As a partner with the Local Voices Network, one of your primary roles is to recruit and convene participants for your conversation.
Here are some helpful hints to help you prepare your recruitment strategies:
- Give yourself time to plan. You want there to be a minimum of three weeks lead time before your conversation to plan and send out invites.
- Be intentional. The first step of planning is to identify your conversation goal - or what you hope to learn as a part of these conversations. Once you understand this, identify who needs to be a part of the conversation in order to help you reach this goal.
- Focus on trust and relationship building. If the people who you would like to invite are people with whom you do not already have connections & trust built, identify other partner organizations or individual credible messengers who you do have a relationship with who can serve as a bridge between your organization and the people you are inviting.
- Select an accessible and inclusive time. After you have identified your invitees, ask a sample of folks from this community about times that are good - or times that should be avoided. Typical recommendations for this have shifted during COVID-19, so it is best to ask about this as well as about any accommodations that will allow for the greatest participation. If you are an organization that has regular meetings with a particular constituent group, see if you can plan your conversation at that time.
- Send warm, personal invitations. Once you have identified your target audience, do as much personal outreach as possible. Phone calls, texts, and individual emails where you let them know you are reaching out to them specifically in order to ensure their voice is included yields much better results than mass emails.
- Follow up. Send reminders, thank yous, and communications about how their voice was shared or amplified as a result of their participation.
If you are recruiting a group of people whose time or life experience is particularly in demand or necessary for you to reach your project goals, consider offering a stipend or gift card to recognize their vital contribution to your process.
Persona Profile (Activity)
If it supports development of your participant outreach plan, you can create persona profiles to better articulate who your ideal participants are. Persona profiles describe a hypothetical under-heard person in your community who has attended an LVN conversation. This activity will help you answer the following question: Who are the under-heard people in our communities and why should they be interested in joining an LVN conversation?
Persona Profiles are fictional characterizations drawn from real research data. They are not preconceived stereotypes; they are archetypes borne of careful study. Personas can help your team remember and discuss the people for whom you are designing [a project]. Personas are a valuable tool for decision making. -Luma Institute, Innovating for People, 2012
- Employment history
- Household information
- Relationship to Organization and Community
- Anything else to help paint a general portrait
How is your organization connected with this community?
List any basic community needs and goals (e.g. services used, social networks):
What will bring these people to your LVN conversation?
Memorable quote (to summarize their mindset when they sit down for an LVN conversation)
What will they get out of the LVN conversation?