As students of Lewis and Clark College, specifically in the Environmental Studies program, it is imperative that we learn, and practice, successful engagement with a diverse range of individuals and parties in our community and beyond. In actively doing so this semester, we have officially begun creating partnerships with organizations in the Northwest Oregon regions that represent/advocate for different voices on various environmental issues, One of these is the Portland Harbor Community Coalition (PHCC), a group actively working to represent minorities and at-risk individuals in the fight to clean up and restore the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. This organization is one whose main focus is outreach and advocacy for community members. Their biggest strengths, and weaknesses, however, lie in the ways in which they are able to communicate with and involve a diverse community. While PHCC has created and maintained many partnerships, there are still certain demographics being left out of getting to have a voice. Thus, through brainstorming collaboration opportunities between PHCC and Lewis and Clark students, there seems to be opportunity for a wider range of individuals to be reached through up-to-date technological outlets!”–Collaborating in the Technologic Age
In deciding to collaborate with PHCC to create/run an up-to-date Instagram that is representative of the organization’s efforts (read here for more information), it is important to keep the intentions and goals in focus. Social media outlets, such as Instagram, hold vast opportunity for a variety of motives and journeys, but within that thus is presented the opportunity to get spread too thin. Creating a balance in which opportunity can blossom, while our intended goals are still being focused on as the driving factor, is good to keep in mind through its implementation. Thus, it feels most appropriate to outline those original motives for current and future reference.
I. Establish an up-to-date online presence representing PHCC
In order to connect in the current ‘techonocentric age,’ an organization that does not have proper online representation will struggle greatly to thrive. Presenting up-to-date information, thus establishing the organization’s existence and regular outreach/activism, is crucial.
II. Connect with a more diverse group of community members and stakeholders (get younger people involved)
As previously explained, the idea for establishing an online presence was in order to connect with more diverse age groups. PHCC could currently benefit from the strengthening of a presence among individuals under 30. Thus, presenting the organization on Instagram (the majority of individuals on Instagram are under 30) in a way that relates/appeals to that age range is important to keep in mind.
III. Share outreach efforts with the public
Online social media outlets provide a perfect platform to broadcast what the organization is actively doing. Whether it is gaining more volunteers through Instagram, sharing information to gain public comments, or simply informing more individuals of their rights, it is important to take advantage of the broad audience presented here, and share what is happening, loud and proud.