Communications Task Force: April 2022


  • Commissioners: Chair Zakk Maher and John Portela
  • Staff: Bryan Roche

The Communications Task Force met electronically for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March. 13, 2022 and discussed the following:

Monthly report

Maher invited Roche to report on communications activities from the month of February. Roche highlighted the following from the report. 

  • Media outreach, done in tandem with Maine AmeriCorps Member Sophie Boardman, yielded in two TV stories on the Maine AmeriCorps member conference, airing on WMTW TV 8 (Portland) and Fox 22 Bangor.
  • Roche participated in Maine Virtual Career Fair, offered by South Portland High School and the Department of Education on March 22 to share AmeriCorps service activities.
  • Roche amplified and distributed AmeriCorps program media, content and legislative outreach initiatives around AmeriCorps Week, March 13-19, 2022.
  • Maine Association of Broadcasters (MAB) staff transition: Corey Garrison, who is handling Suzanne Goucher's responsibilities in the interim, reached out mid-month to start the contract process. Due to the amount of catchup on MAB's end, the timing of the public service announcement run should be made clear in April. Roche also made a request to have the 2021 ad value report completed so it can be submitted mid-April.

The entire report be can be accessed by using the following link -- access monthly report.

Communications plan impacts

Maher shifted focus to a quick update on the communications plan. Maher asked Roche, given the continued fluidity with MAB, how is the execution of the plan going. Roche responded that it is off cycle but feels confident it can get back on track as the year goes on. 

Roche also noted his participation in a new workgroup with America's Service Commissions around AmeriCorps Recruitment. Roche reported that the new, centralized recruitment office will be putting a large focus on digital content. Roche concluded by sharing his read that, given the quality of the content, our role to support this initiative will be increased participation in outreach/recruitment fairs/events as well as being the bridge between the new office and AmeriCorps programs.

Policy updates

Maher reported that L.D. 1974, An Act To Establish and Fund the Maine Climate Corps Program Pursuant to Recommendations in the Report Required by Resolve 2021, Chapter 25, is in appropriations. Portela added that there should be news soon. This legislation would include one-time funding of $600,000 and $406,550 in ongoing funding.

PSA Outreach

Maher asked Roche if there are any updates around finding a new or backup partner for public service announcements. Roche shared that he continues to talk with the interim manager of Maine Association of Broadcasters. If a contract can be generated in time, Roche has recommended that we continue in the program, given last year's success.

The plan, if MAB contract materializes, will focus on broadcast public service announcements (PSA) (radio and TV) from May through the end of August, with digital ads running the rest of the year. Alternative plans include partnering with one radio group and focusing PSAs only on radio, partnering with federal agency to place TV ads, and in-house outreach to stations.

Editorial ideas/new content

Maher then shifted the conversation back to op-ed ideas, with the goal of action being taken in May. The two ideas that were generated, on top of last month's discussion:

  • Partnering with Dept. of Education and talking with volunteer opportunities in schools or summer programs. Roche added that the DOE is running a similar campaign, and it could be a good opportunity to team up.
  • If legislation passes, L.D. 1974 and what it means for volunteerism and the health of communities. It's an opportunity to talk about the Maine Service Fellows and Maine Climate Corps.

Next meeting

Tuesday, May 11, 2022 from 3 - 4 p.m.