Communications Task Force: April 2021


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

The Communications Task Force met electronically for its monthly meeting on Wed. April 15, 2021 and discussed the following: 

Staff report:

Tilton Flood invited Roche to provide several updates before the discussing the main agenda items.

  • Commissioner Zakk Maher's op-ed, "On inspiration and volunteerism in America," was published by the Sun Journal Sun. April 4. Access the op-ed here.  
  • The nomination window for the Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism closes on April 30. Roche mentioned that more nominations are needed and asked the Task Force to consider sharing information with their respective personal networks.
  • The 2020 Annual Report has been mailed to all Commissioners and legislators. The report can be accessed digitally on the website -- access here.
  • Roche investigated email newsletter performance after noticing an uptick in unsubscribes. In looking at the last 90 days, the first course of action will be to better segment email lists and be more strategic around audience section.
  • WABI-TV 5 covered the Maine AmeriCorps Member Coverage and aired a story during the A-block of its 5:30 p.m. newscast. Access the story here.

Legislative update:

Tilton Flood asked the group if anyone had been briefed on the Legislative work sessions regarding L.D. 1010 (Maine Service Fellows) and L.D. 722 (a resolve to fund a Volunteer Maine study surrounding a Maine Climate Corps), which had been ongoing earlier that day. Portela reports that he heard they were out of committee. Volunteer Maine Executive Director Maryalice Crofton then joined the meeting for a brief moment to report that both initiatives received votes of ought to pass, and that some work around amendments will be upcoming.

Service Instigator Public Service Announcement Campaign

Tilton Flood first thanked Task Force members for their dedication to the project, which has included an extra time commitment. Tilton Flood invited Roche to provide further updates and to check in with each member to see if they are all set for next steps.

  • Due to an unforced event affecting two of the groups that were to be approached to participate, the timeline for the project has been extended. Participants will now have until May 5 to submit content to Bryan for production.
  • Tilton Flood established a secure method for participants to submit video files.
  • Portela agreed to be the host of the campaign.
  • The group asked Roche to provide new versions of each info packet so the new deadline is included.
  • Looking beyond the first version of the video PSA:
    • The campaign will continue on in digital form beyond the Public Education Partnership contract terms with the Maine Association of broadcasters.
    • A Service Instigator web page will be created to serve as a hub for those who want to act after seeing/hearing a PSA. Ideally, this page will include items such as volunteerism resources and swag.
    • One-to-two additional versions of the Video PSA will be produced using the same script/format. Tilton Flood suggested that one of the next iterations could be proposed as a contest as a way to increase participation as well as awareness of the Volunteer Maine office.

Next meeting: Wed. May 12, 4-5 p.m.