Public Awareness Strategy

Collecting and organizing information is only the first challenge of the Tutor/Mentor Institute.

Creating Civic Engagement where thousands or millions of people are looking at this information daily and using it to support their involvement in tutor/mentor programs and in helping inner-city youth is an even greater challenge. This study of open government/civic tech, democratic participation/inclusion, and journalism includes a section discussing funding of these efforts. The ideas should be considered by those attempting to fund the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategies.


Also view: Public Awareness Strategy, Concept Map

This Chicago Tribune Story is one of dozens of articles that have been generated since 1994 to support this strategy. See list with many of these on this Tutor/Mentor Institute Media Page

Below is a list of activities and goals that we've used since 1994 and that we hope to support in order to generate much more public attention in the future. Some have links to new pages where project teams and partners can develop these ideas into business plans and proposals so that the resources are found to put the ideas into action.


• Increased awareness of need and visibility for existing Tutor/Mentor Programs in Chicago (measured by lineage or number of media stories, page views on web sites, visitor traffic, etc.)

• Increase number of volunteers and amount of corporate support, including dollars, for Tutor/mentor programs citywide. See GIS project workspace

• Identify more tutor/mentor programs and build participation in T/MC network. See Program Locator workspace

• Obtain credit for T/MC and Cabrini Connections for the above — translate credit to build fund raising success. See OHATS workspace and Social Network Analysis workspace

Where this message can be distributed

• Tribune, Sun Times, Southtown Economist (major papers)

• Neighborhood papers, including Today's Chicago Women

• Major TV/Radio

• Cable TV, including public TV

• Magazines, such as Chicago

• Company and association newsletters - see Role of Leaders pdf

• Religious media, including sermons - see faith leaders strategy PDF

• Our own T/MC Report (distribution 5,500) and Newslink (distribution 2,500) - rebuilding print media - strategies

• Newsletters of other Tutor/Mentor Programs (cross promotion) - See email newsletter

• National media and magazines

• Individuals, vis one-on-one conversations and formal conference and workshop presentations - See Conference Web site; Tutor/Mentor Forum

The message will always contain our priority points, but the story will focus on calendar events . Our goal is to develop a continuous frequency of exposure in each of these channels, using citywide events we have developed as the focus of the message.

See list of Awards and Recognition.

See links to articles and interviews.

Use city-wide events to create public awareness :


View video describing year round event calendar strategy.

• Citywide Volunteer Recruitment Campaign (Aug/Sept.)

• Tutor/Mentor Week (second week of November) goals and brainstorming to revive tutor/mentor week

• Fall Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference (during Tutor/Mentor Week)

• Spring Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference (year end recognition, focus on summer programs, focus on building better programs for coming year)

In each of these events, we are building partners who are also generating PR for the event. For instance, the Chicago Bar Association/Foundation is the co-sponsor of the Tutor/Mentor Week and through the Lend A Hand Fund, makes grants to programs during that week and during the week of the Spring T/MC Conference. Planning groups on Ning.

In the same manner, we seek the Chicago Ad Council's support for the annual recruiting campaign, and the support of groups like the Junior League of Chicago and the Union League Club of Chicago to help build additional exposure for each event.

Other strategies for generating public awareness
These are ideas that have been on the drawing board for many years but have not been developed because of lack of manpower and sponsors. Each could be a project co-owned by another partner or developed as a sub-project of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.

  • Event marketing/PR
  • Social Media/Forums - Linked in, Social Edge, Facebook, Twitter

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