VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette
MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION
to 2002 Archives
| ~ February 2002 ~
- Voice Mail that Communicates
- Tips to Deal With the Media
- Work Load Getting You Down: Tips to Lighten the Load
Voice Mail that Communicates
Do you ever wonder if your voice messages get through?
Here are some tips to enhance communication.
- Identify yourself. Do not assume someone will recognize your voice.
Tell who you are, name of your organization, and your job title. This
is true even if you are calling someone you know well.
- Early in your message leave contact information; phone, e-mail,
cell phone, mailing address. This lets the person contact you in a
way most convenient to them.
- Clearly state the purpose of your call. If possible, put the call
in context. "You asked about the number of people attending the
training session. I wanted to let you know that 16 people have signed
up, but we are expecting more. What is the maximum number of people
you can accommodate for this session?"
- Highlight your questions and what you need. Do not be vague about
expectations. Pose your questions or statement slowly and then explain
specifically when you need a response.
Tips to Deal With the Media
Build and developing good relationships with reporters
is a good step in a plan to working with the media. Here are some tips:
- Determine who at a TV or radio station, or newspaper is likely
to be assigned stories related to your organizations.
- Call and introduce yourself, leaving your contact information.
- Ask them the type of criteria they use in selecting stories
for the media. Write it down.
- Call the reporter with ideas for stories, even if it is not
about your organization (they will be grateful.) Do it more than
- Use the reporter's criteria and suggest a possible story on
your program. Be understanding if they decline. Keep doing this
until you find the things that are of interest to them.
- Sometimes you can offer an "exclusive" to a particular
media outlet. This means they get the story and it is not carried
by other media in the area. This is risky!
- Always be honest and never fear saying, "I don't know."
- Never ask to see a story before it is printed or aired.
- Send a thank you note whenever the media outlet carries a story
on your program.
- Avoid being thin-skinned about stories that are printed or aired.
Look at the overall impact of the story and do not sweat the details.
If there is a terrible mistake, contact the writer, and tell them
you will correct in a letter to the editor for a newspaper, and
ask how to handle it if it is radio or TV. Assure them you know
mistakes happen and you are not upset. Screaming at media types
- Know what is news.
- Know the media and what it emphasizes. Read the paper or watch
the show several times before deciding the type of story that
will interest them.
- Step back and pretend you are the editor of the paper, or TV
or radio station. Would you find the story of interest to your
readers, listeners, or viewers?
- Avoid jargon
- Speak and write with clarity. Not "aquatic facility, "
when you mean swimming pool.
- Know how the business works.
- Respect deadlines. Never call reporters when they are on "deadline."
In addition, make sure your information is in well before the
- Be accurate. Be sure information you provide to the media outlet
is accurate; correct spelling of names, the right contact information,
and good grammar.
- Check to make sure the reporter has all the information they
need. Make a call or send an e-mail to inquire if they need more.
- Never disappear when bad news lands.
- The true test of the relationship is when bad news hits. Be
available or get someone who can speak for the organization to
talk with the reporter.
- Never try to hide bad news.
Work Load Getting You Down: Tips
to Lighten the Load
Here is a test to see if your workload is a problem.
- Do you ask yourself on a daily basis why someone didn't tell you
this was needed so soon?
- Do volunteers and staff accuse you of "dumping" things
on them at the last minute?
- Do you usually finish projects within minutes of them needing to
- Are you frequently distracted from your tasks by emergencies or
If you answered yes to at least two of these questions,
you probably need help with your workload.
Here are some ideas to make life easier:
Develop an annual work plan.
|The work plan is usually
based on the organizational strategic plan for the coming year.
Ask the administrator or executive director to help you understand
the organizational plan and how your work fits into that direction.
Work plans begin with goals.
|Goals are measurable, achievable,
flexible, and challenging. Using the organizational plan and advice
from your list specific steps to accomplish in the ensuing 12
months. Example: The Volunteer Program will increase the number
of new volunteers by 25% in the next 12 months.
Set monthly goals.
|Once you have goals then
you organize your work into chunks that are doable. Figure out
what you have to do each month to reach your goal. Use a calendar
to list monthly activities to reach the goal for each month and
hence the entire year.
Make a weekly plan.
|Weekly plans are ways to
take the monthly objectives and break them into yet smaller parts.
Each week should have five to six main tasks for completion. Any
more than that is unrealistic.
| Control your daily
- The daily to do list is a good idea, but only if it is based
on those larger yearly goals. By sticking to your goals, you
avoid unimportant activities that so often lead to chaos.
There are many ways to organize daily work. Here is one:
- Label each item as to its importance:
- 1 is really important for today,
- 2 is important, but can wait until tomorrow,
- 3 is not important.
- Estimate time needed to complete each of the items on the
agenda (Do not forget to have a goal on communication. Returning
phone calls and dealing with e-mail takes time)
- Check off activities as you complete them
- Only schedule 50% - - 60% of your day
- Use a pretty piece of paper for your daily list
- Set aside time each day to read, think, and relax. Yes,
take those breaks. Read a newspaper or magazine at lunch.
- Transfer activities to a new list at the end of every day.
This means you arrive at work with your "marching orders"
and do not dither about figuring out what to do.
~ Every 15 minutes spent in planning
results in a savings of one hour ~
"You don't have to see the
whole staircase, just take the first step."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN
Washington State University offers
a Volunteer Management Certification Program through the Internet.
Individuals around the world can earn a certificate in managing or
coordinating volunteers, without leaving home.For more information,
visit Volunteer Today's Portal site, Internet Resources. Look for
the Washington State University listing. There is a hot link to their
ASSOCIATION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER MANAGERS
The National Association of Volunteer Programs
in Local Government (NAVPLG) is an association of administrators, coordinators
and directors of volunteer programs in local government. Its purpose
is to strengthen volunteer programs in local government through leadership,
advocacy, networking and information exchange. NAAVPLG is an affiliate
of the National Association of Counties and is seeking affiliate status
with the National League of Cities.
Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local
government membership. An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended
for those who are not local government members but may have an interest
in the group. There is a quarterly newsletter, national network, and
access to NACo's Volunteerism Project.
For more information contact Glenis Chapin, who
is a member of the Executive Committee. She can be reached by phone
at 503-588-7990. Be sure to mention you read about this in Volunteer
Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.
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