LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 22, 2021) – Service is a large part of the mission of the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky. So when two college members discovered the opportunity to help a statewide nonprofit meet their community outreach and marketing needs, they brought their expertise together. to do it. happen.

KY-Moms MATR (Maternal Assistance Towards Recovery) exists to help pregnant mothers and parents struggling with substance use disorders. The organization serves the Commonwealth by connecting these women with community outreach and education opportunities, substance use disorder prevention services, and case management.

To achieve these goals, however, KY-Moms must promote itself to potential customers and community partners. “They are there to help mothers; but, in order to do that, they need to reach out to community organizations and doctor’s offices, ask for donations for sponsorships, and design eye-catching promotional material that can be shared on social media, ”said Allyson DeVito, Senior Lecturer in the Kingdom -United. School of Information Sciences.

This presented a challenge – the organization is made up of case managers and prevention specialists, who do not have experience in marketing and community outreach. This led Katie Stratton, administrator of the KY-Moms program, to seek advice from the University of Kentucky. She was quickly connected to DeVito.

Through his CIS 300: Strategic Business Communication course, DeVito had experience in maximizing the limited resources of nonprofit organizations. She has already partnered with the $ 100 Solution Project, tasking her students with developing marketing strategies with just $ 100. Now the challenge was hers.

“As soon as I spoke to Katie about KY-Moms, I knew I wanted to ask our amazing CI Communications Director, Catherine Hayden, to get involved because of her experience and all the amazing projects that she works every day for our college, ”DeVito mentioned. The two spent months planning logistics, connecting regional offices and creating an accessible presentation. The virtual workshop was held at the end of October and described skills such as website design, newsletter creation, email writing, social media marketing and networking skills.

Hayden featured a main topic on basic design tips and breakout sessions on using free business tools for things like graphic design, social media planning, copywriting / editing, and making appointments. DeVito presented a breakout session on writing effective emails and press releases.

Two KY-Moms MATR employees also presented best practices on other topics, including community building and marketing strategies, as well as a breakout session on media relations, based on on a site’s successful work strategies with their local media.

As a result of the one-day seminar, KY-Moms MATR has since adapted its marketing approach, using free newsletters and business tools to create flyers, business cards and social media images, Stratton said. She hopes these efforts will lead to more referrals for service from community members.

“It was a nice feeling to be able to take what we normally do every day or teach in a classroom and say, ‘Here are some tips and things you can do that can help you in your job of helping mothers in the classroom. Kentucky and their kids, ‘”DeVito said.

Learn more about KY-Moms MATR at this link: https://dbhdid.ky.gov/dbh/kymomsmatr.aspx.