Why do you need someone dedicated to managing your educational outreach efforts if you already have staff creating all your different educational outreach components? An educational outreach manager can help you do the following:
- Define the overall goals and target audience as you begin your project.
- Determine who is doing what, what the educational needs and opportunities are, and where your project best fits into that landscape.
- Cultivate partnerships to help reach your target audience, and then manage the ongoing support of those relationships.
- Create a distribution plan for any print materials and work with print staff to revise these as needs change. (Some educational outreach managers may also oversee the development of the print and online curricula resources.)
- Develop person-to-person activities to bring your project's resources directly to the target audience, and identify new opportunities to leverage these resources throughout the project.
An educational outreach manager also brings valuable knowledge and experience to your project: She's learned from mistakes that would cost you money and time if you were to repeat them.
So when should you engage the services of an educational outreach manager? The manager should be involved both before and after your broadcast premiere. In general, bring in an educational outreach manager during the early stages of your project's development. The benefit of her early involvement will far outweigh the small additional cost that you might incur. As you prepare your proposal, a manager can establish partnerships, develop the schedule, and lay the groundwork for the overall educational outreach campaign. Once that baseline is established, the manager need not stay on the payroll through your funding period, but her early work will pay off enormously in the long run, enabling the educational outreach team to hit the ground running once your project launches.
Your educational outreach manager should also be on board for some months after the premiere to ensure that your project's resources are getting out there and getting used. Ultimately, how long the coordinator stays on will depend in large part on the size and scope of your project. Because most children's series plan to be ongoing at the outset, your educational outreach manager may stay on the project season after season, although the activities and staff time allotted may change. If or when the series does end, the educational outreach coordinator can play a big role in extending the impact of your project well beyond the broadcast period.