Communications Task Force: March 2022


  • Commissioners: Chair Zakk Maher, Julia Fiori, Jessica Nixon, John Portela
  • Staff: Bryan Roche

The Communications Task Force met electronically for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March. 8, 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. 

  • Production of the 2021 Annual Report, handled entirely in-house, has been completed. Roche did note that due to the extra information required, along with some delays in receiving information from various sources, that it has set his overall timeline back. Roche concluded this item by stating he will work throughout March to get back on schedule.
  • Roche shared with the group that next week is AmeriCorps week, and he will be working to amplify news coverage earned or content published by programs. He will also aid, if requested, programs in expanding awareness.

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

Communications plan impacts

Given the comments made about the extended timeline around the publishing of the annual report, Maher asked Roche if he feels any amendments need to be made to the Communications Plan. Roche stated that it will be more of a shift in timing of established initiatives as opposed to a rework.

Policy updates

Maher reported no crucial updates from the recent Executive Committee meeting. Portela added 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, came out of committee with a unanimous ought to pass, and he is optimistic that it should face an easy road through the House and Senate. Portela concluded by reporting that a fiscal note is being added, but he has not seen it yet. 

Digital PSAs and rebooting Service Instigator PSA campaign 

Maher started by asking the group about restarting efforts to produce the Maine Service Instigator PSA campaign. The campaign was halted last summer after several high-profile individuals declined to participate, citing participation in pandemic-related PSAs that had already been running at that time. The group agreed it is an effort worth undertaking. Roche added that footage captured last year of Portela and Maine Conservation Corps AmeriCorps members can still be utilized. Roche asked if it would be realistic to start in on this work as a group by next meeting, if not before, and the group agreed it is. The group also agreed it would be best to film once the nicer weather is here more permanently.

Roche also shared a plan for phase one of digital-focused PSAs, which will lean heavily on AmeriCorps recruitment messaging. Roche added he will be focusing on the following platforms, to start: Google Ads (YouTube and search ads), Instagram, Reddit, and Hulu. Roche concluded by citing the age of those being targeted have a better chance of being on those platforms.

Match Reporting

Maher asked Roche if he had been able to receive a Q4 (CY) PSA ad value report after the news reported last meeting about changes at Maine Association of Broadcasters. Roche stated he is still working on doing so. Roche also mentioned that he is investigating the benefits of partnering more closely with the federal agency around broadcast television PSAs, citing higher airtime value.

Editorial ideas/new content

The group discussed some ideas around a new round of op-eds, continuing discussion from the month prior. Specifically, how AmeriCorps service can build skills while allowing others to give back. Nixon added that the topic is top of mind, especially on the professional growth side given shifts in the workforce. Using an example of one of the Department of Education's Initiatives, messaging could be around "finding service within a profession." Maher and Nixon both suggested looking at virtual homework help programs. One key point that needs to be decided on is if this messaging can also encompass general volunteerism, not just National Service.

Next meeting

Tuesday, April. 12, 2022 from 3 - 4 p.m.