One out of every three retired persons wants or needs to work, according to the ___________. Some older workers who experienced a downsizing or company closing were not ready to retire, but discovered it's sometimes difficult to find a job at age 50 or older. Helping experienced job candidates find jobs is the goal of the annual Older Worker Job Fair, will be held ___________ at ___________ in __________________________. This year's co-sponsors of the event are ______________________________.

According to ___________, there are good reasons for employers to hire older workers: years of experience, talent, skills, a strong work ethic, loyalty and a strong sense of responsibility. Many older workers want only part-time employment and some will accept flexible hours.

More than 50 companies will be represented at this year's fair. The employers will accept applications and conduct on-the-spot interviews for all types of jobs, from entry level to skilled professional. Organizers want to match qualified candidates with the right jobs. Last year more than 170 older adults found employment through the job fair.

The following is a partial list of job openings: retail/customer services, technical, engineering, managerial, sales, clerical, manufacturing, health care, public service, food service , banking, mechanic and machinist.

Job candidates age 50 and over who would like more information, or employers interested in a booth at the fair, can contact __________ at ___________.

Letter to the Editor - Local Paper


The July 18th letter headlined, "Job Skills? Not Wanted in Over-50 Workers," pointed out both the frustration and the potential of older job seekers. Older workers are some of the most reliable, experienced and skilled in the work force. Yet studies show that it takes an older workers an average of 60% longer to find employment.

The __________ has been addressing the needs of older workers though its senior employment center. Our job club meets regularly to provide training, motivation, job leads and peer support.

Another service is our annual job fair that is co-sponsored by several major area employers. At the job fair, employers recruit workers in retail, service, health, professional and technical occupations. At our senior employment center we welcome the opportunity to help older workers continue to be an increasingly important part of the labor market. Any interested employer or job seeker can call our office at ___________ for further information.



Planning and implementing a successful job fair is a tough, arduous job. After it's all over, it is tempting to forget about it until it is time to plan for the next one. Don't do that. Reserve some of your energy to thank the participants -- both applicants and employers. This is also the time - while the event is fresh in their minds - to ask applicants and employers to evaluate the job fair. These evaluations will be crucial in the planning for the next job fair.

Sample Thank You Letter to Applicant

Dear ______________:

On behalf of the sponsors, staff and volunteers, we would like to say thanks for your participation in the _____________ Job Fair held on __________ at __________. We hope that this was as beneficial to you in your job search as it was for us being of service to you.

We are enclosing an evaluation form that we hope you will fill out and return. We also need to know of any job interviews or job offers that resulted from meeting with the employers at the job fair. Your participation in evaluating the job fair will ensure our continuing to supply this free service to the area's older workers and will be invaluable in our planning for next year's event.

Once again, thanks,



Please take a moment out of your busy schedule and critique us on the job fair you attended on __________________ at the ___________________________________.

CONSIDERATIONS Excellent Good Fair Poor
1. Were there enough companies to talk to?
2. How did the companies receive you?
3. How would you rate the available job openings offered at the job fair?
4. Rate the workshops presented at the job fair.
5. How were the facilities? Cite problems below.
6. Was our staff helpful?

Have you had any interviews? YES NO

Have you had any second interviews? YES NO

With whom?

If you have you already gone to work, please complete the following:

Name of Company

Position Starting Date Salary and Hours

Please tell us what you liked (or didn't like). We'll use your comments in planning our next job fair.

Your Name: Date:


Please take a moment out of your busy schedule and critique us on the job fair you participated in on __________________ at the _________________________________________.

(Please feel free to use another sheet if necessary)

1. Did you receive enough applicants and did they match your openings?


2. Was the job fair planned satisfactorily? YES NO

3. Did you have enough interviewing time? YES NO

4. How was the resume booklet?

5. Was the introductory training satisfactory? Please explain.

6. How did the applicants receive your firm?

7. How did our staff assist you?

Have you requested any of our clients for a company/or plant visit?

a. Who:

b. Date of visit:

c. Status of visit:

Have any of our clients been hired? Have any pending offers been made?

a. Who a. To whom

b. Starting date b. How can we can assist with the offer?

c. Starting position & salary

General Comments:

Would you attend another job fair? Why or why not? If yes, when?

