Using the Gift of Communication to connect

Fresh on the heels of a holiday designed to showcase our love for others (yes, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day), let’s take think about how we can carry that love forward into other aspects of life and business.

Your local chapter’s first Gift of Communication event will be Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 11:30 to 1 at the Hughes Education Center on North Washington. Come for lunch and a discussion with a local nonprofit that is seeking ways to better connect its services with those who need them.

Read the summary below. Put your thinking caps on. Come to the event and share your ideas with a great organization that’s eager to hear them.

~ Erin Huntimer, your board president

The nonprofit

Missouri River Educational Cooperative

Lyle Krueger, executive director

The overview

The Missouri River Educational Cooperative (MREC) is one of eight Regional Educational Associations (REA) in North Dakota. We are comprised of 37 School Districts, 3 Cooperating Partners, and 8 collaborating partners. We provide support and services for 60 elementary schools and 44 secondary schools.

Mission: To provide sustainable action focused solutions which educate, inform, and inspire our member districts.

Vision: To become a leading educational organization that strengthens member districts in preparing all children to become responsible, active, participating citizens of society

The challenge
• Branding – clearly communicating who they are & what they do to their target audience(s)
• Reaching diverse target audiences – district superintendents, teachers, parents
• Effectively using existing communication channels

The run-down directly from Lyle:

“One of our biggest challenges is simply people knowing who were are and what we do. We are a Regional Education Association (REA). When most people hear of an “REA,” their first thought goes to “Rural Electric Association.” Same goes with MREC, they hear MREC they think “electric cooperative.” Getting past that obstacle.

“Additionally, we do a variety of things/services, so getting people to realize what we do, for whom, and who we impact, is a struggle. This struggle has multiple levels because we have several target audiences based on the work we do. For example, our member district superintendents know the services we can provide. However, teachers may only think of us providing large professional learning events and may not know that we have specific ways we can do to help them at their district. Parents in Bismarck-Mandan may only know us for the Extended School Program (afterschool program; we are not BLAST) if their child attends one of the schools we serve, but they don’t realize we provide other online course offerings for Career and Technical Education for high school students or that we work with businesses/colleges to develop and host college/career symposiums.

“Lastly, I am trying to better organize the services our member school districts can utilize in a manner that provides them with enough information to be informed and know how to find us, but not a full page narrative report trying to explain it (which they won’t read!). We know what we do, districts who use our services understand, but how do we get others to understand our services and/or access them? What strategies are best to inform them of the various services?
“We have recently updated our website (www.mrecnd.org) to make it more user friendly. We also try tying our newsletter article/information to go back to our website to drive traffic. We send out that newsletter twice a month to our districts and began pushing a lot more info out on our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mrecnd/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/mrecnd) accounts too.”

Learn the new video rules in November

keenan-h-headshotOur November 2016 professional development session is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. At KLJ.

Videos are taking over the social media landscape. Marketers are jumping on the trend and adding video to their 2017 marketing budgets. Keenan Hauff, Chief Executive Visionary at Threefold, will discuss what you need to know about video and how it can boost your client engagement.

Register today

The Power of Presentation – and Membership

Join us Thursday, Oct. 20, for the first professional development luncheon of the year: The Power of Presentation.

PowerPoint may be the standard for professional presentations, but it isn’t the only option. Darren Hertz of Bank of North Dakota will show you how you can enhance your presentations by demonstrating the capabilities of three other popular presentation tools: Nearpod, Kahoot! and Google Slides. Read more and register….

~ALSO~

Speaking of powerful things, how about IABC membership? (How do you like that segue?)

Thinking about joining IABC Great Plains? Now’s the time to do it! October is Membership Month. Save 10% on international dues, PLUS the $40 application fee is waived.

Contact any IABC Great Plains board member to hear why local membership is so powerful. Learn more about international benefits on IABC’s membership page.

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October is Membership Month

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