You can turn your agenda posts into outreach opportunities that get more people to meetings, by following these simple tips.
Every month, there are items on your board and committee agendas that your stakeholders would feel passionate about, if only they knew they were there. But the language and formatting that the law requires make most agendas a dry and difficult read for the average stakeholder. And often, meeting announcements only give a date, time, and agenda link, without any other clues as to what this particular meeting might be about.
While you can’t change the way an agenda should be written, here are some easy things you can do every time you post an agenda online or in a public place that will increase transparency, and boost meeting attendance.
Agendas On Your Website
When sharing an agenda on your website, include a plain language summary of one to three key topics from the upcoming meeting. Keep it short but include links to more information where appropriate. Here’s an example:
Highlights for this month’s meeting include:
- Presentation and discussion of a new mixed-use project proposed at 111 Fake Name Blvd. See drawings and details of this proposal here (link).
- Planning and date setting for a possible community festival to be held this July at Public Leisure Park.
View the meeting agenda here (link) for more details and a full list of topics.
Agendas In Newsletters
A short summary of highlights like the one above works well when sharing agendas in an email newsletter, too.
Additionally, since your email newsletter is going to individual email addresses, you can make it feel more personal by framing your meeting announcement as an invitation. Open by saying something like, “Please join us for our monthly board meeting,” or “You’re invited to our board meeting next Tuesday,” before going into your list of highlights.
Agendas In Public Locations
When you post an agenda in a public place, it can be hard to tell what it says – or even what it is – from very far away. And the problem is, no one will be drawn close enough to find out, unless you can capture their attention from across the room or parking lot.
One easy solution is to create a title card to post alongside your agendas. Below is a sample made in Microsoft Word. You can use whatever word processing program you already use to write your agendas, to create your own. Bold, narrow fonts in all caps tend to work the best – the sample below uses 80 pt Franklin Gothic Condensed, on a sheet of 8.5 X 11” paper. If you get your agendas printed professionally, you can ask your printer to make a copy of your title card on bright-colored paper, to enhance visibility.
Outreach Tip Of The Week is an ongoing series on how to use communications, branding, marketing, and public relations to build better relationships with your stakeholders.