Effectively engaging people and communities in our programs has been key to the success of Love to Ride.
It’s important to make sure that our biking programs are both:
➡️ Clearly welcoming everyone to join in - from the design of the materials, the choice of images (that show the diverse range of people in your community - from age, to ethnicity, to gender, to body size), to the language you use (easily understandable), and even the text font size. When someone comes across your program, it's important they feel welcomed and they can see themselves taking part.
➡️ Involve active outreach - it’s not enough to passively welcome, we need to actively plan and implement an outreach approach that will be effective at engaging the communities that are important to your program.
Here is a brief overview of six key steps we're taking here at Love to Ride to work with our partners on engaging key local communities:
1️⃣ Identify the different communities in your area that you want to engage in your program - from the business community, to communities of color, to people from a particular neighborhood.
2️⃣ Identify the key individuals and community organizations in each target community.
3️⃣ Engage those key individuals and community organizations early in your outreach planning process - show them the benefits of the program to their community and invite them to talk and discuss the best ways to engage their community.
4️⃣ Work the advice and feedback from those key individuals into your community engagement plan.
5️⃣ Resource your plan accordingly - in our case, this might look like allocating a number of days of the Community Engagement Manager’s time to carry out the outreach with a particular community.
6️⃣ Measure and monitor your engagement levels from each of the target communities - both along the way so you can adapt your approach during the program delivery, as well as at the end of the program so you can see the total impact of your program.
Interested in engaging particular local communities in your biking encouragement work? We’d be happy to share more lessons learned. You can get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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