Whew! It’s been a LOOOONG day!
Adolfo Carrion, the new Director of the White House Office on Urban Affairs Policy gave the lunchtime keynote, followed by acclaimed scholar Dennis Culhane – whose work informs so many of the most effective and promising strategies in ending homelessness. Adolfo, a self-described “urbanist,” reiterated the notes that Secretary Donovan had left us with: together, as a community, we can approach homelessness is a collective, effective, and successful way.
Then, the time came: the communications & advocacy workshop! My big workshop!
I know I’m biased, but I tend to think that communications and advocacy not only go hand-in-hand, but are critical components to our mutual mission to address, prevent, and end homelessness. Our issue is such a delicate, complicated, and expansive one – and effectively relaying those nuances in an intelligent and digestible way requires careful thought and skill. And – as Leslie Kerns of M+R Strategic Services and Ehren Reed of Innovation Networks taught us this afternoon – a strategic campaign to get that message across to those who can sympathize, affect, and make a different.
The two taught us that a great advocacy and communications strategy requires a careful examination of goals, the audience, the message, and a launch – and that examining these factos and making sure that all of them line up are instrumental for a successful campaign. I’ll post the materials and ideas generated from the workshop in the next couple of days – look out!