Best Kept Secrets
For years, some of our colleagues here in Iowa and many more throughout the nation have remarked that extension is a “best kept secret.” Just last week, Representative Bruce Bearinger referred to us that way when tweeting about our hotlines. Type “extension best kept secret” into Google and most of the top 10 results refer to extension work. (The others deal primarily with hair extensions, where I imagine a secret is a good thing.) But being a secret is nothing to be proud of for us. I’ve heard the reasons why for years – we tend to be busy and don’t like to promote ourselves. Most extension professionals don’t like the spotlight. It’s hard to fully understand all the variety of work we do.
To reverse this situation, we need a game plan. We need equipment, drills, plays, and strategies. (Sort of sounds like football, but then again, the Super Bowl was just last Sunday.) We need a playbook and our Organizational Advancement team is preparing one right now. You’ll receive your copy in time for Extension and Outreach Week, March 24-30.
The Advancement Playbook is a guide for our organizational marketing efforts. It contains plans to promote and advance Extension and Outreach and advocate to external partners about our educational mission and program impact. The Playbook will make it easier for all players in our system — statewide, on campus, and within counties and regions — to function as one team with one game message: We are a community-based education unit providing the state with educational goods and services that benefit many.
And therein lies the trick, which a playbook is designed to help address – to sort through the clutter, learn fast, and communicate faster. See you there.