What would you do differently?

Your Name: Title:

___________________________________ ____________________________________________

Company: Date:

___________________________________ ____________________________________________


"Hire the Older Worker Week" provides the perfect opportunity to use all the public relations techniques discussed in this resource manual. It is the ideal time to hold a job fair or some other event that brings SCSEP enrollees into contact with area employers. During this week, older workers are news. Be especially visible during this week.

Plan Ahead

"Hire the Older Worker Week" comes each year on the second week in March. Planning should begin in early January, but write letters soliciting corporate support at least six months in advance.

Try to involve other agencies (i.e. Area Agencies on Aging, JTPA, Job Service, etc.).

Go after co-sponsorships (try for two sponsors to help offset costs).

Some Possible Celebratory Activities

Contact the governor, mayor or other local official about issuing an "Older Work Week" proclamation, or produce one yourself.

Project directors are often invited to the state capital to attend proclamation signings in 'Hire the Older Worker Week." If you are invited and allowed to bring others, it is a perfect opportunity to reward enrollees who deserve special recognition. There is always a photographer present to take pictures of the ceremony and the attendees. You can use this occasion to prepare a press release and send it, together with the photo, to your local paper.

Design and distribute a poster.

Plan your job fair to coincide with "Older Worker Week."

Hold an open house. Provide refreshments. Plan to invite Congressional representatives or their staffs and local officials. Give an overview of the program and present awards to "Employer of the Year," and "Enrollee of the Year." Try to get the media to cover the event.

Hold an "Older Worker Recognition" breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make it into a community celebration. Send out written invitations. Encourage host agencies to pay for an enrollee's meal. Prepare a printed program. Obtain donated door prizes. Have a master of ceremonies and a guest speaker (not more than 10 minutes). Highlight former enrollees who obtained unsubsidized employment.

Schedule your quarterly meeting for "Older Worker Week." Make it festive; provide refreshments and door prizes. Get a local hotel to provide free space. Honor employers who have employed enrollees during this year and enrollees who have gotten unsubsidized jobs. Also honor any enrollees who have completed challenging training during the year. Choose one employer and one former enrollee to address the group. Set aside an area for recruiting. Have applications and brochures handy.

Schedule an enrollment recruitment drive during this week.

Arrange a community education seminar on age discrimination in employment. Have the local Chamber of Commerce or some other business group sponsor it.

Invite a Broad Spectrum of People to All Events

The media

Enrollees, host agency supervisors, sponsor executives

Former enrollees, now employed

People on your applicant waiting list

Other area providers of employment and training services

Officials of local, state and federal government

Business leaders and potential employer

The general public - by using your news releases and PSAs

Publicize the Event

To publicize "Hire the Older Worker Week" you will need to touch all bases:

Send out a news release on the events you have scheduled for that week.

Some newspapers publish special advertising features for "Hire the Older Worker Week." Prepare an article highlighting your SCSEP project and some of the enrollees.

FAX a human interest story to your local newspaper highlighting an employer who has hired enrollees and/or highlighting an enrollee whose life was changed by the program.

Try for PSAs on both radio and TV.

Try to interest local stations in interviewing you, enrollees, or local employers or host agencies about the significance of "Older Worker Week."

Use newspaper ads. One Senior AIDES Project reports that during "Hire the Older Worker Week," the local newspaper pays one-half the cost of an ad that recognizes all of the host agencies that provided support during the year as well as the individual members of the agency's board of directors. In 1996, the cost of this ad to the project was $80.


20-Second Public Service Announcements

March 9-15 is "Hire the Older Worker Week." Do your company a favor, let the ______________ Program show you how you can increase profits and productivity by hiring older workers. Call __________ at __________ today.

55 and older? Looking for work? "Hire the Older Worker Week" is March 9-15 -- a good time to call __________ at ____________. We're here to help you return to the workforce.

For a heightened effect, print your poster on "diploma" paper, available from office supply stores.

