Tools for Communicating Local Impacts (Updated)
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In order for Extension to remain relevant and successful for years to come, our stakeholders must recognize the value of our programming across the state. A rapidly changing marketplace, exacerbated by a pandemic, has only magnified this need both locally and at the state level, as partners like county governments and granting agencies among others are faced with difficult decisions regarding the allocation of resources moving forward.
Extension Marketing and Communications offers a variety of resources to help you connect with your audiences, demonstrate impact and foster ongoing support. See below for a list of highlights, from strategic planning to digital tools and plug-and-chug resources. Visit our Extension Brand Site to finds these and other materials.
These resources provide valuable insight and guidance to help you identify local goals, target your audiences and tell Extension stories that demonstrate meaningful impacts.
- This is a critical first step for all of your communications efforts. Marketing provides the opportunity to build awareness of Extension’s programs and services; it also helps you to understand your customers’ needs, how best to prioritize your time and resources, and how to communicate in a more impactful way. Our marketing planning process and workbook will help your county / program get started.
- How can you ensure that your outreach connects with the intended audience, while growing our collective brand? Discover a blueprint (including guidelines, tools and examples) for any scenario – campus and county, proactive and reactive – to create a consistent and impactful Extension narrative.
Ideally, your team will have drafted a marketing plan to guide your efforts (we can’t overstate how important this is to optimizing your resources and maximizing your marketing impact), at which point this sampling of resources can reinforce your local communications.
- Extension Stats and Strengths – our core impacts page provides resources that will help convey Extension’s impact, including the following items among others:
- County Economic Impact Data (Spreadsheet)
- Use this sheet to find your local data for the economic impact templates.
- County Profiles and Data Tool
- Find a wide variety of county data related to local populations, demographics, agricultural production, economies, education, food access and much more.
- Extension County Impact Slides / Graphics (PowerPoint | 16×9)
- Extension County Impact Infographic (Word)
- Extension Local Impact Handout (Preview as PDF)
- These 1-pager templates for NC State Extension and N.C. Cooperative Extension include a front page with annual impact info, while the back page can be customized to highlight local efforts.
- Pandemic Success Story Handouts
- Find a set of success story handouts – which can be localized – featuring key efforts in core programmatic areas.
- Marketing Templates (N.C. Cooperative Extension) – find customizable Word files in a variety of layouts – including county / program reports, fliers, brochures, cards and more – which can be localized with minimal fuss to highlight your programming and efforts.
- PowerPoint Templates – download slide templates that can be customized, as well as slides with general Extension information, including overview details, Extension history, and impacts and organizational metrics. Insert the slides into presentations, display on digital screens, print as info handouts / posters, etc.
- Email Newsletter Templates – utilize branded Active Campaign templates that can be customized as event announcements, program updates, general newsletters and more to reach your target audience.
- Zoom Virtual Backgrounds (Google Drive)
- Find more Zoom info and resources on the brand site.
- Video Production – check out tips for creating engaging videos and getting them on YouTube, tools for ensuring properly branded videos, guidance on captioning clips, and existing Extension videos that can help bolster your marketing.
- Social Media Assets – discover a wealth of info to guide your social media efforts, from strategic messaging and analytics tools to account images / photo sizing resources and overviews of specific social channels.
Local Impact Templates
Find templates for digital slides, an infographic handout and 1-pagers that can be customized with local data. Use the spreadsheet and county profiles tool linked below to find data for your county. Additional icons and Extension impact data are available as needed.
Find Your Data
Localize the Templates
*To download resources from Google Drive, right-click the file and select “Download.” Many of the materials are .DOTX files, which are Microsoft Word templates. When opened, it will create a new Word doc (.docx) so you can save files locally without altering the original template.
Other Tools and Templates
Digital Tools on Demand
Given the situation in communities across the state and country, it’s imperative to adopt virtual learning resources and take a digital-first approach to programming when possible. Review a sampling of tools below that can help you leverage digital platforms and maintain a strong connection with your stakeholders.
Extension Information Technology – EIT provides tips, training and a wide range of digital expertise, from website development and optimization to computer applications and general tech support.