October 14, 2013

Working Differently in Extension Podcast

Interested in a short introduction to "Building Extension's Public Value"? Check out this Working Differently in Extension Podcast, featuring a conversation between Bob Bertsch of Agricultural Communication at North Dakota State University and me. If you'd like to actually see us converse, check out the video of the podcast below.

April 16, 2013

#sciencepitch? How about #Extensionpitch?

Earlier this year the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) held what they called an Elevator Pitch Challenge. The goal of the challenge was to help researchers who get funding from the stem cell agency do a better job of communicating with the public. They invited any researcher who gets CIRM funding to prepare a 30 second videotaped pitch, keeping it short, simple and something anyone can understand. CIRM staff then voted who they thought did the best job.

elevator.JPGThe resulting videos are posted on the CIRM website and on Youtube under the hashtag #sciencepitch.

As CIRM's press release says, "We are a publicly funded agency and the money we use to fund research comes from the people of California, so it's only reasonable to expect researchers to be able to explain the importance of what they do to Californians, and anyone else they might meet."

Sound familiar? This is the same challenge the public value approach presents to Extension programs: Explain to people with no connection to your program why they should fund it. I haven't seen any public value messages on video, but there's no reason it couldn't be done. Has your organization asked Extension programs to record a public value "pitch"? Should we give it a try? If we assembled a series of videotaped messages, what would be the most effective use of them? Maybe we can start an #Extensionpitch Youtube channel to share our efforts and spark ideas of how to use the videos.

October 9, 2009

If you let me participate in an Extension program

In the Building Extension's Public Value workshops, I often refer to a 1995 Nike (TM) ad campaign as an example of a way to craft a concise public value message. Nike's "If You Let me Play" (TM) campaign used a simple, repeated "if this, then that" structure to persuade viewers of the public benefits that arise from girls participating in sports. I think the ad's structure can be adapted to convey Extension's public value message: When people participate in Extension programs, the community is made better off.

As a reference for those who have taken the BEPV train-the-trainer course, the script of the "If You Let Me Play" ad is included in the BEPV Presenter's Guide. Even better, during last week's train-the-trainer, a participant alerted me to the presence of the ad on Youtube. You can view it here.

What do you think of the ad? Is it compelling? Would a similar ad touting the public benefits of Extension programs be effective?