Flyer - Open House Invitation












Press Release - Local Newspaper


During the week of March 9-15, governors and mayors across the U.S. will be signing proclamations honoring the growing numbers of older workers who make America's workforce the best in the world. Local communities will be holding job fairs and other events to publicize the contributions our older citizens make to society. The __________ Program joins the celebrants of "Hire the Older Worker Week." However, we believe that every week should be "Hire the Older Worker Week."

Our director, __________, believes America's future well-being will lie in the way the job market treats our older citizens. "Bureau of Labor statistics tell us to expect that by 2005 there will not only be 30 percent more older persons working, but also 30 percent more older workers unemployed. We have to do more to help our older workers find and keep jobs."

__________ is the local administrator of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, the only federally funded employment program for America's low-income elderly. We provide the community work experience and training that enables people 55 and over to transition from subsidized to unsubsidized employment. This year over _____ local citizens and _____ social and government agencies, schools and hospitals have benefitted from the program.

The __________thanks all of the local organizations who daily contribute to the success of the program, all of its dedicated staff, and all of the employers who base their employment decisions on people's abilities, not their wrinkles.

Special "Hire the Older Worker Week" Section of Local Newspaper


"Hire the Older Worker Week" celebrates the wealth of experience that mature employees can bring to a company or profession. This year's national observances run from March _____ to March _____.

Listed below is a brief sampling of the diversity of older workers currently seeking jobs through the __________ Center located at __________.

More information can be obtained by calling __________.

If your company is interested in hiring any of these individuals, call

__________ (ext. ______), or send your inquiry to our E-Mail address __________.

Barbara -is a responsible, detail oriented worker with skills and experience in billing, collections and customer service. She is seeking a clerical position.

Bruce - is an information systems specialist with extensive experience in programming, analysis, design, purchasing, installation and operation of mainframe, midrange and personal computers. He can also set up and create shared information with the Internet.

June -is a bookkeeper, secretary/office manager and is versatile and detail oriented with excellent organizational and communication skills.

Here's a list of what's available through the center:

General office workers

Customer service


Retail salespeople





Traffic manager

Word processors

Food service



Beginning in April employers and job seekers can use the center's regional Freenet site to find out about the center's services and to access resumes. Those with modems can dial __________ to connect to our computer.

The best way to publicize "Hire the Older Worker Week" is on television with on-the-job interviews of SCSEP enrollees at workplaces where employers have hired a number of enrollees.


Every organization uses business cards, and they are becoming more and more affordable. In the Washington, D.C. area attractive cards are available at less than a penny a piece. You can even make your own in-house if you have a laser or ink jet printer. When you are reordering or redesigning your cards, take the time to add a message that will make people want to keep them for further use. Business cards are versatile marketing tools. Don't underestimate them.

Design Tips for Business Cards

Your card reflects you and your organization. Be creative.

Paper: Use "card stock." It's heavier than letterhead paper. If possible, use paper in the same color and texture as your letterhead.

Size: Most business cards are 2" x 3 ½," a good size for fitting a wallet or business card file. You can get a more expensive version that folds over like a miniature greeting card.

Logos: If you have one, be sure to put the logo on the card -- or make up symbol or design suitable to your project. Most cards are held horizontally and logos are most often found toward the upper left of the card.

Keep It Simple!

Do-It-Yourself: The paper company catalog discussed in Chapter II, Preparing Effective Brochures, Fliers and Posters, provides examples of available designs and gives instructions for in-house printing.

Add a Feature to Your Card

If you want your card to be kept, you might try printing something on the back of the card. Step-by-step instructions on how to handle some type of emergency are always helpful. Telephone numbers for emergency services, reminders of the dates of annual local events, and other practical information will encourage keeping the card on file.

Some Messages That Work

Jobs for People

Profits for Business

Older Americans Serving Their Communities with Pride

Experience Works

Mature Americans - Ready to Work

Put Life Experience to Work

Hire Experience

Older Workers Making Contributions to Their Communities

Experience and Loyalty for Hire

Hire Older Workers

Specialists in Putting Mature Workers Back to Work

Seniors Serving Their Communities


Here are some of the other things SCSEP program managers do to publicize their programs:

Offer to speak at staff meetings at the Social Security office, Job Centers, Department of Human Services, Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, United Way offices, veterans offices or anywhere else where you might promote your cause.

