October 2015 Update from Communication/Barrier Reduction Working Group.
The Communications Working Group (WG) would like to offer a warm welcome to the Barrier Reduction group members. The sharing of perspectives only serves to strengthen the work of the partnership.
The Communication WG has been busy reviewing and testing the website. Social channels consisting of a blog, Twitter and Facebook have been initiated and added to the website. These tools are all ways the Communication WG hopes to share early year’s information, events, and activities with families.
On November 20, 2015 at 9:30 am, at the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, the website will be officially launched. The website hopes to realize the vision of the Greater Nanaimo Early Years partnership that “Supports all families to create a solid foundation for children in order to reach their full potential in health and development during their early years”
The website is just one of the many focused projects the Communication WG is working on. They also hosted an “All Candidates Debate” at Beban Park on Tuesday October 13, 2015 which was a great success. 3 of the 4 of the local candidates were in attendance to address a wide range of issues that impact parents and families in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith area. 70+ community members (consisting of parents/caregivers/families/EY community members & more) were at the event taking an active role in educating themselves about the issues in the upcoming federal election. Read all about it in the Nanaimo News Bulletin: http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/news/332969161.html
Please note that any community members with skills or an interested in the work being done by this group are encouraged to contact the committee chairs.
Sept 2015 Update:
The Barrier Reduction Working Group strongly believes that good communication reduces barrier and has therefore merged into the Communication Working Group. They were able to bring capacity & funds to assist in the development of the GNEYP website. They feel that because the Parent Survey brought to light the fact that parents did not have a one-stop place to go to access resources and information the website would help reduce this barrier.
* Please note, to view the former Barrier Reduction Working Group's June 2014 to September 2015 Adopted plan, Action Plan and updates, please click HERE.
June 2015 Update:
The Communication Working Group has been working together since September 2014. The primary outcome of the group was to establish a website for GNEYP. That goal was quickly achieved in the New Year (2015).
Once the web site was created it became clear that the Communications Working Group (CWG) needed to look beyond the website if we were to effectively promote GNEYP and the Early Years. Therefore our group developed a 3-year communications plan that included social and print media. Print media has taken the form of “Unplug and Play” signs that have been erected at a number of parks in the City of Nanaimo.
The group believes that one of our roles will be to help the other working groups organize and promote their key messages. This means not only will the other groups need to provide content in a timely manner, but the CWG will need to develop the strategic and tactical skills to effectively reach our various audiences. This will require conducting market research where we develop a strong understanding of their needs and who they are.
Our groups goal is to build a strong brand for GNEYP and to assist with this we have contracted with Erin MacDonald from 460 Communications to coach us through this complicated process of clarifying and simplifying the messages, ensuring we know our key audiences, and that the messages are consistent across various communication platforms. Over the course of the first year, Erin will provide oversight, coaching and consulting to our group. Starting with GNEYP website, we conducted a “soft” launch of the site for our internal partners at the Update session in May. The “hard” launch for the general public will take place on November 20th, the International Day of the Child. The working group is very mindful of the importance of developing a strong communication plan, not just for the web site launch, but also to deliver all the pieces of the good work that is being done to support young children, within the other working groups and the community at large. Erin will help us develop an “editorial” calendar for the whole year so we know when key dates occur and what key messages we need to make. (E.g. International Day of the Child, the federal election, the State of the Child release). The CWG will also be working with Erin to develop a training curriculum and presentation materials (e.g. PowerPoint Slides) for select GNEYP members to serve as “ambassadors” for the Partnership. These ambassadors will be trained on how to communicate effectively to service clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, City Councilors and strategic stakeholders. We hope you will agree with the assessment of the need for this website and communication expertise. We need your support in making sure that the Communication team has the resources necessary to communicate the great work each of you do for families and young children every day.
These projects need dollars and personnel to build important momentum and confidence. We are asking each of you to consider the resources you have available that could support the success of this project.
September 2014 Action Plan:
Creation of a GNEYP website
Support the other Working Groups in their communication needs
Lead the expansion of the Unplug campaign
Create a community presentation highlighting the early years in Nanaimo
Create a community charter for child and youth services
June 2014 Adopted Plan:
Engage and connect early years partners
Develop an internal and external communication strategy for sharing GNEYP activities.
Alan Macdonald (Kw'umut Lelum Child & Family Services - Associate Executive Director)