TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. USING THE MEDIA TO MARKET OLDER WORKERS 1
A. News Releases 1
B. Human Interest Stories 10
C. Letters to the Editor 13
D. Public Service Announcements 15
E. Classified Ads 18
II. PREPARING EFFECTIVE BROCHURES, FLYERS AND
III. PLANNING AND PUBLICIZING JOB FAIRS 25
A. The Planning Stage 25
B. Promoting the Job Fair 27
C. After the Fair is Over 31
IV. PLANNING AND PUBLICIZING "HIRE THE OLDER WORKER WEEK" 35
V. BUSINESS CARDS WITH A MESSAGE 41
VI. OTHER WAYS TO PUBLICIZE YOUR PROGRAM 43
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.
I. USING THE MEDIA TO MARKET OLDER
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:
AGENCY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF FINDING JOBS FOR SENIORS
SENIOR AIDE __________ GRADUATES COLLEGE AT 75
MAYOR HONORS THE __________ FOR ITS WORK WITH CHILDREN
80-YEAR-OLD SENIOR AIDE STARTS OWN BUSINESS LOCAL RESIDENT WINS NEW JOB DIRECTING PROGRAM FOR OLDER WORKERS
SENIORS OVER 55 LEARN TO BE HOME HEALTH AIDES
OLDER? OUT OF WORK? COME TO THE MAY 6 JOB FAIR
FIVE LOCAL EMPLOYERS HONORED BY SENIOR AIDES PROGRAM IT ITS CELEBRATION OF "HIRE THE OLDER WORKER WEEK"
"SENIOR AIDE OF THE YEAR" AWARD PRESENTED AT CEREMONY IN GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
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?
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.
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:
RELEASE DATE: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2:00 P.M.
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.
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.
SAMPLE NEWS RELEASES
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.
WOMAN STARTS IN COTTON FIELDS, SENIOR WORKER PROGRAM
NOW WORKING IN CITY HALL OFFICES
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 _____________________.
BACK TO WORK
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
Letter to the Editor of a Newspaper for Seniors
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
Type your copy in a narrow column that is only thirty-five characters long.
Sample Public Service Announcements
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 possible, repeat the time and place of the event.
Public Service Announcement
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
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.
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.
II.PREPARING EFFECTIVE BROCHURES, FLYERS
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 Â½" 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 Â½" 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 Â½" 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 health departments
Fast food restaurants
Social security offices
Beauty and barber shops
Community bulletin boards
Senior citizen centers
Private sector employment agencies
Area Agencies of Aging
Some transit companies may give reduced rates (or charge nothing) to nonprofits who want to place messages in buses.
III. PLANNING AND PUBLICIZING JOB FAIRS
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.
A. THE PLANNING STAGE
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.
B. PROMOTING THE JOB FAIR
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.
SOME PROMOTION IDEAS
Do a mailing to employers combining the Job Fair with "Hire the Older Worker Week."
Message from Job Fair Co-Sponsor
20-Second Public Service Announcement
Letter to the Editor - Local Paper
C. AFTER THE FAIR IS OVER
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
Please take a moment out of your busy schedule and critique us on the job fair you attended on __________________ at the ___________________________________.
Have you had any interviews? YES NO
Have you had any second interviews? YES NO
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?
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
Would you attend another job fair? Why or why not? If yes, when?
What would you do differently?
Your Name: Title:
IV. PLANNING AND PUBLICIZING "HIRE THE OLDER WORKER WEEK" ACTIVITIES
"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.
"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
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.
SOME PROMOTION EXAMPLES
20-Second Public Service Announcements
For a heightened effect, print your poster on "diploma" paper, available from office supply stores.
Flyer - Open House Invitation
Press Release - Local Newspaper
Special "Hire the Older Worker Week" Section of Local Newspaper
OLDER WORKERS OFFER WORKPLACE A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE
"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
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.
V. BUSINESS CARDS WITH A MESSAGE
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 Â½," 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
Mature Americans - Ready to Work
Put Life Experience to Work
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
VI. OTHER WAYS TO PUBLICIZE YOUR PROGRAM
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.