To get your message out, give your Communicators a platform to work with. This post looks at what Loddon Plains Landcare Network has done to connect its 18+ individual groups to each other and to the Network.
LPLN's Question Without An Easy Answer is how to improve communication across the Network. Once a year, they have a mid-year gathering where groups get together socially, showcase their projects and hear what programs the Network is developing.
But they are also doing two other things to link their groups. First, they hold Network CoM meetings around the Network area. Instead of meeting at one place, they head out into their vast area and meet on one of their group's home turf. They invite in nearby groups, and inside their normal CoM meeting, make time where those group share what they’re doing and want to do, and discuss how the Network can support them.
The second thing they are doing is providing their groups with the same communications software tools, so that everyone is speaking the same language. And they've trained them how to use those tools.
Here's James Nelsson their facilitator describing how they have gone about 'tooling up' groups:
The third thing they've embarked on is to get Communicators in each group and support them. They become the link person between the Network and the group, and between the groups and its community. It's a job that usually falls to the President or Secretary, but that person isn't always a communications-savvy person. If it's not their thing, the Network is asking each group to find one other person to take on the Communicator role.
Ideally, that Communicator has skills in using email and social media, and can write the stories that communicate to members and to the wider community. Next year, I'll find out how those Communicators are going, and post an up-date here.