Communications Task Force: March 2021


  • Commissioners: Chair Jennifer Tilton Flood, John Portela, Zakk Maher, Jessica Nixon
  • Staff: Bryan Roche

The Communications Task Force met electronically for its monthly meeting on Wed. March. 10, 2021 and discussed the following:  

America's Service Commission "Innovative COVID-19 Response" report

Tilton Flood briefed the group on an upcoming publication being published by America's Service Commissions (ASC) on innovative COVID-19 response efforts. Two programs from Maine will be featured, Healthy Acadia's AmeriCorps Recovery Corps and Maine Campus Compact's Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship AmeriCorps program.

Tilton Flood would like the group to think of ways to bring exposure to the report, and then share thoughts during the April meeting. High level ideas generated so far included press pitches, an op-ed, visibility on the website and social media posts.

Maine Service Fellows briefing

Tilton Flood reported that lead sponsor of the initiative, Rep. Morgan Reilly of Westbrook, has been leading strategy sessions and that testimony will begin in the coming weeks. Tilton Flood went on to set the expectation that there could be some difficulty due to the fiscal note included.

Tilton Flood shared that Rep. Reilly will be producing a Bangor Daily News op-ed to discuss the Maine Service Fellows and then suggested we follow up by sharing the pre-written op-ed by Maher. The group was in favor of the approach surrounding Maher's op-ed.

Tilton Flood concluded by encouraging fellow Task Force members to reach out to share any thoughts, concerns, and/or opposition to the proposed legislation.

Creative brainstorm: Service Instigator Public Service Announcement Campaign

The group continued its work to develop the Service Instigator Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign. Members of the task force have had several work sessions with Roche to help flush out the details.

Roche begun by recapping work completed so far:

  • The initial concept of slap-stick-style vignettes has been put on hold in favor of collaborative, self-produced campaign featuring volunteers, service members, and recognizable Mainers.
  • The concept is inspired by a "Pass it along" campaign, shared by Tilton Flood, where community members will pass along an "instrument of service" off frame to create the illusion that the items are actually being passed from scene to scene.
  • The concept will be produced in a way where the audio can easily be repurposed as a radio PSA.
  • Task Force members agreed to split up the list of desired subjects and lead the effort to encourage participation.

The group then went on to discuss potential individuals to engage in the campaign. Roche suggested that the group pair the list down to 4-5 for this first run and shared there is the potential for multiple iterations of the campaign. Roche will share with the group a complete list of all mentioned along with suggested production guidelines and a script to share with participants.

The discussion concluded with a script brainstorm. Portela provided a suggestion around the theme "what's a service instigator" and a core message of "these folks are service instigators, and you can be, too."

Roche concluded by sharing a deadline of April 1 for creative. ADDENDUM 3/24/21: The timeline has been extended to April 30 in order to ensure there is enough time for production.

Next meeting: Wed. April 14, 4-5 p.m.