Join (organize) a network for employment and training agency staff. One project has monthly meetings with staff SCSEP, Job Center, PIC, other employment and training agencies.

Join local human resource/personnel membership organizations. Get to know the local employers.

Join aging network organizations.

Speak to churches, community colleges, special ethnic organizations about the program.

Join in mall exhibits, job fairs, older worker events, "Older Worker Month" activities.

Place an enrollee in your local Job Center as a resource/advocate for older workers.

Co-sponsor a monthly older worker workshop with the Job Center; focus on assisting older workers to develop job seeking skills.

Volunteer to serve on One Stop Job Center committees to maintain an active part in future changes.

Participate in panel discussions on public access stations or local network TV or radio.

Check with newspaper, radio TV personnel to see if your area has an Ad Club which supports the community. Local media personnel in one Ad Club host workshops on tips for writing ads, PSAs, etc. The club also provides a two-week intensive promotion via free newspaper, radio and TV free of charge. Club members have designed ads and other material and developed a 30-second video ($100) to promote the program.


This resource manual resulted from the Public Relations Workshop at the National Senior Citizens Education & Research Center's 1997 Annual Senior AIDES Project Directors Training Conference held in Orlando, Florida on January 7-10. The Public Relations Workshop was one of eight conference workshops on successful strategies on obtaining unsubsidized placements.

The conference planning committee was chaired by Dorinda Fox, deputy director of the Senior AIDES Program. Senior AIDES staff serving on the committee were: Senior Program Representative E. Joan Kirk; Regional Program Representatives/Information Specialists Emily Reid and Theresa Reynolds; Regional Program Representative/Health Insurance Specialist Jodi Imel; and Regional Program Representative Craig Morant.

Dorothy Thomas, regional program representative and trainer, was the coordinator for the eight unsubsidized placement workshops. Regional Program Representative and EXTRAide Coordinator Valdes Snipes Bennett facilitated the Public Relations Workshop.

Presentations at the workshop were made by Senior AIDES Project Directors Elizabeth Anderson, Eau Claire, WI and Margaret Hood Black, Houston, TX; and Senior AIDES Program Sponsor representatives Martin Castro, Bakersfield, CA; and Paul Magnus, Akron, OH.

Recorders were: Regional Program Representative Janie Williams and Project Directors Eunice McGlory, Gulfport, MS; and Julie Herscher, Kankakee, IL.

Others who participated in the workshop and contributed to its success were:

Brenda Abney, Annapolis, MD

Edward Binnall, Worcester, MA

Desaney Blaney, Buffalo, NY

Irma Buckner, W. Palm Beach, FL

Donna Cutler, Miami, Fl

Shirley Douglas, Pittsburgh, PA

Joan Fontinatos, N. Babylon, NY

Joyce Hamann, W. Palm Beach, FL

Margaret Hensen, Youngstown, Oh

Charlotte Hill, Memphis, TN

Helen Hogan, Waukegan, IL

Eleanor Jerman, Sioux City, IA

Jane Jones, Detroit, MI

Doris McGuffey, Landover, MD

Calvin Mitchell, Wheatridge, CO

Thomas Mulvey, Buffalo, NY

Esther Simmons, Hartford, CT

Billie Stallings, St. Louis, MO

Rosa Vahrghazz, Hayward, CA

Ronald Veklotz, Mayville, NY

The manual was written by Dorothea Gross, Senior AIDES Program consultant.

This is the first of three manuals designed to help Senior Community Service Employment Program practitioners raise their unsubsidized placement rates. The manuals are dedicated with love, admiration and thanks to Dorothy Thomas, who for twenty years has devoted her considerable talents and energy to training the National Senior Citizens Education & Research Center's SCSEP project directors and sponsors.

Dorothy has been the quintessential role model for the thousands of older workers and SCSEP practitioners throughout the country who know her through her work as a Senior AIDES Program representative and trainer.

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