Nearly 90 people from state and local governments, non-profits, and private businesses throughout the Portland metro area attended the workshop on Wednesday, August 21st. Kellie Randall, Public Affairs Specialist in the Portland office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), presented and answered questions for 50 minutes about how SBA has conducted outreach to diverse populations that own small businesses including veterans, minorities, and older people. Kellie presented a variety of tools and strategies that promote successful outreach including:
- Outreach at its core is about people and building relationships. Consequently, it’s critical to focus on the human, even touchy-feely side of your information.
- Partnering with other organizations is vital to successful outreach since partners can leverage their established client relationships to increase the likelihood your events and activities will succeed.
- To build a connection with your clients, tailor your interactions by determining what will increase their interest and ability to hear you. This could include clearing the air concerning issues to which you're connected, actively listening to them, and asking them questions even about things off-topic that they care about.
- Utilize success stories to reach specific audiences and generate media coverage.
See a summary of all Kellie's tips for doing successful outreach to diverse populations.
Most people remained after Kellie's presentation to engage in coversations designed to promote new partnerships between attendees. Thanks to CIC members Gary Marschke, Brian Harvey, Ben Brady, Judy Hadley, Dara Anyder, and Steven Joiner who worked together to put on the workshop.