We need assistance from all Michigan State University (MSU) Extension staff to help promote our online Issue Identification Survey scheduled to launch Sept. 14. The survey, which will remain open until Nov. 14, is designed to collect input from Michigan residents 18 years and older. This input will be used to shape future MSU Extension educational programming and MSU AgBioResearch research. This survey is not designed for staff to fill out, but you will have several opportunities to give input into the process including a chance to review the information collected from the survey participants in your work groups to shape future work plans. Now, however, we need everyone’s help to promote the survey.
Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications will promote the survey online through the MSU Extension website on our homepage, on county pages, through digests and in general throughout our Web presence. ANR Communications will also seek press coverage and will look for other media opportunities to gain coverage for the survey. However, press releases distributed from local MSU Extension offices have a better chance of being printed in local newspapers. That’s why we need all MSU Extension staff to begin planning to distribute press releases to local print and broadcast media. Also, post information on locally controlled county Web pages and on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, promote the survey to program participants 18 years and older at meetings, events and programs; print the link on agendas and programs; and consider passing out business or index cards with the link information in the office, at meetings or during programs.
To assist in your promotion efforts, ANR Communications will produce templates for print, broadcast and social media that you can use to help promote the survey. These will be sent out to staff members in the coming weeks along with the Web address for the survey.
Unfortunately, youth under the age of 18 cannot fill out the survey due to regulations related to parental approval with online survey taking. However, MSU Extension does value youth input and district coordinators are encouraged to invite youth to the district focus group sessions. The Issue Identification Task Force will also be working with Dr. Julie Chapin and the Children and Youth Institute work teams to ensure youth are engaged in the work group and team portion of the process in early 2016.
We want good survey return rates! To produce a survey report for each county we need a viable sample, which means at least 30 surveys from that county. Of course, we want many more than 30 per county, but we need at least that for any one county. We ask educators and district coordinators to promote the survey in all the counties they serve. A survey report website has been created that will allow district coordinators and others to monitor the survey numbers and pull county specific reports after the minimum number of surveys are reached. Once the survey is closed, this survey report website will be open to staff as well.
In addition to your promoting the survey and creating awareness in the community, we’ve created incentives. People who complete the survey can register for a drawing to win one of three prizes: first prize ‒ two tickets to an MSU Men’s Basketball game; second prize ‒ a basket of Michigan products; and third prize ‒ a $75 gift certificate to www.shop.msu.edu.
Please do your part to help us make our Issue Identification Survey a success!