On Friday, rather than hit the streets with flyers for outreach, we elected to stay in the comfort of air conditioning and do a mailing. In total, we send letters to 76 places in Philadelphia. By the time we were done, I could use the postage meter machine like a pro!
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Every Thursday and Friday afternoon since my internship has begun, I, along with some of the other interns, have been working on a summer outreach plan. Although the WLP receives a lot of calls to our Telephone Counseling number, the WLP knows that there are more people out there with issues that we are just not reaching. The goal of outreach is to increase consumer awareness of the WLP’s free service.
During the spring, a graduate student at the WLP began doing community outreach around Fairmount Park. We took her original outreach plan and further developed our goals and outreach strategies. Then we analyzed caller data to identify target neighborhoods. This involved several afternoons of staring at an Excel spreadsheet as numbers swam before my eyes. Finally, we identified key locations in the previously identified neighborhoods to specifically target with our flyers. (Thank goodness for Google maps).
This week was our first time going out into the community with our newly designed action plan. On Thursday, we walked all along East Passyunk Avenue, which bisects South Philly. Overall, we got a really positive response from local business owners. We even had people run after us on the street to ask further questions. On Friday, we started outreach on South Street. It was horribly hot and we didn’t get that far.
I actually had quite a bit of fun walking around and talking to people about the WLP and Telephone Counseling. My feet, on the other hand, did not enjoy the experience nearly as much.
Next week, we will continue outreach in South Philly. Hopefully, my feet will have recovered by then.