Best Practices for Internet Outreach
On July 28, the National Youth Advocacy Coalition held a Webinar called ‘Best Practices for Internet Outreach.’
The webinar was presented by guest Ra’Shawn Flournoy, Internet Outreach Coordinator of AID Upstate-Greenville South Carolina
The Objective of the call was to understand how to engage youth in internet outreach and understanding the best practices for conducting outreach and what tools exist.
Flournoy provided some examples of how his organization reaches out to black MSM, and offers suggestions of how organizations can apply these tools and practices for their networking.
Sites commonly used by the LGBT community such as: twitter, facebook, adam4adam, manhunt, myspace, google and craigslist are great ways to reach out for the following ways:
They are AFFORDABLE – Though some sites charge fees, others are completely free to use
They are EFFECTIVE – Within the past 3 years, his organization reached hundreds of black MSM through internet outreach. Of these, over sixty have come in for counseling and testing.
They allow for CAPACITY building – Internet Outreach includes people across the country through webinars, social media, etc.
In performing Internet Outreach, BE AWARE
- Ensure you are qualified to serve community in the way that you are attempting to do
- Maintain focus with clients
- Be self-aware: Are you comfortable with social media or the population you are serving?
- Need to understand cultural competency to reach them
- Be honest about purpose about presence on site
- Make it personalized (use name and picture)
- Give incentives (prizes for participation)
- To reaching out to more marginalized individuals, bring in members of those community to do outreach
If you missed the presentation, go to NYAC’s website for slides and recording of the webinar. If you attended the webinar, their website also contains additional resources on reaching out to the LGBT community through social media.
by Emilia Dunham
Network for LGBT Tobacco Control Staff
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